There's an old saying in English football - "never look at the table until November".
If the current state of affairs is to be an indication of how the season will pan out, then Jose Mourinho ought to be worried.
It seemed Manchester United had turned a corner with three wins on the bounce in all competitions, but that all came to an end with the 3-1 defeat to City in the derby.
Compounding that misery are persistent reports of off-field difficulties between Mourinho and the players.
Footage emerged earlier in the campaign of the Portuguese engaged in a frosty exchange with Paul Pogba in training, while Luke Shaw, Anthony Martial, and Alexis Sanchez have also been rumoured to be unhappy.
In fact, the list of disgruntled squad members is rather long.
Some of that unrest has gone on behind the scenes, though Mourinho has also called out a number of players in public.
Romelu Lukaku is one of them, having struggled for form. The striker has not scored for the club since mid-September.
Lukaku's message for Utd players
However, the Belgian has addressed speculation that the manager is unpopular and has told his team-mates to "deal with it" if he confronts them.
"I think he has a good relationship with the players," Lukaku told Bleacher Report, per the Mirror.
"I don't really pay attention to what his relationship is with the other players, to be honest. I don't think it's something that should affect me.
"If he [Mourinho] has an argument with somebody I mean, deal with it, man. You're a grown-a*** man, deal with it."
The 55-year-old is still among the favourites to be the first Premier League manager sacked, with only Mark Hughes and Roy Hodgson ahead of him.
That backdrop sets up an intriguing contest this weekend, when United welcome Hodgson's Crystal Palace to Old Trafford as they bid to get back on track.
The Red Devils sit eighth, already 12 points off the summit.
Lukaku himself is a doubt to face the Eagles after his hamstring injury flared up once again over the international break.
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