Jose Mourinho has dealt with a great deal of pressure throughout his managerial career, though nothing quite like what he’s facing at Manchester United.
The Red Devils boss has little to show for the £385 million worth of signings he’s overseen since taking over from Louis van Gaal in May 2016.
With a Europa League trophy being the most significant honour Mourinho has claimed at Old Trafford, this season is certain to have a major influence on his future at the club.
If United’s failure to win any of their previous four matches hadn’t already triggered alarm bells, reports of unrest between the manager and some of his key players surely must.
Despite being blessed with one of the most talented squads in England on paper, Mourinho made it clear he was eager to add to his squad over the summer.
Last term’s Premier League runners-up were linked with several exciting targets throughout the off-season, namely Leicester City’s Harry Maguire, Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng, Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld and Inter’s Ivan Perisic.
However, having only secured Fred, Lee Grant and the injured Diogo Dalot prior to the morning of transfer deadline day in August, Mourinho’s update on any potential arrivals was far from positive.
“I’m not confident,” he said when asked whether more signings would be made before the window closed.
“I’m not confident and the market closes today so it is time, at least for me, to stop thinking about the market because the market will be closed, so I will have to focus on the players I have.”
That’s exactly how it’s panned out, and while there’s still time to turn the season around, the apparent lack of chemistry and desire among the United squad is concerning at best.
Mourinho has shouldered much of the criticism for the manner in which is men have started the campaign - and perhaps rightly so to some extent.
But could that be because he didn’t receive the support he expected from his superiors ahead of his third season in charge?
Well, according to Fabio Capello, Mourinho revealed he wanted just two additional players to join him at Old Trafford - both of which he missed out on.
The ex-England boss told Sky Sports Italia, via Goal: “I met Mourinho during a meeting between managers last summer.
“He wanted to sign two defenders, one was Milan Skriniar, the other one was [Kalidou] Koulibaly.”
It’s a bit farfetched to think United could’ve landed two centre-backs valued upwards of £50 million, but it does suggest Mourinho is far from happy with his current options.
The 50-year-old has experimented with using Chris Smalling, Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly and even Scott McTominay in the heart of his defence this season, none of which have truly convinced their manager nor the Red Devils faithful.
It goes without saying, Mourinho is likely already drawing up a shopping list three months out from January - but will he still be in the job by then?
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