Manchester United team spirit under Jose Mourinho the best it’s been since Sir Alex Ferguson era

by Leo Nieboer

Manchester United’s team spirit under Jose Mourinho is at its best since the Sir Alex Ferguson era, according to several senior members of the squad.

The Portuguese inherited a beleaguered and, in his own words, sad group of players following a lobotomising campaign under Louis van Gaal that ended in his dismissal.

Under Mourinho, however, Man United’s campaign ended in winning the Europa League – their second trophy of the season – and securing a place in next season’s Champions League.

Only eight players remain from the Fergie era, but the consensus is that Mourinho and his team have invoked a sense of bullishness and collective drive.

The 54-year-old has developed a reputation for being a divisive, sour figure, but behind the scenes – where the us against them is generated and consolidated – the complexion is very different.

Van Gaal’s overly high strung and authoritarian PE teacher-esque ripped the very soul out of the first team squad and supporters alike. It was almost condescending, you felt.

With Mourinho, however, a more relaxed approach has been taken. Players are given responsibility rather than simply barked at, which has naturally compelled players – supplemented by the embedded serial winning mentality brought by Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba – to engage with a collective march towards success.

Harp about Mourinho’s ‘abrasive’ countenance when placed in front of a microphone, but you do not win two trophies in your first season without engendering the right environment.

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