EFL Cup is the beginning for Man Utd and Southampton’s end

TOPSHOT - Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho holds up the trophy as Manchester United players celebrate their victory after the English League Cup final football match between Manchester United and Southampton at Wembley stadium in north London on February 26, 2017. Zlatan Ibrahimovic sealed the first major silverware of Jose Mourinho's Manchester United reign and broke Southampton's hearts as the Swedish star's late goal clinched a dramatic 3-2 victory in Sunday's League Cup final. / AFP / Ian KINGTON / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  /         (Photo credit should read IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images)

“The reality is I want more” were Jose Mourinho’s words after the EFL Cup final win over Southampton on Sunday. He chose to say this out of everything else and this was among the least surprising. After all he is a manager who has won 21 trophies in the last 13 years of his career.

He talked about Man United’s third or fourth biggest priority success and also mentioned that the plan is to work on bigger things now. In the press conference after the game, Mourinho said that he is relieved finally. He is relieved about the fact that they have won and also they have defeated Southampton who played very well in the season. He also said that he can delete one more competition from his mind as it is over now.

Mourinho didn’t seem overwhelmed after the victory even though he insisted that he was. His glum expression suggested that he was about to embark on his humility acts while praising the unlucky saints. Another reason was because he knew that this was rather a beginning for them and not an end.

The victory was just a staging post for Manchester United but it would have been the greatest moment in 41 years for Southampton. They defeated United in FA Cup in the year 1976 and the win would have represented the pinnacle for many players. They had fairly remarkable but relatively low-key achievements since there return to Premier League in 2012 and the EFL Cup victory would have provided them a tangible reward.

This victory has brought back the winning mentality at Old Trafford but their last major domestic trophy didn’t do much good to the manager. Louis Van Gaal’s sacking news leaked even before he could put down the FA Cup down on his own post match press conference.

Van Gaal lacked consistency and achievement in the league and Mourinho needs to improve Man United from here. United have maintained a comforting constant position since past few months and they have been in the sixth in place since November despite being unbeaten during this span. This shows how bad the start of the season was for them and how relatively mediocre the rest of the division is.

Mourinho’s season has been a transitional one for Manchester United. They have spent a lot on their squad and even though they have been depending on a 35 year old to bail them out of questionable positions, if they continue with their league form they will improve their position. The team is still a work in progress and with the Champions League qualification and atleast one trophy, it will turn out to be a decent first season for Mourinho.

It wouldn’t be a huge stretch to say that Claude Puel’s side deserved something more than an 87th minute defeat on Sunday. Southampton’s neat summary might be described as a dominating a game but not winning it. They have lost six games out of the eight games in the league. At this point of time, Southampton’s season is about treading water and for them it was virtually the end. But for Manchester United it could be another beginning.