Sport Premier League 2018-19: Mourinho and Man United face a battle to stay relevant

10:20  09 august  2018
10:20  09 august  2018 Source:   goal.com

Mourinho 'very happy' with United squad, claims Herrera

  Mourinho 'very happy' with United squad, claims Herrera Jose Mourinho's comments on transfers have not disrupted the Manchester United dressing room, as Ander Herrera believas his boss is happy.Ander Herrera believes Jose Mourinho is happy with his Manchester United squad, despite the manager's apparent transfer frustrations.

Manchester United 's fixtures for the 2018 / 19 season have been announced. Jose Mourinho will be paying particular attention to matches against local rivals Manchester City as his side push for a first league title in six seasons. Premier League summer transfer targets. 16 show all.

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jose mourinho - cropped: Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho © Provided by Goal Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho

Disquieting news conferences are nothing new with Jose Mourinho. Even during his heyday with Porto, Chelsea and Inter, they were usually cold, beguiling encounters, a glance into the war room of a calculating general.

But where once there was intrigue, now there is bitterness and boredom. Mourinho's latest 20-minute diatribe in the United States came after weeks of frustration, in which he rattled off barbs at Liverpool, Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba, Antonio Valencia, young players and the transfer window, like some vitriolic Gatling gun with a stuck trigger.

Mourinho unsure about the future of Anthony Martial

  Mourinho unsure about the future of Anthony Martial Jose Mourinho has said that he is unsure whether French winger Anthony Martial will re-join Manchester United in Manchester following the conclusion of their pre-season tour of the United States. United wrapped up their International Champions Cup campaign against Real Madrid in Miami with goals from Alexis Sanchez and Ander Herrera proving enough to earn their first victory of the tour in normal time. However, in the post-match interview, when pressed on the future of Anthony Martial, Mourinho claimed he ”did not know”what the future held for him. Martial, who started the friendlies against Club America and San Jose Earthquakes, was granted leave so he could attend the birth of his second child; but did not return. Moreover, he has made it clear he does see his long-term future at Old Trafford. Mourinho has made it clear that he believes Martial should have returned to the tour and when asked about the Frenchman’s return, he could give no assurances and said he was uncertain if he would join the team ahead of the Premier League opener against Leicester . In addition, reports emerged this morning that Jose Mourinho will fine Martial two weeks wages for his continued absence.

Manchester United fixtures Premier League 2018 - 19 : Jose Mourinho 's side start season at home to Manchester United begin the 2018 - 19 Premier League season against Leicester United travel to City in November for the first derby before a reverse in March

Tottenham fixtures Premier League 2018 - 19 : Spurs face Moaning Mourinho and his United players arrive back from Munich Pre-season Lukaku answers Mourinho 's call to cut short holiday and return to Man United training Was due to miss the opening game against Leicester on August 10.

You might have noticed the military theme by now. That's because Mourinho and Manchester United are gearing up for a fight: a fight to stay relevant in a modern gung-ho game as their rivals threaten to vanish over the horizon. And it seems Mourinho knows it.

Of course, this is Mourinho's 'Dreaded Third Season' at United, the time at which his apparent revenge mission on the world takes its toll – at least, if you ignore his third terms at Porto and Inter, when he became a hero by winning the Champions League. But if there are any fears about him bringing down the walls around him this year, it's only because he has spent the last 12 months chipping away at the foundations.

It seems remarkable that only a year has passed since he said he had "never worked with a group I like as much" as his United squad. Since then, his public sniping at his players has sounded like a game of Excuses Bingo: Luke Shaw, Pogba, Luke Shaw, Martial, Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw again have all been brought up when deflective tactics were needed. Even Valencia, expected to succeed Michael Carrick as permanent club captain, had his recent injury blamed on him taking too much holiday.

I'm going to enjoy season – Mourinho happy with United side despite transfer frustration

  I'm going to enjoy season – Mourinho happy with United side despite transfer frustration No new faces arrived at Manchester United before Thursday's transfer deadline but Jose Mourinho is ready to enjoy the 2018-19 season.Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho insisted he is happy with his squad heading into the Premier League season, despite the club's failure to meet his transfer demands.

The 27th Premier League campaign will begin on the weekend of 11/12 August 2018 - just 27 days after the World Cup final - and end on Sunday 12 May 2019. Jose Mourinho and United will learn the Reds' Premier League calendar for 2018 / 19 on Thursday at 09:00 BST.

