Although Manchester United’s 1-0 victory over Brighton at Old Trafford on Saturday was far from their most convincing performance of the season, it still maintained The Red Devils 100% home record in the Premier League this season. United have now played seven home games in the league at home this season and won them all, conceding just once in the proccess.
One of the major issues England’s most successful club has faced since the departure of legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson is the loss of the so called Old Trafford fear factor.
There was a time in the past when opposition teams arrived at the Theatre of Dreams wondering how many goals they would lose by, and few would have the temerity to even think they could come away with a result.
That has all changed since Fergie walked away in 2013 however, and last season’s home form did little to dampen the feeling that teams were now starting to see a visit to Old Trafford as a real chance to pick up points.
Although United only lost one game at HQ last season, there were far too many disappointing draws for anybody to believe that the Theatre of Dreams had regained its aura of invincibility.
This season however, it’s safe to say Old Trafford is starting to become a Fortress again, and that can only help the The Reds in their quest for a trophy-laden season.
When analysing United’s home form, it really shouldn’t be a surprise considering who their current manager is. Jose Mourinho has made each of the home grounds of the clubs he has managed into a nightmare place to visit for opposition teams.
In fact, the 54-year-old serial-winning Portuguese has only ever lost 10 home games in his 18 year managerial career – that’s basically a loss every two years.
In many ways, the cornerstone to all Mourinho’s success has been the home form of his teams, if you become almost unbeatable on your home turf you essentially make it very difficult not to be in with a chance of winning Leagues and Cups.
In recent times United’s manager has come in for heavy criticism after his side’s unadventurous approach – especially in their 0-0 draw away to arch-rivals, Liverpool.
Maybe some of the critics are correct and the mentality of accepting a point away to your rivals, (there is simply too much of a pattern for this to be a once off), is just part and parcel of having Mourinho as the manager of your club.
However, the positives of having him as your manager should not be ignored either. Mainly the guarantee of a formidable home record and throphies.
United fans will at least be happy that games at Old Trafford are starting to become something to look forward to again – not occasions filled with anxiety and frustration as they had become over the last few seasons. Old Trafford is now a fortress again.