Next six games pivotal to Mourinho’s future at Manchester United
- Pressure on Mourinho continues to build with tough fixtures to come
- Manchester United take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge
Premiership football returns this weekend after the international break and for under pressure Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho a tough return to his former club Chelsea, currently sitting joint top.
United’s poor start to the season – their worst in a generation - led many observers to speculate that the Portuguese ‘Special One’ might be sacked, but the Red Devils fought back being two-nil down against Newcastle to win 3-2.
But the beleaguered manager faces a series of challenges in the coming weeks. Following United’s league game at Chelsea, they must play current league champions Manchester City and European giants Juventus, home and away, in back to back weeks.
Manchester Evening News’s head of football, Alice McKeegan, believes the next six weeks will determine Jose Mourinho’s long term future with the club.
“It will be a difficult game at Stamford Bridge to face his old club,” she said.
“Players like Hazard will definitely have a point to prove. I think many would consider a draw a good result. Critics had begun to write him off, saying he was finished at United. However, doubts over Mourinho have died down after their stirring comeback against Newcastle.”
Despite Mourinho’s poor performances, many fans have said the blame for the run of disappointing results must be at least shared with the club’s upper structure and the likes of Ed Woodward. Some have questioned why United didn’t go for former hero Ronaldo, now at Juventus, when he became available in the summer.
McKeegan is among those who queried whether United’s board should be pursuing the former fans’ favourite. Given the team’s loss of form and apparent loss of confidence, he may have been the talisman to re-ignite Old Trafford passions.
But it didn’t happen. The team’s stirring fightback against Newcastle may have saved Mourinho for now, but he’s definitely not out of the woods yet.