LAST night’s goalless draw with Southampton – their FIFTEENTH of the season – just about sums up Manchester United’s season of frustration.
So near and yet so far. Had Jose Mourinho’s side managed to convert just five of those draws into wins they would have secured a Champions League place.
But, as was the case at St Mary’s again yesterday evening, United under Jose have been too cautious, too predictable and – as I’ve said before – too BORING!
This is not the football United fans have been brought up on. The fantasy football of the past is no more.
No Becks pinging the ball in from the right; no Giggs dashing down the left; no Cole or Yorke banging them in left right and centre – and no Scholesy picking up the bits and pieces.
Sixth is the best United can hope for in this season – not what fans expected when Jose picked up the reins and a far cry from the glorious Sir Alex Ferguson era when they didn’t finish outside the top three in the Premier League.
Since the great man’s departure in 2013 United have not finished INSIDE the top three. This season will represent Mourinho’s worst ever league finish of his managerial career.
Okay, so they have won the Community Shield and the EFL Cup, and have the Europa League Final to look forward to, but Jose was always going to be judged on where United finish in the Premier League.
And, quite frankly, it simply hasn’t been good enough; both in terms of results and performances. Entertainment value if you like.
Given that Southampton fans have only seen 37 goals at St Mary’s this season – one better than United fans have witnessed at Old Trafford – no real surprise last night’s damp squib ended goalless.
And it could have been a whole lot worse for Mourinho’s men but for a fine performance in goal by Sergio Romero, including a penalty save to deny Manolo Gabbiadini.
Of course Mourinho rang the changes; of course his main focus is on the Europa final – but he needs to work out his best starting XI, And fast. United fans are used to better than this.