Jose Mourinho's biggest mistakes as Manchester United manager

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Everything was looking up for Jose Mourinho when Paul Pogba finally arrived at Manchester United in an £89million deal. It signalled the Special One's fourth and final summer transfer deal and completed what he believed to be the only improvements required to bring glory back to Old Trafford.

There was plenty of belief around the country as well. Bookmakers made the Red Devils joint favourites to win the Premier League alongside Manchester City and four wins from four games suggested those suspicions were correct.

But the honeymoon period is well and truly over for the former Chelsea manager. Those four victories have been followed up by three straight defeats including a 2-1 loss to City, a 1-0 defeat to Feyenoord and a 3-1 reverse against Watford.

You can now find Manchester United at 14/1 to win the Premier League while the best value you get for Pep Guardiola's men is 4/6. What a difference eight days can make.

There have been some individual and collective mistakes in the past three games but one man who has yet to take any of the blame is Mr. Mourinho. GiveMeSport has pointed out seven mistakes he has made over the course of the last week.

1. Not starting Marcus Rashford against Manchester City

Fresh off the back of a hat-trick for the England Under-21s, there were vociferous calls for Marcus Rashford to start in the Manchester derby. However, the 18-year-old was stuck on the bench and City's defensive line went more or less untroubled for much of the first half.

Mourinho was quick to realise his mistake and brought Rashford on at half-time but the damage was already done. City had the lead and dropped deeper, nullifying the teenager's rapid pace.

2. Starting Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the same game

There is no question of Henrikh Mkhitaryan's quality but the Armenian is clearly still getting used to new surroundings. He was chucked into the deep end against City, making his first appearance for his new club and clearly struggled with the pace.

Mourinho whipped him off at half-time, damaging the winger's confidence in the process.

3. Dismissing the Europa League

"This is not a competition that Manchester United wants. It is not a competition I want, it is not a competition the players want."

What a way to motivate your players ahead of their first Europa League match. Mourinho said those exact words to the media ahead of their match against Feyenoord, in which the United players put in arguably their worst performance of the lot.  

Few could blame them for lacking the desire to win after Mourinho essentially gave them permission to get knocked out. 

4. Leaving Paul Pogba unprotected

Paul Pogba may be the all-action midfielder that Mourinho wanted but the Frenchman clearly appears to be struggling to balance his play. Does he attack or does he defend? With Wayne Rooney roaming free in front of him, it seems the £89m man is having to pick up the slack in his own half.

Playing Michael Carrick or, dare we say it, Bastian Schweinsteiger, would give Pogba license to roam further forward where he can play his best football. Neither Carrick or Schweinsteiger have had a minute of football this season but surely the time for one of them is nigh.

5. Not dropping Wayne Rooney

Rooney has been enjoying the dizzy heights of world-class status for over a decade but his slow descent appears to be going into a tailspin. Calls for him to be dropped are louder than ever with another ineffective performance against Watford the straw that could well break the camel's back.

Mourinho has myriad options in midfield but continues to play the seemingly irreplaceable club captain. The Special One has never been afraid to drop big personalities and few come bigger than Rooney.

6. Calling out Luke Shaw

Mourinho has been openly critical of his players before but after his disastrous spell at Chelsea, in which he fell out with a number of stars, you would have thought he would keep his words to himself. Not so.

The Portuguese called out Luke Shaw as one of the main reasons for United's defeats against City and Watford, essentially taking the attention away from himself and onto the 21-year-old. 

7. Dismissing Anthony Martial's concussion

Anthony Martial was Manchester United's best outfield player last season but has fallen dramatically since Mourinho's arrival. Perhaps it is because Mourinho gave Zlatan Ibrahimovic his treasured No.9 shirt or perhaps he is not getting the love and attention he got from Louis van Gaal.

It seems clear that Mourinho has little time for him. He was alarmingly dismissive of the Frenchman's head injury after the Watford game. Martial was withdrawn after 38 minutes after a clash of heads with Daryl Janmaat. He required eight minutes of treatment and left the field in a daze, almost certainly suffering mild concussion.

But Mourinho looked less than concerned in his post-match press conference. Scroll to 2:40 to see his reaction: 

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Wayne Rooney
Premier League
Paul Scholes
Manchester United
Michael Carrick
Ryan Giggs
Jose Mourinho

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