Without a win in three Premier League games, Manchester United simply cannot afford to lose to Arsenal at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.
The Red Devils’ poor start to the 2018-19 Premier League season continued on Saturday evening with that 2-2 draw away at strugglers Southampton.
Jose Mourinho saw his side recover from 2-0 down to earn a point, but his team’s performance still led to justified criticism from fans and the media alike.
United currently find themselves seventh in the Premier League table, 16 points off league-leaders Manchester City.
Even fourth-placed Arsenal are eight points clear of Mourinho’s men, who already have a mountain to climb if they’re to seal a place in next season’s Champions League - unless by some miracle they win the competition this season.
United are closer to the relegation zone than they are City, which isn’t good enough for a club of their stature, especially when you consider the eye-watering amounts of money they’ve spent on players during the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era.
It’s hard to imagine that Mourinho will still be at Old Trafford at the start of next season. It wouldn’t be a shock if he was no longer in charge this time next month.
United’s board will need to ensure that, at the fourth time of asking following the ill-fated appointments of David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and now Mourinho, that they get the right man in charge next time.
Making the right appointment is working wonders over at Arsenal. Just look at the job that Unai Emery has done at the Emirates Stadium since replacing Arsene Wenger in the summer.
His Arsenal side produced a magnificent team display against north London rivals Tottenham on Sunday afternoon - full of energy, desire and fight - and were excellent value for their 4-2 victory.
Following the Gunners’ brilliant performance, one United fan dropped the truth about Emery and Mourinho with the following tweet…
- Inherited weakest squad in top 6 that had stagnated for years
- Limited backing from board
- American owner that only cares about profit
“All the excuses people make for Mourinho, who's supposedly the far better coach. Yet look at how well he's doing there.”
Indeed, some United fans point to those bullet points as a way to defend Mourinho, but Emery’s performance with Arsenal shows the Portuguese coach has no excuses.
Mourinho is underperforming as United manager - even though he continuously tries to pull the wool over the fans eyes by shifting the blame wherever possible - and unless results and performances improve quickly, his spell with the Red Devils will soon come to an end.
Zinedine Zidane is the current favourite to take over from Mourinho, followed by Antonio Conte and Mauricio Pochettino.