Premier League 2018/19: 3 reasons why Manchester United must win against Newcastle at Old Trafford
Manchester United are in dire straits. That has long since been established, as the club searches for inspiration in the wake of disappointing results which has seen the club winless in four matches and lying in tenth place in the Premier League.
Amidst the on-field struggles have been numerous reports of backstage confrontations between players and coach, with Mourinho’s long-running stand-off with Paul Pogba reaching such extremes as to have divided United’s dressing room into two, with one side standing behind the Portuguese, and the other tired of his supposed excesses and willing to see the back of him.
After putting up a drab performance in the goalless draw with Valencia in the Champions League, which meant Mourinho has gone four games without a home victory for the first time in his managerial career, United would turn to the Premier League as they host strugglers Newcastle United at Old Trafford.
Incredibly, The Red Devils have not won at Old Trafford since the opening day of the season, and fans who were once used to being entertained weekly and winning the biggest titles now have to settle for watching a mediocre team don their beloved club’s crest.
United’s poor run of form has seen them pick up just 10 points from their opening seven PL matches, a dismal return which sees them lie in tenth place and marks their worst start to a Premier League season in 28 years.
A lot of underlying factors makes the Newcastle match carry extra significance. Here are three reasons why the clash with the Magpies is a must-win match for Manchester United:
#3 For the sake of Jose Mourinho
Following the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013, Manchester United suffered a drop from their previous highs and had to endure both terrible football and bad results under David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal.
As a result, the club turned to Portuguese tactician Jose Mourinho to lift them to previous heights, as the 53-year-old has a track record of delivering success at all clubs he has managed so far.
His appointment came with a sacrifice though, as his methods were not exactly the most pleasing to the eye, instead adopting a pragmatic and rigid style, emphasizing on winning at all costs rather than entertainment.
His first season in the dugout brought with it two major trophies, while his second season in charge saw United finish trophyless and get knocked out of the UCL in embarrassing fashion to Sevilla at Old Trafford. Despite this, the club did finish second in the league, their highest league finish post-Fergie (albeit 19 points behind Manchester City).
Three years into the Mourinho era, and there is a lingering feeling that it hasn't delivered up to the levels expected. His constant controversies, barbs with the media and public clashes with players has done little to help his cause, and Mourinho has seen his job increasingly come under pressure in recent weeks.
There are indications that the board has decided to terminate it's relationship with Mourinho regardless of the result against Newcastle.
Jose might very well be leading Manchester United out for the last time at Old Trafford, and even though that wasn't the way the script was to end, victory against Newcastle would be the best way to see him off, and even if that is not the case, a win would help ease the pressure on Mourinho.