Man Utd 1-0 Young Boys: Jose Mourinho’s problems not ended by win – Chris Sutton

BBC Radio 5 Live

In the end, Manchester United got the result they wanted against Young Boys but I was looking for a lot more from them – a big performance, or a sign something has clicked.

I should not be surprised that I did not get it, because United have been disappointing all season.

Yes, it is a positive that they dug out the win with Marouane Fellaini’s injury-time goal, and that they are into the last 16 of the Champions League.

It was a crucial victory because otherwise United would have gone to Valencia in their final group game needing a draw to progress. They would have been under serious pressure.

Snapshot of Group H: Juventus are first and have qualified with 12 points, as have United who are second with 10 points. Valencia are third on five points and Young Boys fourth with one.

Now the pressure is off, but it is becoming clear that the odd good result does not affect the underlying issues at Old Trafford.

You are always left asking the same questions – and the answers don’t change, even when United win.

When I was watching them against Young Boys, I was thinking do United have enough creativity in midfield? The answer is no.

Do they have the belief and togetherness they need to challenge for titles and trophies? No.

Does Jose Mourinho know his best team? No.

Does it seem like the players are all playing for the manager? Again, it is a no.

So, although they are safely through in Europe, there is no way they look like potential winners. When you look at the top teams in that competition, then United are miles behind.

Marouane Fellaini scores United's winner against Young Boys
Fellaini’s winner against Young Boys came in the 91st minute, with United’s 21st attempt at goal

Jose Mourinho has won the Champions League twice before, with Porto in 2004 and Inter Milan in 2010, but I just do not see it happening again for him with this United team.

Of course he can get them organised but they are going need a lot more than that.

I know they have some quality players too, but at the moment something clearly is not right, and it does not look like Mourinho can fix it.

United more like a soap opera than a football club

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Critics should try management – Mourinho

All season, Old Trafford has been a place where something happens every week and Mourinho is not happy about this or that.

They have been described as being more like a soap opera than a football club, and it is true. Even when they win, there is a new drama.

United are a club where there is not a lot of harmony at the moment, and I do not see that changing even after a massive win like this.

Tuesday’s game against Young Boys brought more questions, starting from Mourinho leaving £164m of talent out of his starting XI by dropping midfielder Paul Pogba and striker Romelu Lukaku to the bench.

Man Utd XI v Young Boys: De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Jones, Shaw; Fred, Matic; Lingard, Fellaini, Martial; Rashford

Then there was his reaction on the touchline when Rashford ran clear after five minutes but missed the target.

As a player myself, if I’d seen my manager do that after I’d wasted a chance then I would have thought that I didn’t have his support.

Yes, Rashford can be frustrating sometimes, but for a young player to see his manager behave like that is not helpful. I don’t see it as having any positive consequences.

Mourinho games are not working at the moment

With Mourinho, it feels like he wants to make it clear he is not the one at fault, with everything he says and does about his players.

It is not just a case of him shifting blame for his own benefit, because he has played a few games with his players this season to try to get the best out of them.

But it is not working – they still look well short.

Snapshot of the top of the Premier League: 1st Man City, 2nd Liverpool, 3rd Tottenham, 4th Chelsea, 5th Arsenal, 6th Everton. United are seventh, 14 points behind City.
United are seventh with 21 points, 14 points behind leaders Manchester City after 13 games. At the same stage last season, United were second with 29 points, eight points behind City

Like Pogba, Lukaku was one of the fall-guys after Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace and they were both demoted to the bench.

Lukaku has not scored since 15 September and maybe he does have work to do to regain his form, but I don’t think he is going to benefit much from being dropped.

I don’t know for sure why Mourinho has been leaving certain players out, but normally when managers chop and change the way he has been, it means they are looking for something – or maybe someone – to do something to make them impossible to drop.

That did not happen on Tuesday, and it would not be a surprise to see Pogba and Lukaku to come back into the team against Southampton on Saturday, or if Rashford drops out.

Empty seats show something has to change – but what?

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Manchester United: Does Jose Mourinho know his best XI?

In the end, for everything I can say about how badly United played against Young Boys, Mourinho can turn around and say ‘we won’.

But I still feel they needed to put in a performance as well as getting a result, and the number of empty seats I saw at Old Trafford proves they need to improve.

The ground was a long way from being full, which tells you what a lot of their fans are thinking about the way their team is playing – and a lot of the crowd who did turn up left before Fellaini scored.

That is something that never used to happen at Old Trafford because people always knew what United were capable of. A few years ago, no-one would dare to leave if they were chasing a goal.

How can they change that? Well a run of wins would bring some of the feel-good factor back and get the supporters believing in them again, but I think the process has to start with Mourinho himself.

He needs to keep his comments about his players to the dressing room or his office, because once he does that in public, it will always have consequences.

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Man Utd didn’t have enough intensity – Mourinho

The problems run deeper than just him analysing a poor performance – they stem from Mourinho telling his players virtually from day one of pre-season last summer that they are not good enough.

His most recent attack, which came last week when he criticised Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, was completely unnecessary.

Mourinho has criticised Rashford, which is a problem he does not have when he is with England.

He feels loved by Three Lions Gareth Southgate when he is on international duty, but he does not get that when he plays for United – maybe that should be Mourinho’s next move?

Chris Sutton was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.

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