The Premier League season is winding down into its final week. Manchester United are still to go away to Southampton, who themselves have nothing to play for, and a home game against recently saved Crystal Palace.
United’s performance in the 2-1 defeat to Spurs, was unacceptable on many levels. If ever there was the look of a team who had downed tools, it was at White Hart Lane. Jose Mourinho has two more games to assess his squad before the Europa League Final in Stockholm, against Dutch giants, Ajax. They themselves finished runners-up to eventual league winners, Feyenoord. Ajax will not want to lose out twice in one season.
United had the chance to turn up at Tottenham’s last ever home game, at White Hart Lane, and spoil the party. I would of thought this would of been right up Mourinho’s street. To see the United faithful, goading the Spurs fans, who would be in party mood. It wasn’t to be. Jose Mourinho sent out a team in which the interest in playing the match couldn’t of seemed any lower. Players playing in different positions, Rooney struggling in the midfield against Tottenham’s high energy press. All in all, it was pretty poor.
Axel Tuanzebe was again given a Premier League start. This time his job was to marshal Christian Eriksen. Unfortunately for Tuanzebe, he couldn’t follow Eriksen over to the corner, which led to Spurs taking the lead. Eriksen’s short corner, whipped into the box for Wanyama to nod home. Scott McTominay was again on the bench, but failed to make an appearance.
The last few weeks have all been the same for United. Poor away at Spurs, poor away at Arsenal and average in the home leg of the Semi Final. Jose has some real decisions to make before the Final next week. With no Bailly, suspended after his red card in the second leg, there is a huge hole to fill in the centre of an all of a sudden, brittle defence. Mourinho has already said that Sergio Romero will keep his spot in goal, and rightly so, with only conceding five goals in sixteen appearances, and David De Gea going off the boil, amid reports of a Madrid return.
Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are most definitely not the answer for United, unfortunately though, one of the two will start in Stockholm alongside Daley Blind. Could Jose complete the fairytale and pick young Axel Tuanzebe? A centre-half by trade. I highly doubt it, Jose will want experience, even if it means playing square pegs in round holes.
The next two games will be an audition for Final places. These players must understand that even if there is nothing to play for, you play till the last minute of the last game of the season. Mourinho is also responsible for this, upholding the traditions at United, because just recently, the performances have been far from unacceptable.