If Man United win the FA Cup this weekend, and you consider that they’ve finished second in the league, you have to call that a successful season.
I’ve seen a lot of people disputing this, but the fact is, they finished in second place. Yes, Liverpool or Tottenham might have played more attractive football, but they still didn’t finish in the runner up spot. There’s a points system for a reason.
When you look at how Man City played this year, they were miles ahead of everyone else. United finished on their best points total for years, and let’s be honest if they were up against normal opposition they’d probably have won the league with ease.
But would I say them just making top four and winning no silverware would be a good season? No, I wouldn’t.
If they were to win it – then it will save Jose Mourinho’s blushes. But if they don’t, he will be under severe scrutiny. Especially when you consider their two biggest rivals could have won the Premier League and the Champions League.
If United win, it’ll be as much down to Mourinho as it is the players – if he actually loosens the shackles, and allows players like Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez to play. We saw against Tottenham in the semi-final and City in the derby that he’ll get the result.
If he doesn’t, and he plays negatively, we will not doubt see another boring game and it will be down to Mourinho if he loses it.
There’s also not much excuse for him in terms of form. Chelsea have been hideous recently, the loss to Newcastle obviously sticks in the mind, and it appears Antonio Conte has checked out.
The mood and morale of the team has gone – and it’s something United should capitalise on. They should aim to smash three or four past them, rather than taking it easy. I’d say Chelsea are there for the taking.
He pretty much suggested that they were at fault for the team’s performances – and to me that was a crazy thing to say. It doesn’t exactly give your players confidence when heading into a cup final, or indeed when the summer transfer window is opening.