Manchester United played host to Stoke City in week 7 of the 16/17 Premier League campaign, a side which had not picked up a point at Old Trafford since December 1980.
As Mark Hughes said ahead of the game: “Records are there to be broken”. Although his side did not manage a win, they did hold Jose Mourinho’s side to a 1-1 draw to break that particular 36-year-old trend.
This draw saw United reach 13 points out of a total 21 for the season, making this campaign Mourinho’s third worst start as a Manager. That includes the shambolic few months he had at Chelsea in 15/16, where he found himself just one point above the relegation zone after 16 games and was eventually sacked in December.
In the seasons at Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Chelsea where Jose went on to win a title, he has never recorded a start as poor as the one he is currently experiencing at Old Trafford.
Chelsea’s 2014/15 season was Mourinho’s last title win. At this stage of the season, he had dropped just two points. This is more than Pep Guardio’s league-leading side Manchester City, who are currently on 18 points.
Usually, it would be fair to give a gaffer some leeway when taking over a new club. We could describe it – or dress it up – as a transitional period. The truth is, The Special One’s debut season record is pretty extraordinary.
In his first full seasons at Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan Mourinho ensured his teams topped the table of their respective leagues.
Team – first season league position
Chelsea : 1st
Inter Milan: 1st
Real Madrid: 2nd
Chelsea (return in 2013): 3rd
United fans may take some comfort in the knowledge that Mourinho finished runner-up in his first season at Real Madrid. This was behind Pep Guardiola’s formidable Barcelona side. It took him until his second season in charge to lift the La Liga trophy.
Regardess of 65% possession and 24 shots on goal, Jose’s side will need to pull a little bit more out of the bag to rectify his struggling record and get back on track to win the Premier League.