When Jose Mourinho was named Manchester United manager back in 2016, the excitement about the place began to build.
Not only was the third-most successful manager in Premier League history making the move to Old Trafford, he was bringing arguably the best midfielder from the Italian Serie A along for the ride; Paul Pogba.
Two-and-a-bit seasons later, third-season syndrome has well and truly settled in. Ironically, it’s the aforementioned Frenchman who could well cost Mourinho his job. In the modern-day game, as soon as you lose the dressing room, it’s curtains. There is absolutely no coming back from that.
Player-power is so prevalent in 2018. Social media plays a huge role. Pogba’s the king of Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, the whole shabang. Edward Woodward loves that sort of stuff. Do you really think he’ll let United’s prized cash-cow leave in favour of a manager who is losing the fans’ support with every day that passes?
We’ve seen this play out on numerous occasions. At Real Madrid, Mourinho had an apparent bust-up with Cristiano Ronaldo. Not long after, he was jobless. During his second stint with Chelsea, it was Eden Hazard who became the problem. Unemployment was in his shadow. Now it’s Pogba. I’m not sure it’ll be long before the self-proclaimed Special One is out of work once again…
— OldTraffordFaithful (@OTFaithful) September 26, 2018
It’s rather depressing, really. Mourinho was the big-name manager that the fans so desperately craved. It all started off so well, winning two trophies during his first season in charge, watching our fierce rivals come away empty-handed.
Things have gone rapidly downhill since. Now, it’s not all Mourinho’s fault. In fact, far from it. He’s going to become the fall-guy, though. That’s how this works. There are problems at United from top to bottom, from the owners, to Mr Woodward, to Pogba and several other squad members underperforming.
Do changes have to be made? Yes. The poor summer didn’t help. When you make it public knowledge that you’re chasing a centre-back, then don’t sign one, all it does is put negative thoughts in the minds of the current crop. They know you don’t fully trust them. That much has been obvious to start the season. Just look at some of the goals we’ve conceded, Poor would be an understatement.
I think the fans knew what they were getting when Mourinho walked in. The football isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing. We all understood that trophies would come at a price. Except the trophies haven’t been coming. Not filling the trophy cupboard could be the final nail in his coffin.
That’s what we all thought we were trading off the dull football for. The fans can only back him for so long. Match-goers will know this more than most. It has become more about the day out with your mates than the actual football. In fact, the 90-minutes tends to get in the way more often than not… When that starts happening, you know there is an underlying issue.
In terms of replacements, I’m not sure. There are no standout candidates out there in my opinion. You go for Zinedine Zidane, I don’t think it changes. The same can be said for a Diego Simeone, he hardly plays exciting stuff. The outside punt would be Leonardo Jardim, but don’t be surprised if Michael Carrick is given the job on a short-term basis…