The moment I saw José’s line up for the Boro game I told myself that after the game he either gets the stick or the hand shake. No middle lot.
Arsenal had lost to West Brom the previous day. Everton got a win. These results pushed United from their 6th floor apartment to the 7th. Arsenal’s loss placed them in 5th place while Everton, superior with three games rose to 6th. United languished at 7th. The game against Middlesbrough therefore became a do or die affair, literally. Game day saw José bench Mkhytaryan while starting Fellaini and Lingard; two players United fans would not have wanted in the starting eleven knowing the importance of the game. Zlatan Ibrahinovic’s suspension, Martial’s sickness and Rooney’s injury meant United lacked depth in attack. Rashford was called upon to lead the attack.
After an initial control by Middlesbrough, United took over proceedings. The much maligned Fellaini played the game of his life in a United shirt yet. He was rewarded by a goal. Second half saw a beautiful second by Jesse Lingard. Boro pulled one back before a Victor Valdes slip due to Antonio Valencia’s pressure gave the vastly improved right back his first goal of the season.
In all of these, José was the winner. He came up with a lineup that didn’t instill the least confidence in United faithfuls for a game that was a must win. Safe to say he gambled. If United had lost, he would have gotten the stick from all and sundry. Therefore since United won, while giving credit to the players and fans, it will be very much in place to give José his due credit.
José was always a winner. He loves winning and is addicted to victories. He is a man that knows how to win games, conventionally or unconventionally. Many United fans already had draft of names to throw at him had he lost. He however reminded them that he is José Mourinho, The Special One. It may just be right to say that after the Middlesbrough game, fans of Manchester United dared to continue their dream of a glorious finish.
This boils down to the man, José Mourinho.