'I'd rather watch a Klopp team' - Michael Owen's comments may not amuse Jose Mourinho
Michael Owen believes Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho needs to adapt his tactics in matches against his closest Premier League rivals, as he hinted the club's supporters would eventually lose patience with his brand of football.
While United have scored more goals and collected more points than they managed at the same stage of last season, Owen joined the chorus questioning Mourinho's record against his chief rivals.
His eagerness to play a tight tactical game away from home has infuriated some United fans in games against Chelsea and Liverpool this season, with Owen suggesting that approach does not befit the traditions of the club.
“Manchester United are synonymous with the attacking football Sir Alex Ferguson demanded during his 20 years winning trophy after trophy at the club and to ask fans that are used to that and have been brought up on that to accept something different now is difficult,” Owen told Yahoo Sport.
“Mourinho has a style that may not be to everyone’s liking and I understand why United fans have expressed concerns about Mourinho’s tactics and that problem will continue as he is not going to change for anyone.
“Winning has always been more important to Mourinho that how he gets to that destination and United knew that when they hired him, so they are in no position to complain now. Mourinho has a proven method of success and he confirmed that again last season by winning two major trophies.
“What I question is whether the United supporters will put up with this style of football against the top teams long-term because what is hailed by some as a Mourinho tactical masterclass after a 0-0 draw at Liverpool, the fans of the club he is working for now may not see it that way.
“They want to see their side on the front foot, but winning trophies is a very good way of keeping people happy and there are few managers better than Mourinho at doing that.”
Owen was also asked whether he would prefer his team to be managed by United boss Mourinho or Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp, with his answer certain to create a stir.
“If I had to choose between the brand of football Klopp promotes and the Mourinho variety, you would have to say that Klopp’s is more entertaining,” Owen added. “Some of the attacking play Liverpool have produced this season has been fantastic, but they have obviously run into some problems as well.
“The question is whether or not Klopp’s methods will produce success for Liverpool and at this moment, Mourinho has two trophies to count on from his time at United and we are still waiting for success at Liverpool.
“I would like to think Klopp’s more adventurous and attacking style of play can produce results and when you look at what Manchester City are doing this season, it confirms that playing with real daring intention can be a recipe for success, but I would say it’s harder to win that way.”