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Opinion: The media agenda against Manchester United and Jose Mourinho

29 Aug 2018, 12:15 IST

Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
Jose Mourinho with Manchester United's colours

There is no one denying the fact that Manchester United is one of the biggest clubs in the world. Jose Mourinho himself described United as a dream job for him, and the trophy cabinets of both Mourinho and United are clearly extraordinary.

With one of the biggest jobs in the world of football comes huge expectations. No one can achieve what Sir Alex has done with Man Utd, but after the abysmal era's of David Moyes and Louis van Gaal, United appointed Jose Mourinho as their manager, with the main aim of getting back to winning ways.

In Jose's first season, United won the Europa League and League Cup, but the media focused mainly on the fact that United finished 6th that season in the Premier League. In his second season with United, Jose came 2nd, 19 points behind Manchester City who had a freak season, finishing with 100 points on the final day of the Premier League.

No one came close to Man City than their arch rivals United, but the media instead praised Liverpool and Tottenham who were 25 and 23 points behind Manchester City.

After the defeat against Spurs in the post match conference, Jose Mourinho demanded respect from the media by signaling 3 fingers (3 Premier League titles), more than the other 19 managers combined in the Premier League.

Mourinho had gone on the front foot by defending his side's performance, telling the assembled media they had to decide what was most important, brilliant football or results. Last season he had been accused of negative football, even when United had won.

It is beyond argument that Mourinho is in a tough place right now. United played open football, with high pressing and aggressive intent in the first half, a departure from the way Jose sets his teams up, but United found themselves trailing after individual defensive errors.


United have their worst start in a Premier League season since 1992-93, losing 2 of their first 3 games, and United have not been beaten this badly at home in a league game by Tottenham since 1972.

Mourinho was baffled by the lies made up by the media. He himself denied the reports of feuds with Paul Pogba and Chairman Ed Woodward.

United finished runners-up to Manchester City last season, and before the season's opening game against Leicester, Mourinho questioned why Liverpool's boss Jurgen Klopp and Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino receive praise despite their failure to win a trophy. He stated,

"It is difficult for me to believe we finished second when I listen, when I read, because you are capable of making people that finish second look like they were relegated and people who win nothing, finish below us, and you make them look like serial winners"

This is nothing new for United. During Sir Alex Ferguson's era, there was a belief that Arsene Wenger escaped media criticism because he was seen as being sophisticated and intelligent.

Sir Alex's intellect is huge. His sense of humour was legendary, but in front of the media he was aggressive, and the reputation stuck, deserved or not.

The pressure is on Manchester United and Jose.

United need to turn this around soon, otherwise this will be a long season for them. Away trips to Burnley and Watford are incoming, and they need to get back on track.

Following the summer exits of Wenger and Chelsea's Antonio Conte, Mourinho was right when he said the score on Premier League titles is 3 to him, 2 to the rest. But unless he finds an answer soon, that lead will evaporate.

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