Manchester United’s season has turned from a Premier League title race into a top four battle, all in a matter of weeks.
To pick up three points from festive fixtures against Leicester City, Burnley and Southampton simply isn’t going to cut it, especially when Manchester City are the pace setters.
Those results have left United 15 points adrift of Pep Guardiola’s side. The title is seemingly out of reach, and what will transpire over the second half of the season is a battle with Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham to finish in the top four.
It’s not just the poor results that have left many doubting Mourinho but the manner of their performances.
Stale and bereft of any imagination, Man United are currently the antithesis of everything they stood for under Sir Alex Ferguson.
Shearer: 'Mourinho is totally flat'
Indeed, Alan Shearer felt the need to write a whole column dedicated to the Red Devils and their recent failings under Mourinho, blaming the Portuguese coach for creating a team that lacks “energy and spark”.
“It is said a team is a mirror image of it’s manager. Right now that is the case with Manchester United,” Shearer said in his column for The Sun.
“Jose Mourinho is totally flat and so is his team.
“I cannot remember the last time I saw him smile. There is no energy or spark and certainly none in his team right now.
“He acts like the whole world is against him.”
Shearer ruins Mkhitaryan
Shearer reserved his harshest words for Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
The Armenian playmaker was hauled off in the 65th minute after a dismal showing in Saturday’s 0-0 draw at home to Southampton.
And Shearer doubts whether Mkhitaryan is good enough for any Premier League side right now.
“[Mourinho] is not getting the best out of any of them right now,” Shearer continued.
“Mkhitaryan would struggle to get in any Premier League team at the moment, let alone United’s.”
Oof. Scathing from Shearer.
In his eyes, the Manchester derby in December - which City won 2-1 - was the day Mourinho realised that Guardiola’s side is on another level.
“For me the problem all came down to the Manchester derby,” the Newcastle legend added.
“At that point there was a chance to close the gap to five points. It was a game United had to win. Yet on the sidelines, the reality dawned on Jose.
“The City team was simply on a different planet. This was not a team they were going to beat or catch. They were so much better.
“For a manager used to winning, it will have hurt.”
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