Winning the 2015/2016 FA Cup was undoubtedly the standout moment last season, but it became increasingly clear that Louis Van Gaal was not the man to take Manchester United forward. Inconsistent performances, along with obscure interview comments and his staunch passion for philosophies that were arguably outdated, were ultimately at the root of his departure, and although there were brief glimpses of quality, the handbrake was left on far too often for the liking of many fans who became frustrated at what they saw on the pitch.
Topping the Opta statistics for sideway and backward passes speaks volumes of how passive Manchester United became under Van Gaal – a far cry from the free-flowing style of play that many have come to expect from a club that have won twenty top-flight titles in its illustrious history. The Dutchman’s departure was equally as inevitable as to whom his replacement was likely to be, with the board turning to Jose Mourinho in the hope that the ‘Special One’ can not only bring a more positive and expansive brand of football to the table, but also make Manchester United a force to be reckoned with. His arrival made an immediate impact on the football betting market, with Coral installing Manchester United as favourites to win the Premier League title under the belief that Mourinho can only make the Red Devils stronger. There is no guarantee that his presence alone makes the team strong contenders, but if his first few weeks in charge are anything to go by, then Manchester United and Mourinho could be a match made in heaven.
Mourinho has wasted no time in settling into life as the new Manchester United manager, with his vow to do all he can to make the fans happy boding well for the future. Punters who may ask themselves “can Jose Mourinho change their fortune this year?” should look no further than the players that Manchester United have already brought in this summer; Mourinho outlined his objective to bring in four top quality signings, and although Paul Pogba could potentially be the final piece in the jigsaw, the first three arrivals have provided great excitement. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Eric Bailly represent excellent additions, and with a number of potential exits rumoured to be on the horizon, the signings may not stop there. It remains to be seen who features in Mourinho’s plans, but Ibrahimovic and Mkhitaryan in particular stand out as players that prove why Betway have made Manchester United favourites to finish the 2016/2017 Premier League season at the summit.
The new manager will get his first opportunity at lifting silverware at his new club when Manchester United face Leicester in the FA Community Shield at Wembley on August 7th. It promises to be an intriguing clash against the league champions who took everyone by surprise this season, but Mourinho will value the game as a great opportunity to provide the foundations for a strong Premier League campaign. Opening with fixtures against Bournemouth, Southampton and Hull should offer a chance to put points on the board early doors before Mourinho faces his old adversary, Pep Guardiola, in the Manchester derby. Expect fireworks at Old Trafford between two teams who are considered serious title contenders after changing their manager, but with the positive vibes already flowing from the club since Mourinho’s arrival, there is plenty of optimism building up ahead of the new season.