At the time of writing, I’ve just watched Manchester United lose 3-0 at home to Tottenham Hotspur. It was a ruthless second-half performance from the visitors, who deserved the victory in the end. As the result sinks in, there is only one person’s name that rests on the lips of myself and every other football fan: José Mourinho.
United are now down to 13th in the Premier League table, after back-to-back losses. After finishing 2nd last season, it’s not looking good for them, and now it already seems fit to ask the question: How much longer does Mourinho have at United?
The reason this question is being emphasised even more is because the Portuguese is now entering his historically unlucky third season. Mourinho has lasted for more than three seasons only once, in his first spell at Chelsea. Even then, he left within two months of the new season, by mutual consent. Apart from that, his stints at Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid haven’t made it past season three.
Despite this, Mourinho has had a fantastic managerial career. His twenty-five honours include two Champions Leagues, a Europa League and multiple domestic titles in Portugal, England, Italy and Spain; every country he’s managed in. José Mourinho has simply won it all, yet this remains a curse for him.
Why does that happen though? Why does Mourinho always seem to lose his stride once he enters the third season at a club? It could possibly be that he just burns out, and his football and managerial philosophy just isn’t capable of more than two seasons. Maybe he needs to leave after two seasons, take a break then come back rejuvenated. Maybe he just isn’t designed to strive towards being a long-term manager.
Currently he is under huge pressure at Manchester United. Results aren’t coming in, and that isn’t helped by his unbearable negativity. He has openly criticised his players on numerous occasions, tell players they’re not good enough and constantly complain about anything. With a pessimistic manager, it’s no surprise that José’s negativity has transferred onto his team, displayed by their recent performances.
“With a pessimistic manager, it’s no surprise that José’s negativity has transferred onto his team, displayed by their recent performances.”
Since legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson left his managerial role in 2013, there have been three different men at the helm at Old Trafford. From 2013 to 2018, there has been the same amount of managers as there were for the previous thirty-six years.
Everyone seems to have lost faith in him. The players don’t seem like they won’t to play for him anymore, the fans are turning their backs on the game and leaving early, and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward looks frustrated every time the camera cuts to him in the stands. As a Chelsea fan it’s a shame to see him so deflated. I am so grateful for what he did for my club, and I will always respect him.
In just the first month of the new season José Mourinho’s job is in danger. Personally, I think he will be gone by the end of 2018. Looking back on his history and knowing the frustration that exists in the fans and the board, he will struggle to keep strong throughout the season. Mourinho now faces his toughest season as Manchester United manager yet. He needs to do something, change something, fix something, or his third-season curse will come back and haunt him once again.