While many of us spend the weekend putting up the Christmas tree, decorating the house, or dodging frantic shoppers on the high street, there is one man who certainly isn’t in the festive mood. Jose Mourinho is under increasing pressure at Manchester United, and not even Santa himself can stop the rot at Old Trafford.
Jose has now won just one of his last eight league matches and Marouane Fellaini’s disastrous cameo last week against Everton has only added to United’s woes. The Belgian midfielder came on as a substitute on the 85th minute, conceded a penalty, got booked and cost United two points. It was the worst five minute performance since Tony from Accounts attempted the Dirty Dancing routine at the office party after a round of Sambuca.
After just 14 games Man United sit sixth on 21 points. Even at this early stage they are nine points off the top four and 13 behind Antonio Conte’s Chelsea who top the table. At the same stage Moyes had 22 points, Louis van Gaal had 25 points in his first season, and in his second campaign he had 28. The ghosts of managers past continue to haunt the self-proclaimed ‘Special One’.
It could get a whole lot worse on Sunday when Tottenham Hotspur travel to Old Trafford to face United. Spurs have only tasted defeat once this season – away to Chelsea – and are coming off the back of a thumping 5-0 win of Swansea. It’s hardly an ideal fixture for the Red Devils who also had the headache of having to travel to the Ukraine in the Europa League just two days ago. A defeat for Mourinho’s men on Sunday could potentially leave Man United 12 points off the Champions League places.
They have won just two of their last eight league games against Tottenham, and Mauricio Pochettino’s men will be buoyed by the return of in-form Harry Kane. The Englishman has now scored six goals in five games after missing six weeks with an ankle injury.
Yet the Paddy Power traders still have Mourinho’s side as the 11/10 favourites, with Tottenham available at 5/2. Maybe the effects of the Christmas party are still in full force, or maybe they’re just getting involved in the season of giving, but either way it looks like it could be a lovely bet for tomorrow.
Tottenham have the best defence in the top flight this year, conceding just 10 goals, and a 1-0 win for Spurs at 10/1 has caught our eye quicker than a fresh batch of mince pies. Forget goodwill this Christmas, Tottenham might be heaping a lot more misery on Manchester United fans tomorrow afternoon.