Manchester United’s comeback win over Newcastle United sees Mourinho live to fight another day. But has the danger averted for good, or only delayed?
José Mourinho was expected to be put out of his misery last week, irrespective of the result his team got against the Magpies. As a testament to their recent form, the Red Devils began the game poorly having gone 2-0 down inside the first ten minutes thanks to a shambolic defence that has been troubling Mourinho for months. The chants along the lines of “You’ll be sacked in the morning!” were being aimed at the Portuguese when his team came back on the field after halftime with intent to give a performance reminiscent of the time of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Rather poetically, the comeback was completed by none other than Alexis Sanchez, who has been a shadow of the player he was during his Barcelona and Arsenal days.
Manchester United’s start to the season has been anything but praiseworthy. Last year’s Premier League’s runner up have been all over the place both on and off the pitch. In their opening eight league matches, the Red Devils have suffered humiliating defeats at the hands of Brighton & Hove Albion, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United. Adding to their pile of misery, they’re already out of the Carabao Cup, beaten by the English second-tier regular Derby County.
Most of Man Utd’s woes are being blamed on their manager, who has been reported by many sources to have lost the backing of the boardroom staff and the support of his players. His seemingly apparent row with midfielder Paul Pogba has been going on for months now, with reports circulating that at least one of them, if not both, could be on their way out of the Old Trafford by Christmas.
With Manchester United’s comeback win against Newcastle already being tipped by many as a Match of the Season contender, it only seemed prude that Ed Woodward and co did not put Mourinho to the axe after such a performance. However, the victory does not necessarily put the Red Devils’ hardships behind them, as they face opponents in Chelsea and Juventus on the other side of the ongoing international break.
As things stand, José Mourinho remains at the helm of Manchester United. For how long will he be there, however, is anybody’s guess. Former French midfielder and manager Zinedine Zidane has been heavily tipped to replace Mourinho, with reports suggesting that the Frenchman’s arrival is all but inevitable. With a list of fixtures seemingly challenging under any circumstances, let alone his current, it remains to be seen how well Mourinho and his team fare in the matches ahead.
By Anshuman Joshi