Manchester United: 3 reasons why the pressure is on Jose Mourinho this season
Jose Mourinho will always have his critics. He is in charge of Manchester United after all, but he is now in his third season at the job.
Mourinho has got two trophies and United also finished runners-up last season to an amazing City team. But the expectations United fans have will always put the Portuguese under pressure: one bad result and they're on his back.
Mourinho has felt this pressure at other clubs he has managed so it's nothing new for him. But the added expectation was that when he arrived United would dominate English football again, and it hasn't gone that way; Mourinho is yet to win a Premier League title with Manchester United.
Here, I examine three reasons why it is make or break for Mourinho this season.
#1 Pep Guardiola and Manchester City
With the kind of football Manchester City are playing there is always going to be pressure on other teams to replicate that - especially for a club like United whose ethos is to play attacking football.
With City's football absolutely destroying teams and dominating the Premier League, United fans must be extremely jealous. It used to be United destroying teams left, right and center not too long ago.
Everything that's happening at the Etihad is making Mourinho's situation worse than it actually is and should be. Some people feel Mourinho must change his ways or we will see City and Guardiola keep getting better and better.
There's also Liverpool, whose football is much more entertaining than United's, but Mourinho could argue his football is efficient. United finished 2nd last season, whereas Liverpool are yet to win a trophy under Jurgen Klopp.
But that certain swagger United used to play with doesn't exist anymore; it's difficult to associate them now with the Ferguson reign of blowing teams away. These days they are just about scraping 1-0 wins against teams like Watford which, let's be honest, isn't good enough with the quality they have. They should really be smashing 4 or 5 past teams like those.
In addition, United's recruitment compared to their rivals has been poor. City have spent more but have spent good money on areas that required change; for instance, they have signed Riyad Mahrez for £60 million. Liverpool have spent money on Naby Keita and Fabinho whereas United have invested in Fred and Dalot.
This is not really Mourinho's fault, but he's got to place more pressure on the board to get the signings done, with the transfer window closing in under a month.