When you think of Jose Mourinho, it is likely there are plenty of words that come to mind. Genius, volatile, temperamental, special and plenty of other profanities depending on where your loyalties lie.
One word which has followed him, whether you are a fan or not, is ‘winner’. Silverware is commonplace in Mourinho’s career, racking up a total of 18 major trophies in 14 seasons.
He won a trophy in every campaign between 2002 when he took over Porto and the start of his final season at Madrid in 2012. Despite successive dry spells in 2012/2013 in Spain and at Stamford Bridge, Jose came back to win a domestic double at Chelsea in the 2014/2015 season.
Now, he faces a new challenge at Manchester United. A club steeped in trophies, success and history. A recent record of under-achieving under the management of David Moyes and Louis van Gaal puts Mourinho under an intense spotlight, and his start to the season has been turbulent to say the least.
United wiped out their first three Premier League opponents, before hitting a serious roadblock in the form of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City – follow our tracker to see their Premier League progress.
Following the derby loss, The Reds then saw a Europa League defeat to Feyenoord, before another dismal display at Vicarage Road. This was the first time in 14 years that Jose Mourinho had lost three consecutive games in the same season.
Fans and the media soon began to ask questions, and the pressure continued to mount. It was clear a big change was needed to get his side back on track. That decision came in the form of dropping skipper Wayne Rooney last week. A decision which appeared to prove worthwhile, as United hammered the Premier League champions Leicester 4-1 on home turf.
After six lethal weeks in the 16/17 campaign, Jose’s side sit in sixth position on 12 points.
When we look at the history books, Mourinho’s start to the season is pretty poor. He has only performed worse three times, once at Chelsea in the 13/14 season, again last year before leaving the club in December on “mutual consent”, and his last season in Spain in 12/13.
When compared with the last time Jose won a title – the 2014/2015 season at Stamford Bridge – he is four points behind his current tally at his new home in Stretford. Although it is still particularly early days in the season, when you compare this to both his and his new club’s fiercest rivals, Manchester City, it looks that bit more frightening.
Pep Guardiola’s City are six league games unbeaten, topping the table with a frightening 18 points. Last season, Pep went 15 weeks without losing a game. Looks like The Reds may need to buckle up for a bumpy ride.
United and Mourinho fans can take some comfort in the knowledge that his current season effort is still an improvement on last year. After six games he was up to just seven points, the worst of his managerial career to date.
He faces some tough fixtures in the coming weeks, including Europa League trips, a visit to Anfield and his old club Chelsea, and Manchester City again in the League Cup.
- Follow our weekly Jose Tracker to compare his progress with previous managerial efforts, and see how he is getting on at Manchester United.