We take a look at the stats that show Manchester United are improving under Jose Mourinho.
Sir Alex Ferguson won the Premier League title in his last season at Old Trafford. Ever since his departure in 2013, Manchester United have not finished in the top 3 in the Premier League. The fear factor has gone and they struggled to win games at Old Trafford.
It is always difficult to replace a manager like Sir Alex Ferguson, and the two managers after his departure, David Moyes and Louis van Gaal, failed miserably. In the three years before Jose Mourinho’s arrival, United managed to qualify for the Champions League on only one occasion and lifted only two cups, the 2013 Community Shield and 2016/17 FA Cup.
Jose Mourinho was appointed as the manager in 2016. Though he finished sixth in the league, he led them to win the Europe League and the League Cup. His first season was a good one, if not great. United are currently second in the league and in the final of the FA Cup. The UEFA Champions League exit was a painful one, but Mourinho has done a lot of good things at United this season.
Manchester United has certainly improved under Jose Mourinho and here are five stats that prove it.
#5 Highest league finish since Ferguson era
David Moyes’ only season (2013/14) at Old Trafford ended in disaster as Manchester United finished seventh in the Premier League. They lost 12 games in the season and finished below Everton.
Van Gaal’s arrival did not turn things in a big way as United finished fourth and fifth in his two seasons.
After the arrival of Jose Mourinho, he led United to a sixth-place finish in his first season. However, things have changed drastically in this season. United are only behind City in the current league standings and are having their best PL season since Ferguson’s departure.
#4 Number of points in the Premier League this season
The Red Devils have accumulated more than 70 points in this season for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson’s time as manager and they even have four more games remaining in the season. In their three previous seasons before the arrival of Jose Mourinho, United took only 64, 70, and 66 points in 2013/14, 2014/15, and 2015/16 respectively.
Though Manchester United took only 69 points in Mourinho’s first season at Old Trafford, they have already accumulated 74 points this season with four more games to go. United could easily go past 80 points for the season, which is a vast improvement.
Given some time, the Portuguese manager could make it even better in the next few seasons.
#3 Ability to comeback from behind
The Red Devils made a habit of astonishing comebacks under Sir Alex Ferguson, but those days disappeared after his retirement. We rarely witnessed those magical comebacks, in the last few years, but 2017/18 has brought glimpses of what we missed.
Though Mourinho’s Manchester United was inconsistent this season, they achieved quite a few comebacks wins. A 2-2 draw against Burnley, 2-1 win against Chelsea, 3-2 win against Manchester City, and recent 2-1 win against Tottenham Hotspur are some of the games where United came back to salvage something after conceding early goals.
United’s 3-2 derby win will remain in the minds of United fans for a long time.
#2 Number of goals scored and conceded in the Premier League this season
Jose Mourinho was often criticized for his lack of attacking football and over-emphasis on defending. But that’s how he achieved a lot of success with Porto, Inter, Chelsea, and Real Madrid. All of Mourinho’s teams in the past have been extremely strong at the back, and effective going forward.
Manchester United’s goals scored and conceded record in the Premier League was dismal for the last four seasons. The Red Devils only scored 64, 62, 49, and 54 in their last four Premier League seasons. However, they found the back of the net on 65 occasions already this season.
They are better defensively too. United conceded at least 35 goals in their last three seasons before the arrival of Mourinho. However, they conceded only 29 goals last term and 26 so far this season. A great record given their best defender, Eric Bailly, was out most for part of the 2017/18 season.
#1 Wins against top teams in the Premier League this season
Manchester United’s record against the Premier League’s top six hasn’t been great in the last few years. Even after the arrival of Jose Mourinho, United struggled to win games against the top PL sides.
However, the last few months tell us a different story. Manchester United defeated Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Tottenham Hotspur in 2018. They were good against these teams, scored goals, defended well and played some eye-catching football in the process.
The arrival of Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku has given him enough quality in the attack, and with a couple of good additions this summer, Mourinho could bring back the real Manchester United next season.