Saying Jose Mourinho was unhappy with his transfer business this summer would be an understatement.
When the transfer window closed early this month, Manchester United had completed just three signings with the arrivals of Diogo Dalot as an up and coming full-back, Lee Grant to fill in as a reserve goalkeeper and Fred to plug the gap left by Michael Carrick.
However, Mourinho also wanted a new right-winger and centre-back to ensure they clawed away at the gap between them and Manchester City, which yawned to 19 points last season.
When asked after a friendly against Bayern Munich, he noted: “My CEO knows what I want for quite a long time.
“He knows what I want, I know that he tries to do the best for me and I still have a few days to wait and see what is going to happen.
Mourinho’s complaints in the press
“The other clubs that compete with us are really strong and have already fantastic teams and squads, like Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester City, or they are investing massively like, for example, Liverpool, that is buying everything and everybody.
“So if we don’t make our team better it will be a difficult season for us.”
And the season has certainly started with difficulties after an uninspiring performance against Leicester City and defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion.
How Ferguson reacted to transfer trouble
It has caused debate amongst Manchester United supporters and one post in the fanbase’s Reddit page on Thursday afternoon puts the situation in an interesting light.
The post featured an anecdote from Sir Alex Ferguson’s autobiography that documented how he reacted to transfer problems at United back in 1998, when the club was unsure about signing Dwight Yorke.
To say Ferguson’s way of handling it was different to Mourinho would be putting things mildly.
Take a look at the conversation here:
What’s more, the episode went so far that Ferguson went into a meeting with chairman Martin Edwards and posed the question: “Do you want to call it a day?”
Ferguson was willing to put his foot down, stand for his transfer plans and know that the club needed to back him to succeed.
What happened? United signed Yorke who proceeded to win the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League in his first season.
Of course, times are much different now but Mourinho’s moaning in the press certainly cuts a far different reaction to that of his predecessors.
There is plenty of reason to suggest that Mourinho doesn’t have as much power as Ferguson used to enjoy, but even the great Scotsman received a backlash from the club.
It’s hard to imagine Mourinho fought for his transfer plans and overall vision at the club with the same amount of passion.
The season is still young, though, and only time will tell whether 2018-19 will be as difficult for United as Mourinho predicts.
Where do you think Man Utd will finish this season? Have your say in the comments section below.