Over the last few weeks much has been discussed about implications of Alexis Sanchez’ dramatic arrival at Old Trafford. The debate surrounding United’s outlay was particularly misdirected, because the focus on what the Chilean can bring to the team is far more important. However José Mourinho chooses to utilise Alexis, Manchester United has gained an élite player and will become a more of potent attacking force as a result. Of his new teammates, Sanchez’ acquisition may prove most significant for Anthony Martial.
It was bound to happen. Even the staunchest José Mourinho defendant understood that the Portuguese manager comes with a guarantee of friction in the dressing room. Some supporters were surprised that it happened so soon. Don’t be. It works.
Fans think of footballers as solely that, heroes with a ball, rarely considered beyond the pitch. Despite players’ outrageous wages, they all lead lives outside of their football. They have wives, girlfriends (boyfriends), mistresses, children, friends, pressures and stress: the same as everybody else. Much of it holds little interest for supporters. For players, including Anthony Martial, real life can get in the way.
For the first time in what feels like a generation there are plenty of options in Manchester United’s attack. Such was the depth of David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal’s mediocrity that each was an architect of some of the most boring football seen at Old Trafford in decades. It is now José Mourinho’s time and the impression is already strong that he will not stand for it. Fun is returning to the red side of Manchester.
“Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, But to be young was very heaven!”
There is not much to Les Ulis, a collection of shabby concrete and ill-concieved mid-century tower blocks, born of the booming 1960s French economy. It is a town far from the emotional heart of the student uprisings that took place later in the decade and the cultural renaissance that followed.