Man Utd’s loss at the weekend to Watford marked three games on the trot where Mourinho’s team have failed to grab a single point.
Three successive defeats for the self-styled special chosen one, and an impending fixture with Northampton Town in the EFL Cup that has banana skin written all over it (the Cobblers famously knocked Liverpool out of the same competition back in 2010) will have the Portuguese maestro no doubt squirming in his seat.
Equally, Mourinho’s first foray into the world of the Manchester derby may well gain a position in the most iconic clashes between the two sides (and for all of the wrong reasons, as far as Jose is concerned).
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It’s still early days - even in the bonkers world of Premier League management - but to avoid being cast aside like those before him, what does Mourinho need to do in order to ensure he enjoys a reign like Fergie’s?
Here’s 7 things that should be on his to-do list:
1. Forget about the instant impact
Mourinho has historically made a seismic impact during the opening games of his previous managerial roles, but the opportunity to do so at Man Utd has long passed. He needs to focus on building a dynasty and creating a team that that will go on to become the best in the country. That takes time - look at how long it took Alex Ferguson to get up-to-speed.
2. Let the youngsters shine
Fergie proved you can do great things with kids in football, and Mourinho is lucky enough to have one of the best in the business in Marcus Rashford. He needs more players of that ilk and should both play and protect them in equal measure. The Rooney question also needs answering - quickly.
3. Keep his head
This may be difficult for a man who so publicly had a colossal spat with his team doctor while in charge at Chelsea, but in order to keep his seat at the head of the Utd table, Jose needs to keep things under control. Be respectful in interviews and avoid grievances with the FA, Jose.
4. Abandon that defensive mindset
Mourinho likes to defend. He enjoys grinding out results and, as a result, has always instilled a highly-defensive minded ethos in the teams he’s managed. That won’t work at Utd, and it won’t endear him to the Old Trafford faithful, either. From here on, it’s all about ‘attack, attack, attack’.
5. Experiment with the team and line up
Jose can be incredibly difficult to sway when it comes to changing formations and line-ups. At Chelsea, even when certain players were falling apart last season, he failed to ring the changes required. There are clearly players at Utd who are feeling the strain, and he needs to act now in order to avoid a similar catastrophic crash in his new job.
6. Spend wisely
Man Utd recently topped the earning charts, and have historically been pretty generous when it comes to transfer budgets. With all of that money sloshing around, poor spending could be an easy trap to fall into. Thankfully, Jose is pretty adept at spotting a bargain, but he needs to make sure those funds don’t go to his head. Questions over Pogba are a stark reminder of this fact.
7. Get them back in the Champions League
It has already been too long for Utd fans. Getting them back into the top tier of European football should be one of Mourinho’s highest priorities.
Can he do it?
Absolutely. Mourinho remains one of the most successful managers to grace this planet, but a shift in personality and removal of that quick-win mentality is needed if he is to reign for a considerable amount of time at Old Trafford.
This does assume, of course, that he wants to.