Mourinho-Pogba Conundrum and the Looming Manchester Nightmare
Once again, Jose Mourihno is failing to sail through the
stormy sea Manchester United find themselves. The “Mourihno-third-season syndrome”—the
syndrome of breaking into total chaos and failing to succeed in his third
season in charge—is looming dimly on the manager.
Frustrated by the lack of sufficient transfer at the “Theater
of Dreams”, Mourihno may have been right in predicting a difficult season
ahead; but one would doubt that he was expecting it to be as worse and as
hectic as it is turning out to be: three defeats out the opening seven matches,
a defeat to Derby County, which saw them kicked out of the Carabao Cup from the
very first round, the growing uncertainties in the dressing room, etc. In fact,
even the most optimistic Man. U. fans would hardly expect things to go any better
in the near future. And there are many reasons to reasonably believe so.
First, the obvious “Mourihno-third-season syndrome” seems to
have taken firm old on him once again. Like a delirious captain who loses all
sense of direction in a boundless yet restless sea, Mourihno seems to never
find himself at fault, but keeps blaming his crews. Yet that strategy of
condemning others when things go wrong has not been working, and only sheer wishful
thinking would induce one to hope that it might work now.
Second, the “Mourihno-Pogba Conundrum” is an equally
troubling issue. By now, it has become clear that there is little to no chance
for the two to work together, which in no way helps matters at Man U. thus the
club finds itself in a very difficult situation, the dilemma of choosing to throw
it support on either the player or the manager. Ideally, however, Manchester
United could simply get rid of both. Yet that would be practically
nigh-impossible and financially disastrous. So what to do?
In the short-term, Mourihno seems to have an upper hand in
the sense that he could do without Pogba. Should the team get better results
without him, he may be sold in the January window. Should such an attempt fail,
however, that would ultimately mark the end of Mourihno’s reign at the (used to
be) “European capital of trophies”.
For now though, Manchester United may have to deal with a
looming nightmare in the weeks to come.