Jose Mourinho’s third season at Manchester United has been his worst yet, with the club having their worst start for 29 years. The Red Devils’ 3-1 loss away to West Ham United left the club in 10th place with 10 points and a worse goal difference than the team which started sluggishly under David Moyes, who was sacked before the end of his first season after taking over from Sir Alex Ferguson.
The end of October sees Mourinho travel to his former club Chelsea to try to get United’s season back on track and in online betting, Chelsea are the favourites to win, priced at 4/6. Regarded for many years as the “Special One”, Mourinho has carved out an impressive managerial career. Let’s take a look at what made United’s manager the “Special One”.
- 2004/05 Football League Cup – Liverpool 2-3 Chelsea
Mourinho was appointed as Chelsea manager in June 2004 on a three year contract and it didn’t take him long to claim his first trophy, winning the 2005 League Cup. They defeated Liverpool 3-2 in the final, but the Reds were able to take Chelsea to extra time before eventually capitulating. John Terry was the star for the Blues, picking up the Man of the Match award.
- 2004/05 Premier League – Champions
Chelsea won their first top flight domestic title in 50 years, as Mourinho led them to the 2004/05 Premier League title. They broke the record for the most points, with 95, but this has since been surpassed by Manchester City, who stormed to success last season. One record that still stands today is for the fewest goals conceded, as Chelsea managed to concede just 15 goals in the 04/05 season.
- 2005 FA Community Shield – Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea
Chelsea kicked off the following season by adding the Community Shield to their trophy haul following a 2-1 win against Arsenal. Didier Drogba put in a man of the match performance scoring twice.
- 2005/06 Premier League – Champions
Under Mourinho, Chelsea were the runaway leaders, successfully defending their Premier League title, finishing with 91 points. This victory marked Mourinho’s fourth domestic trophy as Chelsea manager.
- 2006/07 Football League Cup – Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal
Despite the speculation surrounding Mourinho’s future at the club, he led them to another League Cup title. The final saw Didier Drogba named Man of the Match, after scoring a brace in a 2-1 win over London rivals Arsenal.
- 2006/07 FA Cup – Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United
Mourinho led Chelsea to a 1-0 victory over Manchester United in the FA Cup final, which was being held in the newly rebuilt Wembley Stadium for the first time. In defeating Manchester United, Mourinho claimed his first FA Cup title, and it meant he had secured all domestic trophies available to a Premier League manager. Mourinho then left Chelsea by mutual consent at the start of the following season on September 20th.
- 2014/15 Football League Cup – Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham
The first trophy in Mourinho’s second spell at the club was the 2015 League Cup, after defeating Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in the final. This was Chelsea’s fifth League Cup title and club captain John Terry scored the opening goal, resulting in him being awarded the Man of the Match.
- 2014/15 Premier League – Champions
Chelsea secured their 4th Premier League title after beating Crystal Palace with three games to spare. They lost just three games all season and Mourinho was subsequently named as the Premier League Manager of the season. Following losing 9 of the opening 16 fixtures of the following season, Mourinho again parted ways with Chelsea via mutual consent.
- 2016 FA Community Shield – Leicester City 1-2 Manchester United
In May 2016, Mourinho joined Premier League rivals Manchester United, his first job following a controversial final few months at Chelsea, which culminated in his sacking in December 2015. Shortly after joining FA Cup winners United, he won the 2016 Community Shield, defeating Leicester City, the Premier League champions.
- 2016/2017 Football League Cup – Manchester United 3-2 Southampton
After a 3-2 aggregate win against Hull City, Mourinho’s Manchester United team reached the League Cup final. They travelled to Wembley to face off against a Southampton side who were impressing in the Premier League. United won 3-2 courtesy of a goal from Jesse Lingard and a brace from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, earning him the Man of the Match award. In winning the League Cup, Mourinho became the first United manager to win a major trophy in his debut season.
- 2017 UEFA Europa League – Ajax 0-2 Manchester United
The Europa League final saw Manchester United take on Dutch club Ajax at the Friends Arena in Solna, Sweden. United secured a 2-0 win thanks to a deflected goal from Paul Pogba and a close range finish from Henrikh Mkhitaryan. In winning the title, United joined Ajax, Juventus, Bayern Munich and Chelsea in being the only teams to have won the Champions League, Europa League and UEFA Super Cup.
Despite winning these trophies at United, he has become a divisive figure, with his outspoken remarks on some of the players leading to rifts within the squad. Clashes with Paul Pogba, Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial have damaged Mourinho’s position at the club, and the Portuguese is the current favourite to be the next Premier League manager to leave.
Given that the value of the players he’s clashed with exceeds £100 million, the United board may be more inclined to sack Mourinho, rather than lose their top talent. Mourinho needs to win over the board, the fans and the players if he is to survive past the cursed 3rd season. It’s looking bleak for the manager at the moment, but if he can motivate his team to a win over Chelsea, it could be the turning point for himself and the club.