Jose Mourinho has no excuses at Man Utd after what Mauricio Pochettino did

Backing, backing, backing. It is beginning to sound like a broken record when you analyse Jose Mourinho’s situation at United. Let’s make one thing clear, Mourinho has been backed since rocking up at Old Trafford in 2016. Only a lickspittle would deny that.

To date, Mourinho has spent more than £378m at United and not many managers in world football have had access to such transfer funds or such a huge wage bill.

Since Mourinho signed a new deal in January, though, the purse strings have been tightened. Jurgen Klopp, for example, has spent more than three times the amount Mourinho has this year but it is worth remembering Philippe Coutinho’s sale boosted his kitty significantly.

Mourinho would have expected United to go toe to toe with Liverpool and City in the transfer market in the summer and to push on further after the club’s highest league finish since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.

From his first press conference on United’s summer tour of the US, it was clear something was not right and Mourinho has never disguised his disappointment at not getting what he wanted: a quality centre-back and forward.

But that is an issue managers across the Premier League encounter every summer.

United should still be doing so much better – if Mourinho is really committed to proving he is not a third season syndrome manager rather than one that still speaks about past glories.

It makes agent Jorge Mendes’ recent assertion that ‘the club is very happy with him’ all the more laughable. Particularly when Mourinho stated he had no prior knowledge of it.

So many players are under performing and Mourinho’s record in the transfer market, once one of his strong points, means he faces a battle to get any further investment in January.

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To date, 11 players have arrived on Mourinho’s watch yet only one, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, has been a roaring success. His record signing, Paul Pogba, has been an unused substitute in the last two league games and that situation shows no sign of changing anytime soon. Let’s not even mention Fred.

The same applies to Mauricio Pochettino, who has been touted as Mourinho’s eventual successor, and it is worth remembering the Argentine did not sign a single player in the summer.

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Indeed, Pochettino has spent ‘just’ £257m since taking charge in north London and his success stories have not always been the players he signed; rather, it is the players he has brought through and improved.

That is what would make him such an attractive prospect to United chiefs. And what makes Mourinho’s plight all the more alarming.

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