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4 signs that indicate Mourinho’s 3rd season syndrome is underway at Manchester United

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2.60K   //    03 Oct 2018, 18:28 IST

Feyenoord v Manchester United FC - UEFA Europa League
Mourinho's Third Season Syndrome seems to be in full swing at United

Jose Mourinho has been one of the most successful managers in the world. He has triumphed in Portugal, Spain, Italy and England, winning the League in all of the four countries. He broke into the football scene as a dynamic young manager who was special and he destroyed a lot of old notions and records to establish himself as one of the most famous names in football management. However, for all his accolades, there is a dark side to his managerial career that refuses to leave his side – the infamous third season syndrome.

The third season syndrome first occurred at Chelsea during his first association with the club, and he actually left at the start of the fourth season. At Inter, there were no such troubles as he left to join Real Madrid after two years in Italy. At the Bernabeu, the third season syndrome caught up with him again, as he left after the third season which saw the club win the Supercopa de Espana.

During his second stint with Chelsea, it caught up with him months into the third season and cost him his job. The recent signs at Manchester United have not been too bright either, and incidentally, Mourinho is in his third season at United!

Mourinho’s disappointing ends have haunted the Portuguese throughout his career and today, we discuss the 4 signs at Old Trafford that indicate that Mourinho’s third season syndrome is taking shape at Manchester United right now.

#4 Differences with Club hierarchy

Sunderland v Manchester United - Premier League
Woodward has an important decision to take soon

Last season, Mourinho wanted Ivan Perisic, but negotiations broke down. Over the summer this season, the Portuguese confirmed that he had provided the club management with a list of 5 names a few months ago. He had already acquired Dalot, Fred and Grant and ideally wanted two more signings.

He then acknowledged that he might get only one. As it turned out, no one else joined United. The right side remained vacant, the move to bring Toby Alderweireld was not sanctioned by the club and all these made things a bit tasty between Mourinho and the upper management.

He regularly hinted that he does not have the quality he desires in his squad, in an open attempt to rile Woodward, and this is generally the first symptom of his third season syndrome.

During his first tenure with Chelsea, he was apparently unhappy with the lack of funds to sign players and this led to differences with Roman Abramovich. The appointment of Avram Grant as the director of football further spiced things up.


The inside story of his sacking shows that his differences with the Russian owner cost him dearly. Before his end at Real Madrid, Club President Perez had to intervene with a press conference to assure that the Portuguese had not been sacked. At Chelsea part II, there was the infamous incident with Eva Carneiro that brought the club a lot of negative publicity and ultimately led to the Portuguese's downfall.

There has not been anything remotely drastic at United yet, but the storm could be building, with his recent “Respect, Respect” press conference showing that Mourinho is currently on a short fuse. Manchester United could risk hurting their worldwide image the way things are going, because clearly, Mourinho is experiencing events that could lead to the culmination of his job.

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