Premier League: José Mourinho's management experience is critical to the rebuilding project of Manchester United

Premier League: José Mourinho's management experience is critical to the rebuilding project of Manchester United

Every season there is optimism among the mancunians about a new, effective season after the terrible nine months they have usually experienced in the last few years. There's also a sense of progression ahead of the new season, as opposed to Anfield's "This Year Is Our Year," but eventually, as the sun goes down, optimism dies a slow, painful death.

So, where is the club going? What about the fans who put their season tickets on the promise of a new dawn?

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has climbed a mountain in his third season in the club. AFP

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has climbed a mountain in his third season in the club. AFP

Manchester United is not the driving force under Sir Alex Ferguson. The club has been on a slope since the post-Fergie era, at least on the field, as a series of poor results have shredded the elite status of the Old Trafford team.

"Everything is very bad," coach José Mourinho said at one of his sparkling media conferences. Do not call it Mourinho's third season syndrome.

Paul Pogba, with all his technical skills, showboating and polka dots, was often confronted with frustrating conversations with Mourinho on the sideline last season. Mourinho and Alexis Sanchez dampened Anthony Martial's hopes of becoming the next superstar winger. Only Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic and Jesse Lingard seemed to have settled completely under the fierce but angry manager.

But on Friday Alt-Trafford was surprisingly buzzing again. Pogba wore the captain's armband. Andreas Perriera, back from his loan in Valencia, made his debut in the Premier League. Luke Shaw scored his first professional goal. Mourinho smiled and celebrated with one of his assistant coach Michael Carrick. After all the Mürrik's preseason and the complaints about the club's transfer business, United started the new campaign with a win over Leicester City.

Just a week ago, Pogba was linked to a move from United, arousing Barcelona's interest in the Frenchman's frosty relationship with Mourinho after being repeatedly dropped last season. But with a man-of-the-match performance on Friday, Mourinho was in awe of Pogba's involvement. "Pogba was a monster, we thought a maximum (he could play) 60 minutes, but he made 80. He was fantastic, his contribution was amazing, but the fuel disappeared, we were in trouble," Mourinho said after the game.

However, this victory has not yielded much evidence that United is truly in a position to improve on last season's runners-up. They played Leicester, who could not win an away game for 75 years. It was obvious that Mourinho, like the fans, demanded more from his players. Well, he has the right to complain because the board has no good players in the squad. Mourinho demanded, the board contradicted.

Transfer mess

After United's 2-1 victory against Leicester, Mourinho took a veiled trail toward the club's hierarchy – his last line being that he might be known as a head coach rather than a coach if the club did not want to go after his transfer goals.

United CEO Ed Woodward managed to complete the services of Brazilian Fred Rodrigues, Diego Dalot and Lee Grant, in addition to a wealth of commercial offers in the summer transfer window. It was not enough though.

Before the start of the window, the British press reported that Mourinho wanted five players, but only three, which made life difficult for the 55-year-old. But the question is, would it be better if he tried to make the most of what he already has? Just like Leicester?

Mourinho's priority should be to stabilize the (sinking) ship and get the most out of its core group. But looking at how rivals Manchester City and Liverpool have invested to strengthen their squad, any manager would feel insecure. Losing the title with 19 points to City was an embarrassing affair.

There was a touch of desperation from United's office as the club's Toby Alderweireld, Yerry Mina, Diego Godin, Jerome Boateng and Harry Maguire struck a blow in the last week of the summer window. With all their great club identity, the Red Devils have opened the door everywhere.

Mourinho could not get a center-back. But it's not the end, after all. There is still time for that.

Mour time?

They say good managers make good things. But under one of football's biggest man-managers powdered the biggest team in England. His antics on the sideline, his oath to referee and opposition coaches and his grumpy face at the end of the game testify to his relationship with the club.

United finished sixth in the 2016/17 season, Mourinho's first as Red Devils boss, and he still has not sorted the back four. United are currently printing with Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo. Well, you have to thank David de Gea for saving his face every season since 2015.

Apart from the center-backs, Mourinho struggled to replace Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young, who only consisted of failed outfielders. Luke Shaw has his own fight with fitness. Matteo Darmian does not cope with the physical needs of the Premier League. Mourinho obviously has no options left. United conceded just 28 Premier League goals last season but would have been even worse without De Gea

United's midfield looks strong, but only on paper, as the awkward combination of Nemanja Matic, Pogba and Ander Herrera can not muster the strength to prove themselves in the field. Marouane Fellaini, who recently signed a new contract, was used as Plan B for late goals. Scott McTominay impressed Mourinho and deserved all the praise for the excessive expectations.

Nevertheless, they managed to finish second. Thanks to Romelu Lukaku, Lingard and Marcus Rashford. The trio teamed with De Gea during the nine hot months of United. Mourinho has accused the board of directors of not supporting him on the transfer market.

Fred showed that he could solve United's midfield puzzle, along with Perriera, Herrera or Matic, as Pogba was in a free role. He is not your midfield industry, but he can do things. Dalot could be crucial in the defense, but he is still 19 and needs time to settle.

Despite the victory on the opening day, the current situation is still a mess and Mourinho has to make sure that the season does not go that way. There are high chances that the board in Mourinho loses its patience for Christmas. While the other half of Manchester seems to defend their title, it's time for the red half to show their presence.

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