Anyone wondering if Jose Mourinho's position at Manchester United is insecure can stop right now. The highly informed Neil Ashton has written at length about the ongoing situation at Old Trafford and claims in no uncertain terms that the Special One is there to stay.
Mourinho's honeymoon period with his new club came to an abrupt end last week after the Red Devils suffered three successive defeats in the space of eight days. Their most recent, a 3-1 reverse to Watford, displayed worrying similarities to his darkest days at Chelsea.
The Portuguese looked stressed and strained on the touchline while some of his best players failed to make an impact on the pitch. In the aftermath, he took aim at individuals – in particular, the 21-year-old Luke Shaw – placing the blame purely on their failings.
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It was the precision attack on Shaw that reportedly left Manchester United players "shocked" and further sources have claimed that those same players are surprised with how personal some of their new manager's criticisms have been.
But any rumours of Mourinho losing the dressing room have been quelled by this latest report in The Sun. Ashton claims crisis talks were held at Carrington on Monday and the players agreed that the blame for recent poor showings lies with them and them alone.
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No one is safe
In response, Mourinho threw down the gauntlet to the very same players who aren't doing the famous shirt justice. He has told every single one of them that they are fighting for their future at the club, including captain Wayne Rooney.
The 30-year-old is all too aware that his recent performances have been scrutinized in the media and knows he needs to improve. There is a feeling he needs an extended period of rest to reflect and reports would have us believe that he will sit out Saturday's game against Leicester City.
There are, however, two exceptions to Mourinho's warning; both Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba are safe from any culling. The two represent the summer's marquee signings and remain above the law in Mourinho's mind. The reasons, however, differ for both.
For Ibrahimovic, there is a feeling within the dressing room that he has shown the utmost professionalism since arriving from Paris Saint-Germain. Players were warned to expect a prima donna but have been left pleasantly surprised by the Swede's determination to lead by example.
For Pogba, it seems that it is his £89million transfer fee that is keeping him safe. Manchester United's monumental efforts to sign the French midfielder in the summer means he is one man Mourinho cannot leave by the wayside.