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Tuesday, October 2

Mourinho At The Centre Of Manchester United's Turmoil

You’d have to be blind, deaf and dumb to see that there’s something wrong at Manchester United.

The team is in a funk, Jose Mourinho is feuding with his players and the press, and the club’s highest-paid player was just left out of the squad completely.

And this is just the stuff that we know about.

Before the Red Devils’ midweek Carabao Cup loss to second-tier Derby, training-field video emerged of Mourinho telling Paul Pogba to “get out.” The manager would later strip the midfielder of his vice captain role and told him that he would never captain the club again.

On Saturday, struggling winger Alexis Sanchez was dropped from the squad completely for what turned out to be a 3-1 loss to West Ham — the Irons’ second win of the season.

This wouldn’t be so shocking when you consider that Sanchez has been a huge bust for United, scoring two goals in 17 appearances since arriving from Arsenal. But, he’s the highest-paid player in the Premier League, earning $400,000 weekly and will continue to earn most of it while sitting at home.

The move wasn’t related to injury or illness, either, which sometimes is code for team discipline. How a “special” manager like Mourinho can’t get anything out of Alexis is mind-boggling.

And, remember, last week when United was searching for winner after Watford scored the tying goal, Sanchez was actually subbed off. What does that tell you?

Perhaps even more befuddling, with a supposed defensive mastermind at the helm, how is United’s defence so bad? It has allowed 12 goals in seven games this season, tied for fifth-most in the league.

Against West Ham, Man U’s defence switched off on the first goal, just five minutes into the game. On the third goal, Marko Arnautovic was completely forgotten about.

At the other end, the Red Devils seemingly can’t generate chances, either, despite employing such a high-priced attack with Pogba pulling strings in the midfield and Romelu Lukaku up front. Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard are all being outshone by Marouane Fellaini.

This is the first time in the Premier League era that United has lost multiple matches by at least two goals this early in a season, too. And, remember that season from hell under David Moyes in 2013-14? Well this United side has matched its start with 10 points from seven games and has a -2 goal differential.

And, while we’re sure that it’s tabloid fodder at best and highly speculative, former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane was spotted in London near the United offices in the capital this weekend. If this three-season pattern of Mourinho’s managerial flameouts continues, Man U could certainly do worse than a recent Champions League winner.

Of course, what will likely happen is that United will beat Valencia midweek, then Newcastle on Saturday and head into the international break on a high. But with a trip to Stamford Bridge following that, we could easily see the cycle spin up once again.

posted from Bloggeroid

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