It’s been a rough couple of weeks for Manchester United boss José Mourinho. But if you believe this next update to be good news, well, have at it.
According to ESPN’s Rob Dawson, Mourinho is still the man for the job. For now, that is.
“Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho retains the support of the club’s board, with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward confident the coach can help his team recover from a miserable start to the season, sources have told ESPN FC.”
However, it’s difficult not to roll our eyes at these reports. And that’s not saying anything of Dawson. I definitely believe that’s what the board has told Mourinho. But that’s what every board tells their manager during a difficult spell. Then a couple of weeks later, they are out of a job.
With United, we really don’t know what to expect. Since Sir Alex Ferguson left, things haven’t quite been the same. Louis van Gaal didn’t have a great spell at Old Trafford. David Moyes didn’t even make it a full season. But Mourinho is different. He always has been. They won the Europa League title during his first season in charge. While they would finish a staggering 19 points behind champions Manchester City last season, that was still good enough for second place.
But now they’re riding a two-match losing streak three weeks into the Premier League season. It’s the first time United have lost two of their first three PL matches since 1992-93. Losing to Tottenham isn’t shocking, but being beaten 0-3 at Old Trafford is. Losing to Brighton & Hove Albion is much worse. Having to travel to Burnley and Watford in consecutive weeks when your attack isn’t working is problematic to say the least.
And yet, Mourinho is a winner. It’s impossible to ignore that. It’s just that the bad stretches seem to be really bad. Especially lately. After winning his third title with Chelsea, he didn’t make it through the following season. He spent all summer complaining about his players and lack of transfers. Yet, he bought center-backs Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelöf to shore up the central defense that he loathes so much. Sure we can blame Ed Woodward for not providing Mourinho with more this summer, but eventually you have to look at the man in charge of the squad.
They’ve put a lot of money into this team over the past couple of seasons, and it’s obvious that something isn’t working. But for now, United backs Mourinho.
We just don’t know how much longer that’s going to last.