Jules Maiorana was a Manchester United player between 1988 and 1994, during which time he made eight appearances in the club’s first team. A regular contributor to United in Focus, here Jules discusses United’s recent fortunes under Jose Mourinho and looks ahead to the visit of arch-rivals Liverpool to Old Trafford on Saturday.
United’s football has been very in keeping with Mourinho’s style which a lot of people raised when he was appointed as manager. They’re second but a long way behind City and the title race has been over for a few weeks.
Football these days is all about instant success and Mourinho doesn’t seem quite the same on the touchline and in interviews as he has done in the past. As long as Guardiola is in charge at City with the money they’ve got I think it’s going to be very difficult for United to catch them.
Players like Paul Pogba should be able to win games on their own but it hasn’t quite happened which raises questions about their attitude and commitment. However one player who has continued to impress is David De Gea. There’s some players, who play so well that even if they make a mistake you can’t really fault them and he’s one of them, a great keeper.
I don’t watch enough international football to say if he’s the best in the world but he’s definitely up there. He’s always been a great shot-stopper, when he first arrived he was struggling with crosses and corners and was targeted as a result but he’s matured into an excellent goalkeeper.
A keeper like that will save you points throughout the season and he’s been great for the last four or five years. Without him I think United would have lost more games. He nearly left a few seasons ago and if the rumours of him signing a new contract are true it can only be a good thing. The likes of Schmeichel and Van der Sar played in great teams for United whereas De Gea hasn’t really, so you could argue he plays a bigger part.
United play Liverpool this weekend, although I never played against them at first team level I did play in quite a few reserve and ‘A’ team games against them. I used to get kicked all over the place, tripped up and stamped on. I don’t know how I kept my temper.
They were hard old games but enjoyable as well. We used to play against some of the Liverpool first team who had got injured and were making their way back like Ian Rush, Alan Hansen and a few others. Playing against Liverpool or City at any level was always a massive game.
In terms of the game itself, Liverpool beat City and then went and lost to Swansea whilst United have struggled and then beat Chelsea. We all know about Liverpool but United don’t look great at the back either. My prediction would be 1-1, you wouldn’t think it was going to be goalless that’s for sure.