The mood of four of these players will contrast sharply with four of this lot. Romelu Lukaku is just very confused…
The striker and Mourinho perhaps didn’t part on the best terms. But, if Lukaku is the ‘grown-ass’ man he views himself as, he won’t have minded some harsh-but-fair treatment at the hands of a manager fighting for his life.
Lukaku was perhaps fortunate to avoid being dropped for as long as he did. Mourinho always liked a big target man as the focal point of his United attack. A new manager coming in, looking for an easy win with supporters, will be far more inclined to play Anthony Martial or Marcus Rashford through the middle.
Another big Belgian who Mourinho came to rely upon, the 31-year-old has become an illustration of United’s struggles in recent years. He was Mourinho’s go-to guy – when United were in trouble, he would send for Fellaini.
Any new manager keen to be seen to be doing things differently will be looking to wean United off Fellaini while coming up with a more sophisticated and subtle Plan B. That’s not to say Fellaini won’t have his uses; the versatile midfielder has made himself a popular figure largely because of his desire to graft for the badge. Though part of that came from a sense of gratitude to Mourinho. What happens after the love has gone?
— reddevilsnews.com (@_reddevilsnews_) January 10, 2017
The Serbia midfielder was Mourinho’s most-used outfield player last season, and even when his performances showed signs of weariness this term, the manager has always been reluctant to be without his holding midfielder.
A continuation of his form is likely to be tolerated less by any manager coming in, especially one with little to lose who may prefer a more expansive style who may be more open to giving Fred a chance. Matic’s role under Mourinho was more secure than any other outfield player. Now he has to prove himself all over again.
The Basque midfielder was always one of Mourinho’s most loyal ‘dogs’ and as the manager has sought more bite in recent weeks, Herrera has come back into the XI.
The midfielder, who is out of contract at the end of the season, has little to lose from the arrival of a new manager but he always gave the impression that he enjoyed playing for the now-departed manager, especially when he was named the club’s Player of the Year during Mourinho’s first year in charge.
The MEN wrote: ‘McTominay’s ascension under Mourinho is believed to have perplexed some of the Scotland international’s former youth teammates, with one remarking ‘no one sees what he has’.’ That being true, they are certainly not the only ones. The academy graduate is a grafter but there is little evidence so far to justify the special treatment Mourinho offered McTominay.
Mourinho even surprised everyone at the club’s awards dinner earlier this year by presenting McTominay with a Manager’s Player of the Year award. Whether he was trying to make a point to other midfielders, we still don’t know. But McTominay is unlikely to be looked upon quite as favourably by a new manager, despite his Academy upbringing.
#MUFCPOTY | The Manager’s Player of the Year
— United Xtra (@utdxtra) May 1, 2018