Jose Mourinho has labelled his Manchester United side as fragile and bereft of any potency in front of goal after the 2-1 defeat to Fenerbahce in the Europa League.
Man United once again begun an away game poorly, conceding after just two minutes, before going further behind in the 59 minute.
Wayne Rooney‘s late strike gave the visitors a brief moment of hope, but Mourinho’s men finished the game empty handed.
Speaking after the game, Mourinho bemoaned his side’s mental fragility and ineptitude in front of goal.
“I passed all my experience to the players,” he said.
“If you play against them in our home, it’s easy, always 2-0, 3-0 4-0, but you come to Turkey and it is completely different story.
“I told them to wait for that, to be focused on that and not to be focused on the easy game against them at Old Trafford last week, but we start the game as though we are asleep and they start at 100mph.
“For me football is from the first second, they played an emotional game and they deserved to win. We are fragile, I know we are. We have to be stronger mentally and start the game better than we did.”
At least Mourinho, after presiding over possibly the worst performance of his short time in charge, pin-pointed United’s two main issues: mental fragility and, well, no goal-scoring threat whatsoever.
Diagnosing the latter problem is easy enough, one suspects. The problem is that United’s inertia in front of goal directly stems from – yes, you guessed it – their current mental impasse. Needless to say, rectifying this issue is far from easy, and as a mere freelancer I’m not really equipped to conjure up solutions for a mass case of psychological infirmity: maybe a win on Sunday could be enough? Maybe a long, gruelling team-builing exercise – like climbing a mountain or going through an intense, life-like assault course – could help eradicate this issue? Maybe go-karting? Blackmail? Give Bastian Schweinsteiger a game?
Whatever the solution, it needs to be pin-pointed and applied immediately if Mourinho’s men want to encounter any success this season.