Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is “wrecking” the club, according to French World Cup winner Christophe Dugarry.
Mourinho’s United are currently seventh in the Premier League and are some way off the pace in the race for the top four after drawing with strugglers Southampton on Saturday.
Is the Mourinho criticism over-the-top? Five key things to know:
- Mourinho has spent £366m on new signings at United, including a then-world-record £89m on Paul Pogba in his first summer.
- United have already conceded just six fewer Premier League goals (23) than they did last season altogether and are 26 points off first place.
- Mourinho has also continued to receive criticism for his behaviour on and off the pitch, particularly his relationship with Paul Pogba.
- But, last season, Mourinho steered United to their highest finish in the Premier League since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.
- The Red Devils have also won the Europa League and League Cup under Mourinho, more than they have under any manager post-2013.
The Red Devils are eight points behind fourth-placed Tottenham, who have a game in hand, and have already lost four times in the league this term, just three fewer than they did in the entirety of last season.
Mourinho is currently in his third season at United, a period when the Portuguese has garnered a bad reputation for falling apart at clubs including Real Madrid and Chelsea.
And former Birmingham City midfielder Dugarry, who won the 1998 World Cup with France, believes Mourinho is having a “catastrophic” effect on United.
“It’s unbearable. He’s wrecked the club,” Dugarry told Le10 Sport after United’s dramatic 1-0 win over Young Boys, as reported by the Mirror.
“When you see them play on Tuesday [against Young Boys], it’s catastrophic, it’s awful, when we all remember Manchester with Roy Keane, [David] Beckham – all the great players, they played offensive football.
“It was beautiful and passionate. Old Trafford was the Theatre of Dreams, now it’s the Theatre of Nightmares with this guy. It’s crazy.”
Dugarry also hit out at Mourinho’ aura of self-importance, caring more about his own trophies than giving fans exciting football.
He added: “What he doesn’t understand is that we don’t give a sh** about his titles, we just want emotion and to watch good football, which he’s incapable of giving us, but he won’t realise that because he’s so far up his own a***.
“We don’t care at all about what you’ve won, mate.”
Jose Mourinho and the infamous third season
Prior to the start of the current campaign, much was made over the start of Mourinho’s third season with United – and the manager appears to be reverting to type.
Only once in his managerial career has Mourinho made it past three full seasons in charge of a club, and even then, he did not last much longer as he was sacked by Chelsea for the first time in September 2007 – the start of his fourth season.
The life cycle of a Mourinho managerial stint seems to flow the same way with most clubs he has stayed at longer than two years. A first building season which may or may not bring success begins his tenure, then a second year which had always brought trophies until last year with United follows, before the third in which he loses touch and alienates himself from the board, players and fans before eventually departing.
This season United are a shadow of the side they were last year, keeping just two clean sheets from their opening 13 Premier League games so far, while also allowing opponents an average of 4.92 shots on target per 90.