Opinion: It is time for Jose Mourinho to leave Manchester United
After United fell to a 3-0 defeat against Tottenham, Jose Mourinho stood and applauded the Manchester United fans. It was almost as if he was saying goodbye. Whatever happens, it seems as if Mourinho's days at the club are numbered, and perhaps now is the time for him to leave United.
He seems to have lost the dressing room, some of his tactics have been questionable to say the least, and his press conference after the game spoke very much of a man living in the past.
He spoke of his 3 Premier League titles that he'd won, but that was then, and this is now. United fans can see that things are not right at the club, as the club got off to their worst start in the Premier League since its inaugural season in 1992-93.
Of course back then, United stormed to the title by 10 points. A repeat scenario this time around seems extraordinarily unlikely. Mourinho seems to be very much in decline, whereas Guardiola, Klopp, and Pochettino all seem to be on the up.
Ironically, United played reasonably well against Tottenham, but caved as soon as Tottenham took the lead in the 2nd half. United dominated and had plenty of chances (including Lukaku somehow contriving to miss an open goal).
Spurs had 4-5 chances and took 3 of them expertly. That's the difference - you have to take your chances in this league. In Mourinho's time at the club, United have not been clinical enough, and have had several poor results because of a lack of quality up front.
Put simply, Mourinho has to shoulder most of the responsibility for the problems United have. His defensive tactics, falling out with the players, and the general negativity has caused him to lose the dressing room.
Mourinho has had plenty of money and time to shape this United side, but seems unsure of his best 11. He made 6 changes against Tottenham from the debacle against Brighton, but that made no difference as the side struggled to find any fluency or rhythm, particularly after Tottenham went ahead.
United have conceded in 7 goals in 3 games this season, and look short of quality and confidence all through the side. However, the displays against Tottenham and Brighton are nothing new under Mourinho.
Poor displays have characterised his reign at United, and fans fear that if he continues to be in charge, a similar scenario like what happened to him in his third season at Chelsea may unfold. Then he was sacked before Christmas after 9 defeats in the first 16 games of the season.
This team looks dreadfully short of confidence and leadership, as Pogba once again strolled through the game. At this rate, United will struggle to finish in the top 4, and there is a general consensus that if Mourinho doesn't leave, nothing will change. The players looked crestfallen after the game, and team morale is at an all time low.
The game against Tottenham had a feel of David Moyes' time at the club when the fans endured one excruciating defeat after another. The same things that happened at the end of Moyes and Van Gaal's times at United are now happening to Mourinho - player unrest, negative tactics, and the manager losing his cool. This all implies that Mourinho's time at the club is almost over.
If United lose 3 in a row against Burnley on Sunday, then surely Mourinho's position becomes untenable. Ed Woodward has to shoulder some of the blame as he is seemingly more bothered about commercial sponsorships than what's happening on the pitch.
Ultimately though, the main person responsible for United's problems is Mourinho. He's been given enough money and time to deliver success to United and he has failed, now is the time for him to go.