Could Jose be the next managerial casualty? At one point it seemed unthinkable that something like that would ever happen. Finally, the heir-apparent to Fergie arrived in 2016 and for many, it was believed Mourinho would spark a new golden era at Old Trafford, a widely popular move, UTD had got one of the biggest names in coaching but it has not been the marriage made in heaven that many would have hoped for.
Mourinho has picked up 3 pieces of silverware with United. So it isn’t as if he hasn’t tasted success of any kind. The problem is that these are not the competitions that United fans feel they should be winning. The EUFA cup, the league cup and the charity shield! United fans feel that their team should be pressing for far more than a top-four finish. Their recent poor form is exacerbated by the fact that Man City are currently experiencing the most successful spell in the clubs history and Liverpool under Klopp are enjoying a resurgence.
Of course with the silverware achieved, and Mourinho’s reputation, it would take more than just bad form to shelve the United supremo from his lofty throne and for the most part, United’s fanbase, at least on the terraces, has continued to be supportive. But the fans are starting to become restless and part of the reason is Jose’s relationship with his players. There is no doubt about it when you look at the current United squad it is laden with talent! They should not be mid-table in the Premier League.
There is enough talent in the current United squad to challenge the likes of Man City, Chelsea, and Liverpool. But Mourinho has not got them playing. It still seems like he has not figured out how to get the best out of his top quality players. Pogba looks a shadow of the player he was at Juventus, his performances are patchy at best. Sanchez is often hauled off and doesn’t appear to know how to pass to his UTD teammates. Meanwhile, young talents seem to be overlooked. This is all happening against a backdrop of Jose openly criticising his players. Comments he has made about the likes of Pogba and Shaw, who are both still fairly young, have been nothing short of scandalous.
So what is next?
Newcastle is up next for The Red Devils and another defeat may signal a sharp exit for a man who may have at one point been considered untouchable. Even a convincing victory in that match may only provide a stay of execution. It may be a little early to write off United’s chance title bid, but on current form, it seems unlikely they will gain any traction in that area. It is early in the season and United don’t have to panic, it’s not like they are going to become mired in a relegation battle, but too many seasons without making waves and their ability to draw the best players in the world may well start to diminish!
Of course, there are very few viable replacements about at the moment. People have mooted Conte, the former Chelsea man as a contender. But the one person everyone is talking about is French maestro Zinedine Zidane. Zizou would be a popular choice having done such a stellar job at Real Madrid. He left with an unmatched champions league record and with a fantastic reputation. Certainly with the stars at his disposal, perhaps he could do a similar job at the “theatre of Dreams”? One thing is for sure, team spirit needs to be restored in the red half of Manchester or they will face an unthinkably embarrassing season.