The Portuguese opted for a safety-first approach, aiming not to lose rather than go for the jugular.
His hope – which increasingly failed as his tenure approached its end – was that United would snatch a goal and win 1-0, but doing so with no attacking verve whatsoever.
Mourinho’s tactics were dated and, quite simply, wrong for this United side. And now Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is proving just how effective going on the front foot can be.
There is no doubt United had David de Gea to thank for their victory against Tottenham Hotspur. Yet, even when they were under the cosh, United still attacked when they could.
Under Mourinho, they would have got 11 men behind the ball for 45 minutes. But that is not the United way and it is not in Solskjaer’s DNA.
Attack is the best form of defence and United always set out to score more goals than their opponents.
The saddest thing about the Mourinho that left United was his unwillingness to be brave on the field. He drowned his players in defensive discipline and a mantra that is outdated and ineffective.
Solskjaer is proving that the Fergie way still has legs.
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