Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORT -

Pres­sure mounts on ManU boss

MANCH­ESTER, Eng­land (AP): OSÉ MOUR­INHO has cut an un­happy fig­ure dur­ing Manch­ester United’s first wob­ble in his time at Old Traf­ford. The smile has gone. The an­swers in in­ter­views are get­ting shorter. His list of tar­gets for crit­i­cism is get­ting longer. He is even start­ing to feel sorry for him­self.

“The worst man­ager in the his­tory of foot­ball,” Mour­inho said of him­self sar­cas­ti­cally yes­ter­day.

Three losses in nine days led to widespread crit­i­cism of Mour­inho’s man­age­ment style and the make-up of his United team. Beat­ing third-tier club Northamp­ton in the English League Cup on Wed­nes­day gave Mour­inho some brief respite, but there will be more scru­tiny if United loses at home to Le­ices­ter in the Premier League to­day.

Mour­inho won his first four games in charge of United, but the hon­ey­moon pe­riod is over and he in­sisted he was “up­set with noth­ing” and was a “lucky guy”, say­ing his only gripe was what he per­ceived as un­fair crit­i­cism of his play­ers from out­siders.

“But with me, it’s fine, and with the Ein­steins, it’s fine,” he added. “They can speak, they can write, they can crit­i­cise the work of other peo­ple, but I am a good man.”

JYet, it was Mour­inho who was crit­i­cis­ing United play­ers Luke Shaw, Hen­rikh Mkhi­taryan and Jesse Lin­gard af­ter poor per­for­mances or in­di­vid­ual mis­takes dur­ing re­cent matches. Mour­inho was the same with some of his Chelsea play­ers dur­ing his sec­ond spell at Stam­ford Bridge.

One player he con­tin­ues to sup­port is cap­tain Wayne Rooney, who has taken the brunt of crit­i­cism dur­ing United’s poor run.

“Wayne Rooney’s form is like Man United form. We are a team; we are not Wayne Rooney,” Mour­inho said. “Af­ter the very good start, we were guilty to raise the ex­pec­ta­tions of the peo­ple. Then we lost three matches in a week, where we were not con­sis­tent. We didn’t play well for 90 min­utes.”

Mour­inho has a big call to make on Rooney, who was the only first-team reg­u­lar to play the full 90 min­utes against Northamp­ton. That means he might be left out for a match against Le­ices­ter that comes less than 72 hours later.

Mour­inho said An­thony Mar­tial will miss the Le­ices­ter game be­cause of calf and an­kle prob­lems sus­tained in the 3-1 loss at Wat­ford on Sun­day.


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