Former England international Alan Shearer believes Jose Mourinho will leave Manchester United before Paul Pogba does.
The Red Devils were dealt another blow on Sunday as Liverpool triumphed 3-1 at Anfield, widening the gap between clubs to 19 points in the Premier League.
Who will last longer: Pogba or Mourinho? Five things to know…
- Both manager and player have come in for heavy criticism this season, with United currently languishing in sixth.
- There is reportedly a fractious relationship between Pogba and Mourinho, with the pair captured in a heated training ground exchange earlier this season.
- Pogba has not started in three league matches, and played no part in the defeat against Liverpool.
- United have looked bereft of ideas in recent weeks, and sit 11 points off the top four, with many believing he is “clinging on” at Old Trafford.
- Defeat against the Reds condemned the club to their worst league start for 28 years, and will likely lead to the exit of either Pogba or Mourinho come the end of the season, if not before.
Mourinho’s men were run ragged by a well-oiled Liverpool machine, letting in three goals, which now means they have conceded 29 already this term, more than they let in for the entirety of the 2017-18 campaign.
The result will only fuel speculation of a departure for either the intensely under-fire Mourinho, or the inconsistent Pogba, and Shearer believes it will be the former who will part company first.
“We’re about to see who runs the football club,” he said on Match of the Day 2.
“We’ll see in January if they give the manager any money to spend.
“My guess is, they didn’t give him what he wanted in the summer, why’s that going to change in January?
“So probably the player [wins]. There’s a lot of work to be doing to that team to get them anywhere near challenging again.
“If they didn’t back him in the summer, he wanted other players to come in, why would they back him in January?”
Third season syndrome?
It was Monday 17 December 2015, just three days after Chelsea had lost 2-1 to Leicester City when the club wielded the axe and got rid of Mourinho, and the Portuguese faces a similar predicament at present.
The fact that Mourinho has never managed a football club for more than three seasons will serve as a pretty strong indication of where career at Old Trafford is heading.
The 55-year-old has twice left Chelsea during his third year at the club after disagreements with the hierarchy, and he faced a similar problem during his time with Real Madrid.
History now appears to be repeating itself as Mourinho’s time in the north-west looks to be hanging on by a thread, and Man Utd legend Gary Neville believes it is just a matter of time.
He said on Sky Sports (via BBC Sport): “I think it will happen – my preference would always be to get to the end of the season. But the board room is so naive it’s unbelievable.
“The minute he [Mourinho] came back from pre-season he was at it and the club was out of control. Nobody above him can handle him. They don’t know what to do with him, they don’t know what to say to him. They don’t know what he’s going to say at every press conference. It will cost a fortune to lose him now.”
The club next face an away trip to Cardiff on Saturday.
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