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    Jose Mourinho: Powers Waning?



    It wasn’t too long ago that scarves, adorned with Mourinho’s face, were draped around the necks of a large proportion of fed up Manchester United fans inside Old Trafford. Yet, such is the fickle nature of the sport’s fans, Jose Mourinho now appears as some sort of managerial pariah and that clamour for him to supersede the hapless Louis Van Gaal appears to be forgotten. While Mourinho’s successes over here have been shrouded by controversy; not least his latest misdemeanour involving an inanimate object, he ought to be cut just a little bit of slack. Statisticians will be quick to remind us that after the same amount of games in charge as his predecessor and his before him, United have amassed less points. With that being said, based on their tumultuous tenures, United should be preparing to maroon their manager on the same island as the other washed-up managers, no longer fit to cut it. It is common knowledge these days that unless you bring instant success you are likely to be cast out before long. Nevertheless, however unorthodox his methods may have been, that is something that Mourinho has brought up until now, or is that fact to be entwined with his ill-fated last season at Chelsea and thus forgotten? Jose Mourinho may not exude class in much of what he says but you cannot deny the truth in the fact that it was indeed only ’18 months and not 18 years ago’ that he was a champion. 
    Certainly it ought to be common knowledge in football not to air your dirty laundry in public. Unrestricted scrutinising of your players hardly evokes unity between manager and employee; however, in some respects, Mourinho’s bemoaning of United’s luck veils his players from their own inadequacy in front of goal. Despite the fact that we needn’t be feeling too sorry for Mourinho, he invites criticism by his actions; you cannot help but feel that his players are quietly cowering behind their manager’s public transgressions. Yes, a series of fine saves from less than decorated goalkeepers might convey unluckiness for some, but in reality it simply reflects United’s inability to get the job done. You would think that with a plethora of International talent on display at Old Trafford the fans would be treated to a wealth of goals against the supposed lesser teams. Nonetheless, they have had to find out the hard way that a divine right does not exist in football. The brutal fact is that the team are not that good. For years Liverpool fans have clung on to their successes of yesteryear and for the moment, it appears to be Manchester United’s turn. How absurd to think that a team as celebrated and financially prosperous could plummet into the abyss of mediocrity, but it happens. Though, despite the fact that they have injected upwards of half a billion pounds on players since Ferguson’s retirement, they are no closer to winning the League than they were before Fellaini took his first overpriced step inside Carrington.

    Though he hardly evokes pity, Mourinho is being let down
     by his players poor finishing
    The task of getting Manchester United back to anywhere near where they were before, spans further than adopting a mere Galactico approach to squad building and you can be sure that even Mourinho was under little illusion as to the assignment he was taking on. He spoke at length about ‘specialists’, which in essence serves as a thinly screened ‘dig’ at both Moyes’ and Van Gaal’s erroneous transfer policies in previous windows. Indeed, while David Moyes may have inherited an ageing squad from Sir Alex Ferguson, Mourinho has inherited an ineffectual cluster of players with little to no sell and value and wages too high to excite any real concrete interest. In his farewell speech at Old Trafford Ferguson alluded to giving his successor ‘time’ to impose his own sense of character upon the club; two failed managers later and this notion has never rung so true. Time is exactly what Jose Mourinho needs. We are often reminded of the senior figures inside United that attempted to exercise their right to veto Mourinho’s appointment, but let’s face it, regardless of whatever manifested itself at Chelsea last season, as soon as news of Pep Guardiola’s imminent arrival at City began to circulate, Mourinho was always going to be the man United turned to. We aren’t suddenly learning anything new, Mourinho only seems slightly more impetuous now because for the first real spell in his career he isn't winning and his immortality is in question. 
    Again, just as a little reminder,we must revert back to the fact that it was only the season before last that Mourinho won the title. Football is littered with ‘hindsights’ and ‘should’ and ‘could’ instances, but if you were to re-watch United’s home games against Stoke, Burnley and most recently West Ham, you will notice just how limp an excuse ‘luck’ really is. In fact, Manchester United’s siege of their opponents’ goal without avail, actually makes for rather insipid viewing. However, should they have closed out these games like they ought to have done, their position in the table would certainly appear more favourable and Jose Mourinho would simply remain as intolerable as he has always been, without the defamation of his managerial capabilities. Nevertheless, as previously stated, Football is a fickle sport and it is always easier to believe that a manager has imploded and that the team are simply plighted by seemingly eternal bad luck than to point the finger at woeful deficiency. Mourinho’s instant successes were always going to be brought into question at a club that demands, just that, but his stats show that he will get it right. However, while Mourinho must adapt to the fact that he cannot win a title every single year, the club’s fans must adapt to United’s new found mediocrity; at least for the time being. 
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