Jose Mourinho misses the ball vs Bournemouth

Death, taxes, and Jose Mourinho’s third season syndrome

Third season

Yep, they’re the nailed on certainties in a world where we don’t know if Brexit will happen, if Kim Kardashian’s ‘assets’ are man made or really did just grow overnight or if anyone really did land on the moon.

Wait, no, that’s only a doubt if you’re Iker Casillas.  

Anyone who takes a look at Jose Mourinho this summer will see beyond any doubt that the manager is falling apart.

It’s shocking how wild his eyes are and how unkempt he is at the minute. His pressers are surly and curt, he moans at just about everything and the players are said to be deeply unhappy about walking on eggshells.


Anthony Martial celebrates Man United winner at Burnley

BURNLEY, ENGLAND – JANUARY 20: Anthony Martial of Manchester United celebrates after scoring his sides first goal during the Premier League match between Burnley and Manchester United at Turf Moor on January 20, 2018 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

What now for Anthony Martial?

He’s called out individual players – Antonio Valencia is the one who’s getting all the ‘you’re out of shape’ flack given Luke Shaw has shed half his body weight and looks like a new man.

Anthony Martial is being lambasted for failing to return after his partner had given birth to a baby boy – named Swan.  

Quite if Jose is annoyed Martial’s kid wasn’t named after him or he just took offence to the bizarre name is yet to be seen, but relations between the two are worse than ever – and Martial might be a fan favourite but he looks set to be kicked out of – at the very least, Mourinho’s plans – this summer.  

The manager is said to be furious that Martial didn’t put in enough effort in the couple of pre-season games he did play, and has never really been convinced by the Frenchman, who in turn, has never really been convinced by Mourinho.  

United may have beaten a Real Madrid side many wouldn’t even recognise, such were the changes to the Champions League holders, in a recent pre-season effort, but again, Martial was absent and Mourinho’s anger was clear, saying he ‘doesn’t know’ when the player will return or even if he will link up with the squad soon, with the club now reportedly set to fine the winger £180,000.

To put it into context, Alvaro Morata’s wife had twins, and he’s returned to Chelsea training.


Ed Woodward

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 05: Manchester United Chief Executive Edward Woodward makes his point prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Manchester United at the Stadium of Light on October 5, 2013 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Have Manchester United made progress

Last season, United may have finished without a trophy, but at the very least they were managing to move forward – or so the positive fans would tell you.

They finished second, and it may have been a distant second to Manchester City, but it’s better than they managed in recent years.  

An FA Cup final loss later and Mourinho made it clear to the press he wanted to see five players come in this summer – and a clear-out needed to happen as well.  

That’s fair enough – United have been carrying deadweight for too long, and if we were to sit here and list all the players who need to be shown the door, there wouldn’t be a large enough word count to finish the article.  

A large proportion of their players aren’t good enough – and while the fans know it and are vocal about it, Ed Woodward doesn’t seem to be aware. And even if he is, he seems more bothered about making sure the Glazers are happy with the commercial deals the club is cutting, and not making sure that Mourinho is getting in who he wants.  

Fred and Dalot may have arrived, but Michael Carrick retired at the end of last season, and United needed to strengthen further in the midfield. They desperately needed a right winger and possibly another forward – and certainly a centre half. But much of that has failed to materialise and Mourinho has been left lamenting his lack of new players.


GLENDALE, AZ – JULY 19: Tahith Chong #44 of Manchester United in action during the International Champions Cup game against the Club America at the University of Phoenix Stadium on July 19, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images for International Champions Cup)

Jose Mourinho’s bad mood

His mood looks as though it’s getting bleaker by the day, and that’s no shock given the state of the pre-season performances.  

Now while pre-season isn’t something to read too much into, the tour of the USA has been a disaster, and Mourinho has told fans not to even bother watching a team that’s not even 30% of his proper squad.  

The performance against Bayern Munich last Sunday was barely any improvement. One shot on goal in 90 minutes…

Harsh on the kids, perhaps, and yes, the likes of Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino have spent the summer waxing lyrical about their young stars and pre-season performances.  

But, Guardiola has just won the league at a canter, and could have huge signings if he wanted to land them – he doesn’t seem to, and why would you when you have a squad of such riches already.  

Klopp meanwhile has spent a huge amount this summer, is being fully backed by FSG and the board – and really does need to put together a real title challenge this season given his side now. 

Poch meanwhile is a man so deluded he thinks getting five players to commit to new deals is the same as signing five world class stars, so you can see why it’s Mourinho of the four who has been caught complaining and is unhappy.

Most other managers in his position would be too.


SWANSEA, WALES – MARCH 17: Toby Alderweireld of Spura arrives prior to The Emirates FA Cup Quarter Final match between Swansea City and Tottenham Hotspur at Liberty Stadium on March 17, 2018 in Swansea, Wales. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Some hope for Manchester United fans?

The elusive two players may come in before the season starts yet, but there’s no denying Mourinho is deeply unhappy, and when you look at the chances United have of winning serious trophies this season, it’s little wonder.  

Of course, the very nature of the Premier League means it’s as unpredictable as it comes, and you may even get the scenario where United do very well indeed – yet judging by the mood of the camp and Mourinho thus far, smart money is on the manager failing to last past Christmas.  

Zinedine Zidane is now being touted to replace the manager, and it may even be the case that Mourinho is gone early this season – yet Zidane himself may have little interest in a club who have become somewhat of a poisoned chalice in the last few years.

The lack of cooperation from Woodward has been noted by fans and the manager alike, and given how high Zidane’s stock is right now, it’s understandable he wouldn’t even touch United with the proverbial barge pole.

Mourinho left Chelsea and got his ‘dream job’ at United, but as time went on, it looked more and more like a marriage of convenience – and it seems that marriage may last a while longer yet, while both parties look for their new, younger and flashier partner.

See also: Manchester United betting tips and predictions for 2018/2019.

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