Every week it seems Jose is stealing the headlines. If it’s not for setting his team up for a bore draw at Anfield, it’s blaming his players for a farcical display away at Huddersfield.
This week saw him shush the Old Trafford crowd at full time in the win over Tottenham. The reason behind this? They dared to question him.
As football fans, we feel we have a God-given right to question the decisions of the manager, the players and the club. After all, we pay our money and it affects us.
But Jose always seems to face question after question. It’s become a favoured pastime of Reds even before he was manager. Once those infamous scarves appeared a couple of seasons ago, we were split. The pragmatists versus the idealists. I still can’t make my mind up.
Some won’t be happy with his finger to the lips pointed gesture to the crowd. Some clearly weren’t happy with his decision to take Rashford off. Others won’t care. We won the game, a big game and kept ourselves in the title race. This could be one of the best things he’s done in his time at United, trophies aside.
Remember back to the dark days of Moyes. I know it feels a long time ago now. The memories are painful but they’re starting to fade. But sometimes it can be cathartic to go back there.
Old drab David was so scared of the Old Trafford crowd that he left a clearly unfit and ineffectual Robin van Persie on the pitch rather than take him off when chasing a game. In short, he was so petrified he made the wrong decision to save himself from the fans. That’s woeful for a manager in charge of a club the size of United.
Van Gaal didn’t care what the fans thought as everything was part of his philosophy. He’d happily replace full backs like for like when we were chasing a game.
With hindsight it’s easy to say Jose made the right decision. Martial scored and we all went home happy. He knew that he needed fresh pace in the form of the Frenchman, but he also knew that simply putting pace with pace against one of the league’s best defences wouldn’t work.
Martial and Rashford together would have struggled to impose themselves on Spurs. The fresh pace of Martial with the brawn of Lukaku would give them a new problem. And so it proved.
So, let’s firstly applaud our manager for making the right decision. Let’s secondly give him a nod for not being scared of 76,000 fans and sticking to his guns. And thirdly, let’s bask in the very Fergie-ness of the situation.
Fergie always loved it when no one was talking about his team. When everyone was banging on about the flair of Keegan’s Newcastle; the romance of Liverpool once again being champions; the rise of Chelsea; the noisy neighbours. It was when he managed to build another top team. When no one was looking, they just crept up and once again sat on top.
Now this Jose team have a huge task in front of them. City look unstoppable at the moment, but United are building something.
We finished sixth last season. Lukaku hasn’t scored for about 300 minutes. Ashley Young is a fixture in the team. We have no proper left back. And David de Gea has inexplicably grown a little top-knot.
If you look closely there are a lot of holes to pick in United at the moment, but instead we’re just talking about the manager and letting the players get on with it. This is the best position we could hope to be in right now.
Bravo, Jose. Let’s keep this up and give the side time to gel before the end of the season. Who knows where it might lead.