Michael Owen spent three seasons at Manchester United and it’s fair to say he struggled to form a relationship with the fans because of his Liverpool past.
Owen’s finest moment at United was the late winner against rivals Manchester City in 2009, although apart from that it would be a struggle to reminisce about his time at Old Trafford.
Anyhow, the 2017/18 campaign is reaching its conclusions and most of the big trophies are yet to be handed out. Teams are still running through their lists of targets in hope of striking the right deals which will see them improve next season and beyond.
United look set to tie up second place In the Premier League and will face Chelsea in the FA Cup final. It’s going to take a significant improvement to bridge the gap to runaway league champions City.
Asked who Jose Mourinho should bring in over the summer, Owen told Joe.co.uk:
“I’m always hesitant to say United need this or they need that. They’ve brought in great attacking players like Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alexis Sanchez and still looked flat.
“It’s not so much about personnel for United. Personally, when I look at that current United squad they should be doing better than they are. They are still not the United I expect to see.
“Jose is a defensive type of manager. He can make defenders look better and attackers look worse. If I was an attacker, I’d like to play in any other side in the top six than United.”
“They brought in Sanchez, who was one of the best players in the league over the last few seasons, and he is just a shadow of the player he was at Arsenal. That is just because of Mourinho’s style of play. Everyone has to be working back and making tackles; filling space.
“United’s back four is only okay but you’re having players like Sanchez, Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial rushing back to help out, and they are playing in front of the best goalkeeper in the world.
“That United squad, when I look at it, has the potential to be the best in the league and be much better than they actually are.”
You may or may not like Owen, but his assessment of Mourinho is pretty fair. He probably isn’t your favourite pundit either, and you and your mates are likely to joke about how boring he comes across.
The fact is Mourinho is a defensive coach and he should be getting more out of United’s attacking players. Sanchez, with a pre-season behind him, should come back more influential next season but the likes of Paul Pogba, Antony Martial and Marcus Rashford ought to be doing better. It will be a considered a blow to fans if we lose any of those players this summer.
A step backwards, even.