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Can anyone stop Mourinho's Manchester United?

Friday 15th September 2017
Manchester United are one of the most well-known clubs in the World. Their profile stretches as far as Sydney to Seattle with the club finally looking like they're back on track. Mourinho is infamous for his second season wonders, now at the helm at Manchester United, can anyone stop him?

The Red Devils recruited very early and extremely well over the summer. The Manchester boss highlighted how key this was, explaining that if they hadn't conducted their business early, fee's would have been too much for them to afford after Neymar's transfer to Paris St. Germain. The likes of Nemanja Matic, Victor Lindelof and, of course, Romelu Lukaku has seen Manchester United soar to the top of the Premier League in unbeatable fashion. With Mourinho and his men all singing from the same hymn sheet, is anyone able to surpass them come the end of the season?

Right now, the answer would have to be no. Mr Mourinho looks as if he's got his tactics spot on, which has seen Paul Pogba allowed to advance more, playing in a position that he was signed to play in. With Pogba allowed to drive forward with his pace, skill and strength, all of a sudden the Frenchman is surrounded by the likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Romelu Lukak and Jesse Lingard, a frightening counter attacking force to face. They've already shown how prolific they can be on the attack, smashing twelve goals in just their opening four games. I simply cannot see Lukaku scoring under 20 goals this season for Manchester United, whilst I also cannot see Pogba, Matic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan becoming less influential in their roles than they already have been.
Yes, their attack is star studded, but you also cannot take anything away from their defensive unit. It looks to be a recipe for success with strong defenders in Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof provide a sturdy wall to deter the opposition, whilst Matic is there to simply clean up the mess and distribute. United's game plan seem's very much to play out of the back, therefore winning the ball back as a team (not just the defenders) then breaking with incredible pace is key to Manchester United's success. Also, having a world-class goalkeeper, heavily linked with the only ever back-to-back European Champions, Real Madrid, season after season, isn't bad going either.

With regards to the possible threats they face this season, I'm able to find a reasonable flaw in almost all of them. Firstly, Manchester City's squad is far to large and vague. They have too many great players who expect to play week after week, that Guardiola doesn't know his best starting XI yet. This is a massive problem for the team as they'll struggle to find any sort of consistency in their performances. Chelsea simply haven't signed enough quality this season. They failed to land Lukaku before United did and also lost out on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. I think Antonio Conte has also realised how much of a mistake it was to allow Matic to leave for Old Trafford. Overall, Tottenham Hotspur have a good, home-grown, squad that are all full of ability and potential. However, they've had over a season to make Wembley their home and they're still struggling. You cannot win the Premier League without making the opposition afraid of coming and playing your team at home.

Then there's Liverpool. While I believe the Reds have the best attacking unit in the League this season, their defensive issues are far worse. They have a goalkeeper that is just about good enough for a bottom half Premier League side and unrecognised defenders who all look to each other for a bit of guidance and leadership. Having missed out on Virgil van Dijk over the summer, I can't see past their defensive mistakes really costing them this season. Arsene Wenger's Arsenal are really plummeting. Their best player has handed a transfer request in and they failed to replace Oxlade-Chamberlain after he moved to Merseyside. Their defence also worries me with Arsenal conceding the most goals out of the top seven in last year's Premier League table.
Jack Drury
19 years of age. Sport and Exercise Science Student at Loughborough University. Peterborough United.

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