Jose Mourinho predicted his Manchester United struggle more than two years ago, it has emerged.
The Special One has become the Troubled One at Old Trafford after a summer of turmoil in the United States and a shock defeat to Brighton last weekend.
Mourinho has clashed with the club’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward over a lack of transfer activity that left him with a sub-standard playing squad.
The players he has at his disposal have also given him headaches with Paul Pogba flirting with a move to Barcelona and Anthony Martial’s future up in the air in Manchester.
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But this nightmare scenario should come as no surprise to Mourinho.
The media have often referred to the Portuguese as suffering from ‘third-season syndrome’ and he is being beaten with that stick again as he begins his third campaign at United.
However, it was a conversation with former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher following his second sacking by Chelsea that prophesied his current plight.
Carragher, writing in his column for the Daily Telegraph, recalled a conversation with Mourinho in the aftermath of his Stamford Bridge axing.
“Mourinho once told me after losing his job at Chelsea how he could see how management was evolving, players no longer receptive or tolerant to criticism even behind closed doors,” Carragher wrote. “Power has eroded even for the most formidable of managers.
“It may offer a clue as to the problem he has now, in a dressing room with an ego the size of Paul Pogba’s, who like so many modern players (see Yaya Toure when he was at Manchester City) embarrassingly seems more interested in being loyal to his agent than the club he captains.
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“We know what Ferguson would do. He got rid of Pogba when he was a teenager because he knew it was more hassle than the talent was worth. He will not be surprised by the recent turn of events.”
“Surely to play for #MUFC week in, week out is a privilege?” @RobbieSavage8 questions whether José Mourinho's players should take more responsibility for the discontent around Old Trafford👇#BBC606 pic.twitter.com/mxWrCAABA6
— BBC 5 Live Sport (@5liveSport) August 25, 2018
Mourinho faces another huge test on Bank Holiday Monday when Mauricio Pochettino brings Tottenham to town in the Premier League.
Pochettino was previously linked with the United hotseat, however Carragher fears Mourinho might struggled to get in the frame for big jobs if he leaves Manchester.
Carragher added: “No other team in the Premier League’s top six would pursue him.
“Real Madrid and Barcelona are no longer realistic options, nor Juventus. I don’t believe PSG would take him at the moment.”