Premier League 2018 - 19 : Rafa Benitez's side face tough start with Tottenham, Chelsea and Man Newcastle United begin the 2018 - 19 Premier League season against Tottenham Rafa Benitez's side also face Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal in first five

"This is not my squad," Mourinho protested after United's 4-1 International Champions Cup loss to Liverpool. Sometimes it's difficult to know who is, or who even wants to be.

That's the other problem with modern Mourinho: his pulling power has waned. Even just two years ago, it was enough to tempt the best players from Italy, France and Germany to join a United side with no Champions League football, although Ed Woodward's dip into the club's coffers no doubt helped persuade Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan to join.

The latter two have left, Pogba has had a rare taste of life on the bench, and it's hard to see where the next marquee arrivals will come from. Mourinho has been very clear about wanting two new players but, despite his continually strong track record on United's commercial front line, Woodward has looked unable to deliver beyond the deals for Fred, Diogo Dalot and Lee Grant.

I'm going to enjoy season – Mourinho happy with United side despite transfer frustration

  I'm going to enjoy season – Mourinho happy with United side despite transfer frustration No new faces arrived at Old Trafford before Thursday's transfer deadline but the Red Devils boss is ready to enjoy the 2018-19 seasonManchester United manager Jose Mourinho insisted he is happy with his squad heading into the Premier League season, despite the club's failure to meet his transfer demands.

PREMIER LEAGUE managers are under more pressure than ever – but who will stay and who will go? Premier League managers ranked by likelihood of leaving before 2018 / 19 . Man Utd transfer news: Jose Mourinho identifies six midfield targets.

Anthony Martial's unknown future at United may have once again ignited Man United 's quest for an attacking pro. Mourinho seems to have l If you want this guy to stay type yes But if u dont type no #PAUL_POGBA.

The Gareth Bale rumours stopped surprisingly quickly this time, and speculation of a bid for Mateo Kovacic, set to join Chelsea on loan, was met by claims the midfielder does not fancy playing the Mourinho way. It means United head into Friday's Premier League opener against Leicester City with no upgrades on converted 30-something wingers as full-backs, nothing to bolster central defence or the wide attacking positions, and the likelihood that Matteo Darmian and Anthony Martial will have to start despite wanting to leave.

The concerns are magnified by the way their rivals have strengthened. Manchester City added Riyad Mahrez to a record-breaking side that finished 19 points above United, while Chelsea jettisoned the tired Antonio Conte to bring in bold, brash Maurizio Sarri and Jorginho, the midfielder who embodies his style. Arsenal finally look like a team with a plan under Unai Emery, having accepted Emirates Stadium would not collapse into rubble if Arsene Wenger were removed. And while Jurgen Klopp might have abandoned his principles by spending close to £200m in this window, he has strengthened every one of the weak points of a team that played a Champions League final three months ago. Well, at least that brought a smile from Mourinho.

United still have time to buy and are not bereft of quality – let's not forget that last term's haul of 81 points was the most they have managed in the Premier League since Alex Ferguson bowed out.

And yet, that feels like part of the problem: Mourinho's United are doing just enough, taking baby-steps back towards the summit. An EFL Cup, a Europa League and a second-place finish over two years might ward off the sack, but it should not feel adequate for this club, or this manager. It never used to.

The fear is now that, unless Mourinho abandons his grouching and rallies his troops to his cause, 2018-19 will be another season where he and United are talked of in terms of what they were, and how long ago those glory days seem to be.

Mourinho faces more controversy over plans to get rid of Martial .
Jose Mourinho’s ongoing efforts to move on the unsettled Anthony Martial has become a public dispute between the United boss and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward. According to the Daily Star, Mourinho has pleaded with Ed Woodward to sell Anthony Martial before the European transfer window concludes next week, feeling he is not of sufficient quality for the United side and selling the winger would fund moves in the new year. Woodward begs to differ. Believing that agreeing to sell Martial would show the club made a huge mistake after signing him from AS Monaco for a reported £58 million. The United manager has raised many questions about the club’s transfer activity, especially after losing to Liverpool in pre-season, where expressed how the board and Woodward failed to sign any of summer targets. Whether or not Anthony Martial remains a United player at the end of August is unclear, but if Mourinho continues to cross swords with the those behind the scenes then he may have to worry about his own departure.

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