Manchester United arguably had the best summer transfer window of all Premier League clubs, but could it be that the start of the Mourinho era at Old Trafford is a false dawn?
The Red Devils looked impressive against Stoke City on Sunday, but could only manage a point after Joe Allen cancelled out Anthony Martial’s ferocious opener. Jose Mourinho’s men are now sixth in the Premier League table, five points adrift of table toppers Manchester City.
Manchester United have collected 13 points from a possible 21 — three points fewer than the tally they had at this stage last season under Dutchman Louis van Gaal. However, this was the best stage of the competition for them last season. Man United were on top of the table for the first time since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson after gameweek seven of the 2015-16 season.
This lasted only for seven days though, as a 3-0 defeat to Arsenal initiated the downfall which eventually culminated in the sacking of Van Gaal.
Fans do have a right to be disappointed with the start to the new season. Jose Mourinho, who is himself among the top managers in world football, secured world class signings in Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the world’s most expensive player Paul Pogba.
The Red Devils were supposed to blaze their way past opponents from the get go and march to the top. Although there appeared to be signs that they would do exactly that in the early stages of the season, the Manchester City game came as a rude awakening.
United and Mourinho tasted their first defeat of the season and one week later, it was lowly Watford who smashed three goals past them to emerge as rightful winners.
Mourinho steadied the ship after that, with an impressive win against Leicester City, but the club will feel hard done after the recent draw against Stoke City.
As far as comparisons between Mourinho and Van Gaal go, the Portuguese manager is playing some good football. The results may not be perfect, but the team is looking entertaining and is playing offensive football again.
The Dutchman was vilified for the boring football his United team played, with low scoring games being a regular feature under him. Manchester United are yet to play a Premier League match this season without scoring a goal and this should give fans some hope for the future.