Jose Mourinho has responded to criticism of Manchester United’s style of play under his tutelage, insisting that he has always encouraged his side to invoke a style evocative of the club’s values.
The 54-year-old has been criticised on a number of occasions for his side’s inability to display the levels of clinical edge needed to pressure the top five this season.
Sunday’s 3-0 win over Leicester, however, saw Mourinho’s men – spearheaded by the mesmerising Henrikh Mkhitaryan – display some serious conviction in front of goal.
And the 54-year-old, speaking after the win over Claudio Ranieri’s men, made it clear that he would continue to encourage a dynamic approach at Old Trafford.
“Look, my team is playing very well,” he said. “For many years in my career, especially in this country, when my teams were ruthless, phenomenal defensively and very good on the counter-attack, I listened week after week that it was not enough, despite winning the title three times.
“It looks like this season to be phenomenal defensively and good on the counter-attack is an art – it is a big change in England. My Manchester United, I don’t want to change the profile of our play – this is the way we, the fans and the club want to play.
“But I don’t want to be the manager of a team that plays very well, creates a lot of chances and does not win matches. We need to score goals and we today we did.”
“The last time I was sat in this chair, the next day I was sacked!”
The win over Leicester was indeed a marked contrast to the horror show against Hull City in midweek, but the only real difference was that, for once, United took their chances.
All they needed was nine minutes of ruthlessness, heralded by goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Mkhitaryan and Juan Mata either side of half-time, and they were in the clear. It was, dare I say, evocative of a typical performance from a Fergie side away at a struggling Premier League side: turn up, rampage into a convincing lead and then turn the game into a training session. This, make no mistake, is the exact sort of thing supporters want to see.