The heat on Jose Mourinho might not be quite as intense as a few weeks ago, but serious concerns continue to linger around Manchester United.
A 2-2 draw with Chelsea followed by a 1-0 defeat to Juventus in the Champions League suggests the Red Devils are far from out of the woods.
With the remarkable 3-2 victory over Newcastle United being their only victory in seven outings, the stability of the Sir Alex Ferguson years now feels like a very long time ago.
The deep-rooted issues underlying arguably the most turbulent season of Mourinho’s managerial career are going nowhere fast.
Paul Pogba - the marquee signing to complement the Portuguese’s appointment at Old Trafford - has been a constant source of unrest throughout the last 12 months.
The fractured relationship between the £89 million midfielder and his manager is showing little hope of repairing, especially amid the current state of affairs.
The aftermath of their insipid loss to Juventus on Tuesday perfectly illustrated the dysfunctional environment at the club, of which both men have been major contributors.
In a not-so-subtle dig at his superiors, Mourinho heaped praise on the Italian giants, saying: “They [Juventus] always want more and more and more. I think the objective of the club is happiness related to football results and they are going to chase that treble,” per Goal.
“If it is not this year, they are going to chase it next year. If it is not next year, they are going to chase it in the other years.
“To be honest, I don’t know the structure of how Juventus is run, but I like the philosophy behind their work."
In contrast, Pogba issued a nothing response, which, as reported by the Mirror, is because United have prohibited him from speaking about Mourinho or his own unhappiness.
“I can’t talk, I am not allowed to talk. I want to, but they won’t let me. They have told me not to talk,” he said.
It’s the second time the Frenchman has been gagged after he wasn’t allowed to face the media following his side’s goalless draw with Valencia earlier this month.
Whether the order came from the board or Mourinho himself is unknown, but that simply has to set off alarm bells among those afraid of Pogba abandoning United.
To compound their woes of late, Mourinho and his men face a tricky string of fixtures including Everton, Bournemouth, Juventus and Manchester City.
While they must be considered underdogs in each of those clashes, the pressure to take maximum points will be no less.
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