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Jose Mourinho`s changing youth policy
02 November 2017, 16:34
Jose Mourinho`s changing youth policy
Oleksandr Osipov / Shutterstock.com

When Jose Mourinho was appointed Manchester United manager in 2016, and it was seen as very bad news for the club’s academy by some fans. There has always been an opinion of Jose Mourinho, even by some Manchester United fans that he doesn’t care about bringing players through from the academy, only about established stars.

Mourinho is obsessed with success, and more than anything else, this is the driving force behind any decision he makes in football management. Young players excite fans, especially when they do well, but they are raw and are bound to frequently make mistakes that may cost the team. Managers like Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson are two of the biggest names in football management, and they are known for giving youth players a chance, but the fact is that they could/can afford to do that after they achieved a level of stability in their different clubs.

Jose Mourinho on the other hand hasn’t been known to stay long at a single club before. The longest he has spent at a club since he achieved managerial prominence is three years, so clubs who hire him expect instant success, a factor that affects the amount and level of risks he can take in games. Introducing youth players is one of those risks.

When he was given the Manchester United job, Mourinho made it clear that he intended to stay long on this particular one, and like most football enthusiasts and journalists have known for a while, this was the job he has always wanted. Part of the tradition of Manchester United as a club is giving youths a chance, and if he wanted to win the affection of fans totally, he knew he had to seriously reconsider his youth policy.

He was lucky that Marcus Rashford was already a member of the first team, and as a manager of a rival team in the same league where the youngster plays, he had seen him in action and knew that he was a really good prospect who played with a level of intelligence that belied his years. The decision to play Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard was not a tough one by any means, considering the impact both players were already having on games before the manager’s appointment. However one youth player could be the key for the Portuguese tactician in his attempt to dispel the general opinion about him as regards youth players. That player is Scott McTominay.

Scott McTominay is a product of the United academy, a lanky midfield prospect whose best football trait is the ability to keep plays simple and do midfield mop-up jobs efficiently. Jose Mourinho always prefers midfielders with above average aerial abilities, and McTominay’s 6ft 4ins height might have been a key factor in the faith shown in him when Jose handed him his Premier League debut in the 2nil defeat of Arsenal last season. The player must have done a good job, because rather than get a replacement when Andreas Pereira left on loan at the beginning of the season, Mourinho decided to promote McTominay permanently to the first team.

Yesterday was Manchester United’s fourth UEFA Champions League game this season, and the Lancaster-born youngster was given his full Champions League debut. He might not have set off fireworks with his performance or score a belter, but he gave an all-round balanced midfield performance which showed that he could at the very least have some future as a squad player.

Jose Mourinho’s reputation as a manager who doesn’t trust youth players may be justified, but he is already changing that reputation at Manchester United. The inclusion of Axel Tuanzebe and Scott McTominay may be the beginning of a new youth policy for the Special One, and it is looking good.

Predictions for Premier League

Home team - Away team Forebet
flag_1 PR
Crystal Palace
Stoke City

25/11/2017 15:00
X
flag_1 PR
Tottenham
West Bromwich

25/11/2017 15:00
1
flag_1 PR
Swansea City
Bournemouth

25/11/2017 15:00
2
flag_1 PR
Newcastle Utd
Watford FC

25/11/2017 15:00
2

England Premier League - predictions, tips, statistics
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. Manchester City 34 12 11 1 0 40 7 33
2. Manchester United 26 12 8 2 2 27 6 21
3. Chelsea FC 25 12 8 1 3 23 10 13
4. Tottenham 23 12 7 2 3 20 9 11
5. Liverpool FC 22 12 6 4 2 24 17 7
6. Arsenal 22 12 7 1 4 22 16 6
7. Burnley FC 22 12 6 4 2 12 9 3
8. Watford FC 18 12 5 3 4 19 21 -2
9. Brighton 16 12 4 4 4 13 13 0
10. Huddersfield 15 12 4 3 5 8 17 -9
11. Leicester City 14 13 3 5 5 17 19 -2
12. Newcastle Utd 14 12 4 2 6 11 14 -3
13. Bournemouth 13 12 4 1 7 11 14 -3
14. Southampton 13 12 3 4 5 9 14 -5
15. Stoke City 13 12 3 4 5 15 24 -9
16. Everton FC 12 12 3 3 6 12 24 -12
17. West Bromwich 10 12 2 4 6 9 18 -9
18. West Ham 10 13 2 4 7 12 26 -14
19. Swansea City 8 12 2 2 8 7 15 -8
20. Crystal Palace 5 12 1 2 9 6 24 -18

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