Analyzing Manchester United’s current downward spiral.

Now, we know the title may be a bit bleak, but bear with us: Manchester United, after the international break, has been far from inspirational.

The José Mourinho’s side started the season all guns blazing, scoring for fun and looking rock-solid on the defense. After their defeat against Huddersfield Town on the weekend, plus poor performances against Liverpool, Benfica and now Swansea (despite winning two of these matches), questions arose about the reasons behind Manchester United’s sudden decline in performances. We have our own say in the matter and we can say that’s it not hat surprising.

  • The loss of Paul Pogba was a massive blow for Mourinho’s team, especially after the Frenchman looking like the world-class midfielder he’s supposed to be, but the team coped well without him. Now, after losing Fellaini, Bailly and Jones due to injury (plus Romelu Lukaku having some issues since the international break), United are lacking some of his best players so far this season and it’s taking its toll.

 

  • The Armenian Decline. Henrikh Mkhitaryan started the season brilliantly, assisting his teammates right, left and center. But the Armenian has an unfortunate knack of blowing hot and cold, thus being unable to sustain such a good run of form and without that creativity (especially after Pogba’s injury), Manchester United is certainly missing that spark for the team’s offensive output. Without the Frenchman, both Juan Mata and the Armenian would have to provide that creativity to keep United’s free flowing football rolling.

 

  • Mourinho’s own negative tactics. As weeks go by, Mourinho’s decision to go ultra conservative against Liverpool is looking more and more erroneous, considering the form of the Merseyside club and its leaky defense. Not only that, but we could theorize that it had a negative impact on his own squad; after weeks of brilliant, carefree football, parking the bus against a weakened Liverpool side might had a negative impact on the players’s psyche. Having said that, José Mourinho is known for being a master at motivation and should seize this dip in form to keep their players’s inner fire alive for the upcoming months.

 

  • Just a poor run of form. All teams have their own moments in the season where they look knackered, tired or underperforming. That’s just natural. Which is why United winning despite this underwhelming set of performances might be so paramount to bounce back; victories while playing badly have a positive impact on a footballer’s mind because it allows him to recover his best mindset and, incidentally, his best form.

Manchester United are having a dire time, performances-wise; the football is far from being awful, but it’s pretty damn far from being stylish or attractive to the viewer. But they are still getting results and that’s something all great teams have, which is something this United side is: a great team that is in the making and it’s not the full deal yet. Spurs are awaiting.