Moody, dejected and miserable. These are just a handful of the superlatives you could use to describe the apparent mood of Jose Mourinho since pre-season began. The Portuguese coach has been as unjoyful as ever since his Manchester United team got back from their summer break, but is his distinct downbeat attitude a disguised calling card to those in the seats upstairs at Old Trafford? I believe so.
Bridging the gap
The red half of Manchester returned to their Carrington training base earlier this month off the back of being well beaten to the Premier League title by their neighbours in the previous campaign. This has perhaps left Jose Mourinho under as much pressure as he may have ever had during his time as a manager.
The Portuguese boss is set to enter his third campaign with United and now a large portion of fans wish to see some obvious progress, not to mention some positive performances to go with any success.
Many believe that in order to bridge the gap between United and City, Mourinho needs to ship out the deadwood in place of new and improved recruits. A sound logic, especially when you consider some of the questionable personnel currently in the Old Trafford ranks. A recruitment drive seems to be something Mourinho is in agreement with, however, his early pre-season interviews have painted the picture of a frustrated figure.
A solemn and dejected “I don’t know” was his response when questioned whether any more signings would be coming in before the end of the transfer window. Not quite the promise Manchester United fans hoped for after a summer that hasn’t been overly glamourous thus far, but was anyone really surprised by his blunt response?
Dismal and dejected
So far, Brazilian midfielder Fred, young Portuguese full back Diogo Dalot and unlikely 35-year-old goalkeeper Lee Grant have been added to the squad. Of these, Fred seems to be the only signing which has got the fans at least a bit excited. Fans have grown frustrated with the clubs lack of business and understandably so, but the man in the hot seat at Old Trafford seems to be equally as annoyed.
His open and public admittance to this has been met with criticism; many arguing he should offer more hope for those who listen so intently. But the likelihood is that he is providing a dismal and dejected view on the transfer window as a subliminal message to his board members and a certain CEO, Mr Ed Woodward. And not for the first time.
Mourinho will have undoubtedly identified his targets a long time ago, most likely when his squad began to flounder last season at the half way stage. With that, he will have notified the men in suits tasked with running the club well in advance, explaining that all his targets have not been already wrapped up.
His dower attitude and frank disappointment will almost certainly be a ploy to heap the blame on the board and Ed Woodward in a hope they will succumb to the pressure that will come their way. A tactic Mourinho deploys all too well.
Not being flavour of the month among fans and critics has never been anything that phases the Portuguese boss and the displeasure his comments have caused certainly won’t keep him awake at night. What could potentially stir his 40 winks, however, is his squad’s inability to topple rivals City, in a time where he is under immense pressure to turn expectation into results.