Clock is ticking on Jose’s tenure as Spurs run riot at Old Trafford

It was predictable that Tottenham fans would mock Jose Mourinho with chants of “sacked in the morning” but it’s increasingly looking like a question of when rather than if after another humiliating experience, writes Jonathan Smith

Clock is ticking on Jose’s tenure as Spurs run riot at Old Trafford

It was predictable that Tottenham fans would mock Jose Mourinho with chants of “sacked in the morning” but it’s increasingly looking like a question of when rather than if after another humiliating experience, writes Jonathan Smith

Three games into the season, Manchester United have lost as many games as Champions Manchester City in the entire of last campaign and the manager no looks closer to having a settled team than he was when he first took the job just over two years ago.

Mourinho wouldn’t call out individuals after the dreadful defeat at Brighton and he gave even less away at his miserable, monosyllabic prematch press conference on Friday. But his teamsheet spoke loudly about who he thought was at fault for that shocking loss.

He made six changes from the 3-2 defeat and United’s starting XI reverted back to a pragmatic lineup synonymous with his recent managerial career.

Gone was the attacking flair of Anthony Martial and Juan Mata replaced by the more reliable and resilient hard work of the returning Nemanja Matic and Antonio Valencia.

Centre-halves Eric Bailley and Victor Lindelof were out, replaced by the much-maligned English pairing of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling. While he made the curious decision of ditching Ashley Young and playing Ander Herrera as a makeshift rightback.

That last decision backfired dreadfully. His positioning was poor throughout the game and his lack of experience was horribly exposed for the second goal when he was five yards behind the rest of his players.

With United short of attacking options, he offered no threat as an overlapping fullback and his quickest movement was to the dugout when he was mercifully taken off in the second half.

With both sides goalless at the break, Mauricio Pochettino made the most of his interval and his team emerged with belief and swagger, realising that United were there for the taking.

That Kane opener punctured all of United’s belief and a Lucas Moura’s first soon followed and they should have had more.

Marouane Fellaini inevitably came on with Mourinho depressingly falling back on the tactic of hitting the big Belgian to try to rescue a result.

Sadly the Portuguese coach doesn’t seem able to unlock the quality of Paul Pogba, who was so potent in France’s triumph at the World Cup. He played in a slightly freer role alongside Fred with the safety of Matic behind but he flitted between brilliance and diabolical. A stunning 20-yard strike drifted inches off target with Hugo Lloris stretching desperately while he held off Moussa Dembele with strength only to roll the ball over the touchline five yards away.

The contrast between the two dugouts couldn’t be greater.

Mourinho, a manager under pressure, complaining about a lack of transfers, seemingly falling out with much of his dressing room and reverting back to a more defensive step.

His potential heir to the throne Pochettino meanwhile accepted no new arrivals in the summer, welcomed back three players who seemed to be on their way out in the summer goes with an attacking lineup at Tottenham’s least productive Premier League away ground.

One of those three - Toby Alderweired, had Mourinho had his way would have been wearing a red shirt last night.

Another, Dembele still has plenty to offer in midfield and dovetailed easily with the hard-running of Christian Eriksen and Dele All with Eric Dier for protection.

But it says everything about the two managers approaches that Pochettino is seen to be warmly welcoming players back while Mourinho is ditching his - and the board don’t have the belief to back him.

Old Trafford emptied quickly after Lucas Moura’s second. With three weeks until United’s next home game, it may be their final glance of Mourinho as a United manager.

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