Back in sixth spot after the midweek fixtures, United’s season looks likely to hinge on winning the Europa League for automatic qualification to next seasons Champions League. Stuttering along in the league, not really capitalising when opponents drop points, fourth spot may just be out of reach this season. This week in the media, Zlatan was quoted as saying ” I am a lion” – currently his team mates are not quite hunting in the same pack.
Ibra has never finished below second place in any side that he has played in. Ajax, both Milan sides, Juventus, Barcelona and PSG, have all finished either champions or runners up, in the season in which the iconic Swede has spearheaded their attacks. This season though is a different kettle of fish. Jose Mourinho brought in Ibra, a player who he coached previously at Inter Milan. 26 goals in all competitions, including a winner in the EFL Cup Final, has proved that the 35 year old is clearly not finished yet.
For all the goals that Zlatan has chipped in with, there have also been a whole host of chances missed in games where he really should of scored. Comparisons to the early Andy Cole years where the ex Red Devil was said to have needed four or five chances to score one. His recent disciplinary problem didn’t help the misfiring reds. An altercation with Bournemouth’s Tyrone Mings saw Zlatan banned for three games. His return from suspension this week culminated in a 94th minute equaliser against Everton. A goal wrongly ruled out for offside as well, capped an impressive return leading the line.
United’s other forwards are inconsistent at best. Marcus Rashford is certainly not hitting the heights of last season. The young forward is getting into some great positions but that chances that he was finishing so easily last season, are just not going in this time around.
The team that Mourinho inherited is made up of four components. Sir Alex Ferguson’s, David Moyes’, LVG’s and now Jose’s men. Until Mourinho can completely have all the players in his squad that he can trust and rely on, expect there to be some major changes in the summer. Zlatan is yet to come out and openly say if he is staying next season, my guess is he will, but he will also be looking for the boss to make some improvements. Not enough lions in this team with Zlatan. Spoken like a true fan. It really is time that the excuses stop and the performances start.
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