Wednesday 21 March 2018 / 12:29 AM


I imagine you’ll agree with me when I say that this season is a pretty important one for Jose Mourinho.

The Portuguese had a bittersweet experience last term, finishing way behind league winners Chelsea in sixth, but winning both the League Cup and the Europa League, the latter landing them in the all-important Champions League.

And whilst the trophies will have put a gloss on what was a relatively dismal campaign by Manchester United’s high standards, Jose will be under no illusions: another season like last season, and his job will be under threat.

It’s no wonder then that reports have been emanating from Old Trafford suggesting that Mourinho is less than satisfied at the lack of transfer activity.

United have secured centre-back Victor Lindelof and centre-forward Romelu Lukaku, but executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has so far failed to add any more to United’s squad, and sources close to Mourinho suggest a serious dissatisfaction from the three-time Premier League winner.

Why is Mourinho reportedly becoming so fractious?

Because his reputation depends on it.

The self-styled Special One is yet to fail to win a domestic league during any spell with any club, and now that he is at Manchester United, a job that he has coveted for some time, it would be disastrous for the manager to leave his post without adding to his collection of league titles.

And it doesn’t take a football expert to realise that some quite drastic changes need to be made at Old Trafford if the Red Devils are to reverse their fortunes and clinch the Premier League.

Last season, United were not just well behind Chelsea and Tottenham in position; the gulf in class between the sides that finished first and second and the side that finished sixth was as stark as it was large.

Lindelof may have a positive impact on the United defence, and Lukaku is likely to replace the goals lost as a result of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s injury, but is that enough?

Mourinho clearly doesn’t think so.

In most aspects last year, United were rank average, and if you’re new to football, let me tell you that rank average does not a Premier League winner make.

Mourinho knows this. He knows that his Chelsea side and his Inter Milan team played a brand of football that made them nigh on impossible to beat. He knows that his Real Madrid squad contained multiple world class starlets.

He also knows that right now, his current crop of Manchester United players does not measure up.

And unless it is added to significantly over the next month, they will fall short again.

For Mourinho that could be his English footballing swansong; an undignified exit.

He’ll be desperately hoping that Woodward’s work over the next 31 days prevents that from happening.

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Seb Greenwood

CBS’s longest-serving contributor, Englishman Seb is our leading football correspondent, pulling no punches with his opinions on the Premier League and the international scene.

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