Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United spectacularly overturned a 2-0 deficit in their last match at Old Trafford against Newcastle United, scoring three second half goals to win 3-2 and claim all three points. It was the first time in Premier League history that the Red Devils found themselves two goals down at home within the first 10 minutes, but this memorable comeback still fails to paper over the cracks at the club both on and off the pitch.
Ever since United’s pre-season tour of America, Mourinho has been consistently downbeat in his press conferences, making it clear he wasn’t happy with the club’s transfer activity after failing to sign the defenders needed to significantly improve the squad. Publicly expressing his disappointment and frustration has created a negative vibe in the camp which is most certainly a factor that has led to the club sitting in eighth place, seven points off the top after eight games. What the manager appears to have forgotten is that United’s net spend whilst he has been in charge is a staggering £302 million, so quite frankly he should be doing better than he is with the players that he has.
During the Sir Alex Ferguson era, Manchester United played thrilling, attacking football that enlivened the fans. Since Mourinho took charge, he has continued to use the same defensive, boring approach to management that worked so well at the likes of Inter Milan where he won the Champions League, but at United erodes the true identity of the club. Playing with the likes of Nemanja Matić and Marouane Fellaini at home highlights his unwillingness to play offensive football that excites the supporters. Until he overcomes his stubbornness and alters his playing style that he has for so long employed, Manchester United will never come close to the level that they reached under Ferguson.
Which brings us to the key question: for how long will Mourinho survive as boss? It is all dependent on how he acts on and off the pitch. We all know that he is capable of turning things around, yet the chances of him doing so appear slim. If he actually took some responsibility for United’s poor form and actively attempted to change his fortunes, rather than being obstinate and simply bringing up his past achievements to defend himself, the team would perform better. Mourinho seems to have lost his touch and as each week of the season passes by, it becomes clearer that the days of being ‘The Special One’ are behind him.