After fourteeen matches in the English Premier League, Manchester United and Manchester City are arguably the two biggest surprises for different reasons.
The Sky Blues had a very solid team entering the EPL, but nobody was predicting twelve wins in a row; they remain undefeated and Pep Guardiola is finally proving his Premier League pedigree.
On the other side of Manchester, the Red Devils got off to an amazing start and recorded seven wins and one draw. After a very disappointing sixth place last year, the red heart of Manchester was beating again.
Since then, Mourinho and his crew stumbled a little bit, losing against Huddersfield and Chelsea. However, they came back and offered very impressive performances against Newcastle, Brighton and Watford, giving them 32 points and a second place in the league.
But let’s be honest here: Is Manchester United really a surprise?
Probably not when the coach is a man named Jose Mourinho.
From his early days as an assistant for Bobby Robson at Sporting Club Portugal until his troublesome adventure at Manchester, Jose Mourinho had two recurring themes: first, a perfectly and meticulously studied soccer style where ugliness, defense and efficiency are the most common denominators; second, an impressive ability to win in every league he coached, which systematically occurs during his second season.
This syndrome had its origin in Porto where, after a third place in his first season, he clinched the Primeira Liga title (2003). Mourinho followed the same triumphant script with Chelsea (2005), then Inter Milan (2010) and, finally, Real Madrid (2012).
— Alessio Derme (@aderme) November 5, 2016
What’s different from last year?
Comparing his numbers from last year, the Red Devils already have eleven more points and have allowed eight less goals in the same number of games. His defense is the sixth best in Europe at the moment with only 0.57 goals allowed per game, via betstatz.com.
For a man like The Special One who has built his fortune around defensive strategies, sometimes recurring to desperate catenaccio and counter-attack, all the pieces are in place for another second season success. Would it be enough to beat the powerhouse Man City?
Leaving numbers and predictions aside, his team was significantly reinforced during the summer 2017 with the additions of Lukaku, Lindelof and Matic. The winning equation also includes Martial, Rashford and Pogba who remarkably improved from last year and create a formidable offensive tandem.
In addition, Ibrahimovic recovered after his ACL injury that kept him off the field from seven months. He subbed in against Newcastle at the 77th minute and, after being asked in the post-game if he has ever doubted to come back, he reminded everybody again that “Lions don’t recover like humans.”
His statement is very clear: The lion will fight for that EPL title this year and Manchester City better watch out.
— Zlatan Facts (@ZIatanFacts) May 31, 2017
With this incredible arsenal, can the fifty-four Portuguese coach write another page of history in the soccer books? 24 more games and we’ll know the answer. In the meanwhile, we can only trust Quavo’s words, “History repeats itself. So you might wanna pay attention.”
Oh, I almost forgot… Mourinho is also 4-1 in the qualifying stages of the UEFA Champions League. You might want to pay attention to that as well.