Football Expert & Columnist
Jose Mourinho may have huge problem after losing Man Utd players, says Jamie Carragher
Carragher on Mourinho: "I think he may have a huge problem if he doesn't turn it around very quickly."
Last Updated: 02/10/18 11:14am
Speaking on Monday Night Football, Jamie Carragher delivered his verdict on Jose Mourinho and Manchester United, saying performances have been not far away from a "disgrace" and the manager may have a "huge problem" if things don't turn around quickly...
The last two Manchester United games I've seen live, in midweek in the Carabao Cup and what I saw at the weekend against West Ham, the performances were not far away from a disgrace.
What I saw at the weekend, every team will have a game like that this season, maybe two where your character and commitment get questioned. However, it might only happen once or twice a season. We've seen this now three or four times in 10 games under Jose Mourinho and that's the worrying thing.
I have no doubt, from his comments today in his press conference when he said some players are trying harder than others, that he's lost the dressing room. That's not rocket science, I don't even think that's that controversial a thing to say.
The problem with that is it's now the third time it has happened. It started at Real Madrid with Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos. When it happened at Chelsea it was Eden Hazard and other players there. Now there's talk of a group led by Paul Pogba at this club so there's no doubt there are massive problems there.
What tells me that first of all is when we look at the sprints from the weekend. Now, I could come on this show every Monday and say someone has to be bottom. But it's not so much that they are at the bottom, it's the fact that from the bottom team to the next bottom it's a huge gap.
Another big problem from being bottom is they were losing the game from very early on. You normally always run more when you are losing, especially after an early goal because you should be chasing the game.
They should be right at the top and if you actually look at the top, people may say the smaller teams do a lot of running because they don't have the ball. But look at Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea, they are still right at the top and they are teams that dominate possession.
There was an interview I read at the weekend with Rui Faria, Jose's former assistant. He was speaking about the players they had at Chelsea and whatever they said, those players - John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba - went with. He was saying about the difference in the players now, they think they know it all and they've always got an answer. So that's really Jose speaking as well.
I'm not speaking out of turn here. I had a conversation with Mourinho after he left Chelsea. He was manager at the Soccer Aid game, a charity game. It wasn't just me and him so I'm not betraying confidence. There were four or five people there. The big thing he said he learnt from the Chelsea exit was that you couldn't single out a player in a meeting in front of the other players because the players do not accept this now.
But it looks as if he has gone back to that or is still doing that at Manchester United. He's stripped Pogba of the captaincy, which I agreed with, but it sounds like it was in front of the players. The players don't want that now and that's why he has lost the dressing room, and it's not the first time.
I backed Mourinho at the start of the season with the [lack of signing a] centre-back. He should have got that.
I backed him last week over Pogba, and I'm not changing my tune over that. But this is the bigger picture and I think it's been mentioned of Mourinho, who I feel was the manager of the decade of the 2000s starting at Porto in 2003 with the UEFA Cup and finishing with the Champions League at Inter Milan.
People are rightly now asking is that football and style of management from 10 or 15 years ago, is it different now? Do you have to be different with the players? One of his former assistants is saying that. Also his style of football, no other top team at this moment is really playing the way Mourinho's side plays. Is it not conducive to the real top end of the modern game?
The other problem he's got, people keep saying it's the players or the manager? Mourinho is not a builder of two or three teams. Every club he's at he builds one team, it's very successful and then he moves on because his style of management is very confrontational. He's had success doing that but after three years I think everyone's burnt out - himself, the club and the players.
So if you are the Manchester United owner or CEO you are going to look at that and think Pogba, Anthony Martial, Alexis Sanchez and Eric Bailly, are we going to get rid of all them and keep a manager who never normally lasts more than three years at a club? Or are we going to keep the manager and change those players? You could imagine the financial hit the club would take to get rid of those players and bring new ones in.
So I think he's got a huge problem. I didn't think he'd be manager next season, I said that after the Tottenham game, but it may be quicker than that. And certainly with two international breaks coming, one in a couple of weeks and one later on, and with more difficult fixtures I think he may have a huge problem if he doesn't turn it around very quickly.
It doesn't bear thinking about for Mourinho and Manchester United if they were to lose to Valencia and Newcastle. It could become untenable then. But I actually feel they can win both of those games.
Another thing we should mention about this start to the season, Manchester United have not had a tough start on paper. They have only played Spurs at home out of the top six. But when we come back from the international break, starting with Chelsea and finishing with Manchester City, that's why you brought Jose Mourinho to your club, to win big games.
I think at the end of those run of fixtures, if they have bad results away at Chelsea and away at Manchester City, I think we will be a lot clearer about what could happen going forward. Because it is all very well saying that you can't get rid of the manager and who comes in, all these things, I have been at clubs myself where sometimes it gets that untenable and there is so much friction in the squad that something has to happen.
Unfortunately, and it sickens me to say it about players downing tools because I hate that, but it is always the manager who carries the can for that. That is what Jose Mourinho is paid big bucks for - to manage that squad.
And at the moment, he is not managing that squad.