Six months into his first season back at Chelsea, José Mourinho had identified three important areas where his group were deficient. He lacked a presence and a goalscorer issues solved by the signings that summer of Cesc Fàbregas and Diego Costa, in midfield, but he had moved to plug the gap by bringing back Nemanja Matic from Benfica. Each of the three deficiencies the season had been dealt with and it’s only a small exaggeration to say that Chelsea’s title win was a procession.
Since he joined Porto in 2002, he has always won the league at his second season — in Porto, at Chelsea, at Internazionale and Real Madrid, and in Chelsea again — like that’s the happy midpoint when he’s had the time to organise his group but not quite had time to exhaust them with his continuous political manoeuvering. Matic makes it three main signings in United this summer: every in the back of the side and each addressing a particular issue. Romelu Lukaku should bring the aims that United couldn’t find against sides that defended compactly season. Victor Lindelof should add stability to the middle of a defence that never met Mourinho season. But regarding the team’s structure, Matic might be the most important of the lot. agen sbobet terpercaya
Mourinho has ever sought a dominant presence in the rear of midfield, someone who may provide, as he himself has put it, “standing, stability, control”, someone for whom “to score a goal is a wonder but to eliminate a chunk is also a wonder”. At Porto he’d Costinha; in Chelsea the first time Claude Makelele (and Mikel John Obi, originally a much more complete midfielder whom he attempted to mold to his enforcer); in Inter Esteban Cambiasso, at Madrid Lassana Diarra, and also Matic in Chelsea.
It is a role which has a profound influence on the rest of the group. The holder acts as a breakwater in front making it more difficult for to isolate them, leading the press and while retaining the shape compact. He has to have the ability to distribute, whether he’s currently keeping the ball initiating or circulating counterattacks. Matic ended up expendable to Chelsea due to the powerful excellence of N’Golo Kanté, whose energy made it potential for him to perform that job and much more, but he had been a hugely significant presence in the name season under Mourinho. He ought to provide protection to whichever pairing of Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly, Lindelof and Phil Jones ends up as choice but in the context of United’s squad, his influence might wind up being at the end of the pitch.
The biggest single strategic issue United confronted last season was getting the most out of Paul Pogba, who had a good season but not a season of this type of indelible genius you may expect from someone just signed for a world record fee. He seemed always to be between roles, sometimes too high up the pitch, where he lacked the close technical skills and guile to work and where his pace and endurance seemed somewhat wasted, or too deep, so he was constantly playing within himself, not able to unleash the type of spike which had made him so successful at Juventus. Pogba should be free to become having a holding existence — and possibly Herrera well — together with him. Together with the hint that Mourinho has become this summer, frustrated by United’s transfer policy, that could be significant from the politicking. For now, however, Matic represents a timeless Mourinho second-season signing, strengthening the backbone, answering a particular need and, in theory at least, which makes it easier for others to do their jobs.