Are Man United heading for trouble with Mourinho?
The Special One may be losing his aura
It’s been more than five years now since Manchester United last won the Premier League.
It’s an unfathomable drought for the Red Devils, who once dominated domestic football in a manner seen today by Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich.
The game has changed in seismic fashion since Sir Alex Ferguson stood down in 2013 after guiding United to their most recent league title.
In many ways the club remain as big, or maybe even bigger, than ever, but on the pitch it could be argued they’re slipping further away from contention.
After David Moyes and Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho was supposed to be the man to take United back to the precipice.
But that hasn’t happened. United were thoroughly beaten to the title last season by Manchester City, with Chelsea winning the season before under Antonio Conte.
On paper many would argue United’s squad should have challenged City much harder last term. So what was the problem? Could it have been the manager?
Mourinho v Guardiola v Klopp
City boss Pep Guardiola and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp are all about the positive, can-do and all-inclusive management style.
Compare their demeanours on the pitch and attitudes with the media to Mourinho’s and the contrast is clear.
The Portuguese boss continues to belittle his players to the press while playing himself as a victim. He has hung Luke Shaw out to dry time and time again.
And Mourinho couldn’t bring himself to be positive about Paul Pogba after the Frenchman’s starring role in the World Cup, either.
He’s basically had a go at the World Cup too, bemoaning how he doesn’t have a full squad to work with on the team’s pre-season tour.
Sir Alex Ferguson would occasionally berate a player in public, but it was always engineered in order to elicit a performance from the targeted player.
Does that tactic work these days? Guardiola and Klopp rarely go down that path, and yet both are enjoying great success at Manchester City and Liverpool respectively.
A positive mental attitude appears to be the name of the game. Positive comments in the press usually keep the owners happy, too.
Mourinho’s negative, tough-love approach is increasingly looks like a managerial method from a bygone era.
The Old Trafford boardroom can’t say they weren’t warned.
Mourinho has fallen out with Chelsea twice, and on the second occasion the players simply stopped playing for him.
It was widely believed then that Jose’s tough-love approach had failed. Three years on it appears little has changed.
What lies ahead?
The United squad stuck with it last season, but will they tolerate another year of it if results don’t come?
United are 6/1 to win the Premier League this season, but this is also Mourinho’s third season with the club and he’s never made it to a fourth year with anyone…
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