When Manchester United appointed Jose Mourinho as manager this summer, fans were convinced that he was the man to end their Premier League drought.
The club haven’t won the league since Sir Alex Ferguson guided them to the title during the 2012/13 campaign - his final season at the club.
Since then, the highest position the Red Devils have finished under a combination of David Moyes and Louis van Gaal is fourth, with them failing to challenge for the league title on each occasion.
With Mourinho arriving, though, there was a real belief that the Special One could return the club to the summit of English football immediately.
However, following their heavy 4-0 defeat to Chelsea this weekend, they’re already six points behind Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool.
The result also means that, remarkably, Mourinho has almost the exact same record as Moyes after the opening nine matches of the Premier League season.
First nine league matches under Moyes - points: 14
First nine league matches under Mourinho - points: 14
We must remember that Moyes was sacked in April, just 10 months after being appointed. When you consider that Mourinho has spent a massive £145 million this summer, he knows he needs to improve his side’s form quickly or else the pressure will be cranked up.
However, there is one positive for Mourinho. That’s because he’s made a better start to life at the Theatre of Dreams than his predecessor, Louis van Gaal.
First nine league matches under Van Gaal - points: 13
With a gap already opening up between United at the rest of the title challengers, Mourinho is well aware that the upcoming Premier League fixtures are crucial for both his club and his job security.
“We've had a very difficult period of matches. We lost points this week and even in the match when we played phenomenal against Stoke, we lost points then,” he told the club’s official website.
“Now we need to win matches. I'm not saying they are easy ones but we have Burnley, we have Swansea, West Ham, Sunderland, Middlesbrough, matches that we need to win and the top four, the top five, they have to play between themselves like we did this week against Chelsea and Liverpool.
“They are going to lose points too so we are in the run but there is no way to hide because I think our faces speak by themselves. We are really, really sad but again this is not for kids, this is for men and tomorrow we have to be men and work for the next one."
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