Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United have found themselves in good form recently and there’s certainly plenty of factors why but which ones should they not rely on anymore?

In the last few games Manchester United have finally looked defensively secure while equally capable of the extraordinary on the other end. There’s certainly plenty more improvement needed and expected to be made but the team are completely different to Louis Van Gaal’s one.

This is of course the Mourinho factor but even Mourinho himself has had to rely on certain players. The first decision the Portuguese man made was to bring in Ibrahimovic. Of course the Swede was written off before even arriving due to his age but it’s clear for all to see how much of a bargain the transfer was.

It’s almost as if everyone has forgotten how United used to play without the former PSG man, he’s become that crucial to the team. Not only has he improved the overall team mentality but he’s also continued his fine goalscoring form.

Manchester United and Swedish international Zlatan Ibrahimovic looks on to his teammates
How much longer can we rely on the big Swede?

If there’s one player who plays the way Mourinho likes then it’s definitely Ibrahimovic. It is perhaps a little worrying that the player the team is relying on is 35 and can’t go on forever but the fans can certainly enjoy the ride as it all happens.

Another key factor is a player everyone has spoken about- Michael Carrick. While Mourinho played Ibrahimovic immediately, Carrick hardly had a look in at the start of the season.

It appeared that the former Chelsea boss was reluctant to rely on a player seemingly in his last season at Old Trafford and was trying to build the midfield around a much younger player in Paul Pogba.

However, time brought Mourinho back to his senses and Carrick proved to be the solution to the team’s issues. He brought stability to the defence and allowed the midfielders ahead of him to express himself.

Manchester United's veteran midfielder Michael Carrick
Manchester United’s midfield maestro Michael Carrick

This delivered exactly what Mourinho wanted in allowing Pogba to express himself to the fullest and the Frenchman has improved remarkably by the game. While the reliance on these two players have solved most of United’s problems, it can only be a temporary solution.

As mentioned earlier, Carrick is expected to retire after this season but even if he lasts another season, it’s unlikely he would be a first choice player anymore. So how does Mourinho solve this issue?

Quite simply, either a player has to step up from the team and prove capable (which Herrera temporarily did) or Mourinho has to bring in someone in Michael Carrick’s elk. Herrera did do a good job but the calmness and composure the Englishman brings is still a little different.

Manchester United players Pogba, Carrick, Rooney and Darmian celebrate a goal.
Carrick’s experience and attributes let Pogba loose on opposition

Another example of this type of player is Sergio Busquets but he’s probably off limits. Mourinho has to identify a replacement otherwise his team will go backwards with Carrick’s retirement.

The same can be said about Ibrahimovic, who is truly ready to lead the line for United the same way he does? Are Martial and Rashford ready for such responsibility? They’re different players to Ibrahimovic so does Mourinho adjust his tactics or bring in someone else?

While it lasts, we can enjoy the good form that could possibly help United have a good season but Mourinho must also keep an eye on the future. Only time itself will tell if the Manchester United boss is aware that he can’t rely on the incredible duo of Carrick and Ibrahimovic.


Do you think it’s ok to rely on two senior players? Do United need to find solutions and replacements or should we continue with the formula that currently works? Let us know in the comments section below!

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