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1 October, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Mourinho’s woes deepen after West Ham defeat

AFP
Mourinho’s woes deepen after West Ham defeat
Manchester United’s manager Jose Mourinho gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League match against West Ham United at The London Stadium on Saturday. AFP PHOTO

AFP, LONDON: Manchester United are a club in crisis and Jose Mourinho is seemingly powerless to prevent a slide into mid-table mediocrity for the 20-time English champions.

The Old Trafford hierarchy preened this week after the latest financial results showed the club had earned revenue of more than half a billion pounds for the third year running.

But United, who finished a distant second behind Manchester City last season, are going backwards on the pitch -- licking their wounds after their worst start to a league campaign for 29 years.

Mourinho’s men travelled to the London Stadium on Saturday boasting an enviable record against West Ham but came away chastened after a 3-1 defeat killed off any realistic hopes of a Premier League challenge before the end of September.

Languishing nine points behind leaders City, they now face a battle even to qualify for the lucrative Champions League, a prospect that will give the money men sleepless nights.

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand said the club face some “big decisions” over the manager’s future after the listless display in the capital.

“There are some big decisions to be made at United now,” he said. “There will be conversations at the top level, about the future of the manager and the squad, because the basics are not being done. There has to be something said.”

United’s build-up to the match against West Ham was overshadowed by the growing rift between Mourinho and Paul Pogba, who was stripped of the vice-captaincy before their League Cup exit against Championship side Derby in midweek.

It came after the French World Cup winner implicitly criticised his manager’s tactics, imploring United to attack more and as rumours continued to swirl linking him with a move to Barcelona. It is difficult to see how both player and manager can work together in the long term after such public displays of disunity.

United are anxious to hang on to one of the world’s most marketable players but all the signs are that they are sticking with Mourinho for now despite their desperately poor start to the season, which has seen them muster just 10 points from seven games.

Pogba gave another under-par performance against West Ham but he was not the only player to disappoint in the late September sunshine.

United are lacking in ideas, short of inspiration and shape, with many of the players looking like square pegs in round holes.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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