Jose Mourinho says that he is disappointed to leave Memphis Depay and Ashley Young out of the team against West Ham. Manchester United faced the London opponent for the second time this week, but this time in the EFL Cup. After having been involved in a 1-1 draw only a few days ago in the league meeting, it was expected to be tough encounter once again. United played extremely well in that draw, but the team was just not able to find a way past the stubborn West Ham defence.
Most managers tend to use the EFL Cup as a means to give the first-team football to the lesser known players. Mourinho, however, is quite different in this regard. He has already won the competition three times in his time in English football. He seems to have made it a priority to win it for the fourth time, but this time with United. It would give the first trophy for the Red Devils under the new manager. Mourinho made a statement of intent by naming an extremely strong team, which went on to win 4-1. As cited by IB Times, he said:
“It hurts me, it hurts me. It hurts me a lot to leave [Memphis] Depay and Ashley Young at home.
“It hurts me a lot like last week, when I had to leave out Martial, and next week I’ll leave another one. We have so many players for these positions and it’s good for me but it’s bad for them.”
It is a result that gives the team a lot of hope going forward. However, it was a result that was achieved without many fringe players. Ashley Young and Memphis Depay were not even in the squad for the game. Mourinho later claimed that the decision to leave out the duo was extremely hard, but one that had to be taken for the benefit of the team. He went on to point out that several key members of the squad will go missing from the team sheet from time to time, as he has to choose the best for the situation.
It was surprising to see midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger finally get some action on the pitch. Immediately after takeover from Louis Van Gaal in the summer, Mourinho claimed that Schweinsteiger did not have a future at the club and he was training with the reserves not too long ago. His comeback into the first-team selection is a sign that the Portuguese tactician is ready to look at all possible options in order to help the club recover from the disappointing run.
The victory against United was largely as a result of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Anthony Martial providing immense support in attack. The duo came up with a brace for each other. The return to form for Ibrahimovic was a major positive for United.
United have managed only one league victory in the last five games, and it has seen them drop out of the title contention already. Winning the EFL Cup, though, could be a major positive for the club going forward.