Written by Ross Mondon
After seven games but only three victories, will Manchester United find their feet or will they drop even further?
Jose Mourinho has become one of the most talked about managers this season and not for a good reason. He’s been caught up in heated relationships with some of the biggest names in football and is failing to compete within the top five of the Premier League.
After seven games and only three wins (gaining just ten points this season), are we now seeing the same effect he had on Chelsea in the 2015/16 season?
After Chelsea won the league in 2014/15 and Mourinho proved he was the ‘special one’, many fans were expecting the same to come in 2015/16 season or even better. However, that was not the case and we ended up seeing the worse season in years for Chelsea as they finished 10th in the league and picked up only 50 points.
This meant they failed to qualify for European football for the first time in two decades and sacked Mourinho in December of that season.
However, the effects of Mourinho on his team were influential but not necessarily always positively. We witnessed some of the most shocking losses in the club’s history and star players under-performed throughout the season. One specific player, Eden Hazard, went 30 games in all competitions without scoring and the defence showed a lack of Premier League quality.
It was finally a reality check for Chelsea and Mourinho, who gathered a huge amount of pressure. After a season and a half for the Portuguese manager, it was the end in December when the board sacked him. Some fans were shocked, but many were finally getting what they had wanted all season.
The Mourinho effect doesn’t just take its toll on the players, but it also does on the fans and by the time Mourinho got sacked, fans had no trust in the manager. Supporters were understandably disgruntled that they finished 10th after such a poor season.
Over a year on, Mourinho decided to sign a three-year contract for Manchester United and won his first game in charge of the Red Devils at AFC Bournemouth.
He bought in the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Eric Bailly – four-star players who immediately proved themselves to be Premier League quality.
The signings excited fans, even though many believed the squad weren’t capable of a league title. After a reasonable 2016/17 campaign, with United finishing 6th and winning the Community Cup, EFL Cup and Europa League, fans began to look forward to the next season.
As the season came around, and Wayne Rooney and Ibrahimovic’s departures, Mourinho proved that there were going to be changes at Old Trafford.
This became even more clear when he bought in the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic and Victor Lindelof. Throughout the whole season, the team played attractive and stylish football, just like when Mourinho was managing Chelsea when they won the title. Despite this, rivals Manchester City ran away with the title, but that didn’t stop Mourinho putting his special effects on the team, who finished as runners-up.
Once again United had enjoyed a successful season with Jose Mourinho, showing everyone that he may still be the ‘special one’ within the football industry.
Before the season even started, many fans had held grand expectations and believed their side could finally challenge for the title. But a poor start to the season has heaped the pressure on the manager.
A hostile atmosphere created by the heated relationships between Pogba, Anthony Martial and others has seen United drastically under-perform.
The campaign’s events are remarkably similar to the time at Chelsea: a good season followed by underachievement. Then comes a public fall out with players, and a tense atmosphere that eventually takes its toll on results. It has now become a regular pattern for Mourinho and supporters are rightly losing trust in him.
Is it because he is playing defensive football with players who want to attack, or does he simply fall out with key players too easily? The one thing we all know is Manchester United are having one of their worse starts to a season in nearly 20 years, as they sit tenth in the Premier League table and remain without a win in their last four games.
So, are we going to see the end for Jose Mourinho in the next couple of weeks or are we going to see a miracle?