Following Manchester United’s defeat to Derby County in the EFL cup, United find themselves in a sticky situation. United manager Jose Mourinho could be counting his days at the helm of the club if results do not improve. Mourinho was defeated by his former player, Frank Lampard, and should hide his blushes after losing out to the first-year manager. Should Manchester United call it quits with Mourinho?
After taking over Louis van Gaal in 2016, Jose Mourinho got off to a bright start with the Red Devils. Although his side finished sixth in his first season, he only recorded five losses in all 38 matches. Manchester United’s successful Europa League campaign earned them passage to the UEFA Champions League in a season that saw the club scoop up three major trophies.
The following season earned no trophies but displayed impressive performances. The Manchester side finished second in the league behind runaway winners Manchester City. Despite the lack of trophies, Manchester United still played impressive football with a view for the future. Jose Mourinho seemed to steer Manchester United back on track after disastrous campaigns since the departure of legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
Nothing seems to be going right for Manchester United this season. Discord between star man Paul Pogba and Mourinho has dominated headlines for the wrong reasons. The form of young stars Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford has faded and David De Gea has been a shadow of his former self ever since the World Cup.
On paper, Manchester United has one of the strongest teams in the league. This is a team that should be contesting for the Premier League title. Man U currently sit seventh in the table with a goal differential of zero, with notable losses to Brighton and Tottenham. Following the surprise defeat to second division side Derby County, what has gone wrong?
The answer could be beyond just the players. Jose Mourinho could potentially be the root of the problems plaguing the team. No discredit to Mourinho, who is one of the most decorated managers in history; however, Manchester United may be better off without him. It all starts with his attitude. Mourinho’s press conferences are insights into how much he has lost control of the dressing room. Similarly, his off the field conflict with Pogba distracts the team from focusing on its performances.
On the field, Manchester United has had a difficult time keeping clean sheets. This is partly due to Mourinho’s inability to figure out his ideal center back pairing. Almost every game comes with a different CB pairing, diminishing any chance of chemistry between the back line. However, a leaky back line can sometimes be shadowed by an effective attack. Unfortunately, that is not the case for the Red Devils. Martial and Rashford continue to play out of position and their form fades with each coming season. Alexis Sanchez is a shadow of his former self at Arsenal and Romelu Lukaku remains the only threat.
It may be too quick to judge a manager of his pedigree, however, it would not be his first sacking. Mourinho must improve results or face the boot from the Manchester United board.