Football circles have been abuzz lately with what is happening with Premier League stars Manchester United, and especially with their coach Jose Mourinho
. According to inside reports, the Portuguese coach is living on borrowed time, and will most likely be gone by Christmas. While some suspect it has to do with their dismal performance against Brighton, there are deeper and more disturbing truths that could be responsible for the team’s lackluster performance.
Having won the Europa League title in 2017 and placing second in the Premier League, Manchester United started their 2018-19 season by losing 2 of their opening 3 games. This was the first time in 26 years the team suffered such a defeat. This included a 3-0 loss at home to Tottenham Hotspur
, which naturally put the team spirits at an all-time low.
Now, with their recent 3-2 defeat at the Amex, the mood at Old Trafford
is bleak, and players and fans are both unhappy with the way things are going. If the team continues to play at this level, fans may have to rethink their sports betting activities and the teams that they put money on.
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Playing the Blame Game
The question is, is it all the fault of the Portuguese coach, or are there other more intricate works at play that are causing a seemingly great team to come apart at the seams?
We have to remember that Mourinho has plenty of experience to draw from and is certainly one of the most highly decorated coaches in football. When questioned on his team’s performance after a dismal start to the summer, Jose pointed out just this fact by holding up 3 fingers to the cameras.
After a brief pause and a bit of head shaking it was explained that each finger represented a Premier League trophy he had won as a coach. Demanding respect from the journalists, Mourinho went on to explain that he had won more Premier League trophies than any of the other 19 coaches currently in service. Four days later, at a different press conference, the Portuguese coach went even further, saying that not only was he a coach of one of the best sides in the world, but he is also one of the greatest managers in the world.
What Has Gone Wrong?
Clearly, the coach has confidence in his abilities, so what is going on with the team and why are there reports that he will be gone by the end of the year
After the team’s loss to Brighton, captain Paul Pogba admitted that the attitude of the team was not right, and the men lacked “hunger” for the win. This was not the only incident of a non-cohesive unit trying to create opportunities. We saw the same thing back at the start of the season.
According to the Portuguese coach, the problem came about when team management failed to make the appropriate signings at the end of the transfer period. He warned that they would be in for a difficult season with a significant lack in defense. Using the Tottenham game as a reference, he reiterated the point of not having an elite center-back to bail them out of trouble. However, it has been pointed out that the coach himself was to blame for not utilizing existing structures that have been so solid over the past two years.
The Way Forward
Poor defense and a lack of signings is not the only reason why there is desertion in the ranks. Mourinho has reportedly been butting heads with team management as well as the team’s star player Paul Pogba. Let’s not forget the high-profile pre-season spat the coach had with French forward Anthony Martial as well.
According to a former Chelsea player, Jose used to be extremely up-beat, entertaining and emotionally invested in each player on the team, his current demeanor is less inspiring, and may be filtering down to base level.
To add insult to injury, it seems Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City
are firing on all guns so to speak. It has been a veritable goal-frenzy for the top teams, while Man United can only watch and admire.
But all is not lost for Mourinho and his side. There is still time to put aside petty disagreements, focus on solid defense and use the natural talent of the team to pull them up to where they belong.