Don't panic Mr Mourinho

Published: Monday, 19 September 2016

It certainly hasn't been the best week of Jose Mourinho's career. All of a sudden all kinds of damning statistics are flying about.

Here's a couple - losing at Watford meant United had been beaten for a third successive match, in the Portuguese's worst run of results for 15 years, since he was in charge of Porto in 2002. I can think of a few coaches that would love a record like that!

It's now 15 defeats in his last 33 matches - described as 'an utterly damning statistic for a manager in charge of two high end clubs' in The Mirror today. How many of those were due to the unprofessional manner in which his players at Chelsea 'downed tools' to get rid of him at Stamford Bridge? My maths tells me 12, so the stat isn't quite as 'damning' as it reads.

Another headline screamed 'Just not special anymore' referring to both Mourinho and Rooney. Rubbish!  They both are.

Granted, after a very good start to the season, the last seven days haven't been great and because Mourinho makes himself such an easy target for the media when things go wrong, he's always going to get a kicking, but I have no doubt that he'll sort things out.

I do hear worrying stories of a little unrest amongst a few players and I understand that Antony Martial is not his biggest fan - nor Mourinho Martial's. That's certainly something to keep an eye on. Martial wouldn't be the first wide man that Mourinho has fallen out with would he? He's got some serious 'previous' with some very high profile names on that front.

Having said that, who hasn't got unhappy players at a club? No-one. It's generally those who aren't playing that make the most fuss.

Mourinho will settle things down, but I'm a little concerned that he hasn't yet got to grips with what's in the DNA at United. I mentioned last week that I was surprised that they were so 'passive' in the derby. He set up 'not to lose'. That's not United's way. Every time he picks Fellaini I think Mourinho is open to that allegation. Quite simply, Fellaini is not a Manchester United player. He trollies about totally out of his depth, passing sideways and backwards. He gives too many free kicks away and there are times that his behaviour is totally unacceptable.

I thought at Watford the game was crying out for Michael Carrick, someone to give United momentum and forward movement. Their passing was both negative and slow.

And how about putting Marcus Rashford up top in those games? He was a breath of fresh air last season running away from defenders and frightening them to death with his pace. United don't have that option right now. I'm sure there will be times when Ibra will be needed to influence 'big' games. On that basis, I'd keep him fresh for those games. Why play him at Watford?

As we know, I'm a massive Rooney fan, but I admit that he looks out of sorts at the moment. He's confused by all the different jobs he's been given and plays far to deep. Get in the box Wazza - it's the only place you'll score goals and influence matches.

So one or two little gripes, but Mourinho is a far better judge than me and he'll sort it!  More than anything I want to see him take United off the leash. I want them to play like his first Chelsea title winners did, with flair and pace and an ability to excite. That's what United teams do.  

I must confess I've been very impressed with City so far and if there's a player in better form in the P Lge right now than Kevin de Bruyne I haven't seen him.

Liverpool were terrific on Friday night and have very capably overcome the handicap of playing their first three games on the road.

I like the look of Everton as well. There are bigger tests to come than they've faced so far but what a relief it is to see them getting the ball forward more quickly and entertaining the Goodison faithful again.

Spurs are still short - way short of where they were last season. Again, I'm hearing all is not well behind the scenes. I'm not convinced that Pochettino got what he wanted in the transfer window and he wasn't that impressed by what he did get. Watch this space!

There are certainly problems at West Ham. I've resisted talking about them so far after what turned out to be a really good first season for Slaven Bilic. I like him, but what I'm seeing now is what I expected post-Allardyce, compounded by the stadium move. Historically the Hammers have always had a 'soft' centre. Allardyce fixed that and last season Bilic took them on with a mixture of 'realistic' football and some fantastic results, but now there's trouble.

I say 'compounded by the stadium move' because I genuinely believe that will be a factor for quite some time yet. Other than Arsenal, I can't think of another team that's made a trouble-fee move to a new stadium.

West Ham have already had their teething problems and I suspect it'll be a while before things settle making Ms Brady's ludicrous claims on July 25 this year look even more ridiculous. She said then 'The move has been a complete success on every in no doubt, we are part of the most successful migration in history'. Really Karen? I don't think so, not by a long way.