Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher believes it could take a few seasons for Jose Mourinho to guide his Manchester United side to the title.
Jose Mourinho‘s side sit in seventh spot after eight games, five points behind leaders Manchester City and three off fourth spot.
Gary Neville insisted earlier this week that Man United don’t have what it takes to win the title this year, likening them to his Chelsea side back in 2013.
Speaking on Sky Sports, Carragher expressed similar sentiments, insisting it would take some time for Mourinho to turn his side into title contenders.
“What Jose Mourinho has always done is make those three or four big signings – as he has done at Manchester United – plus the Mourinho effect. He is a world-class manager. That Mourinho effect pushes his players to the title,” Carragher said.
“Manchester United were fifth and fourth in the last two years. Maybe it is a case that it is a different job. It might take a bit longer than it has done in the past.
“Then you think of Mourinho’s shelf life being three years and the effect dwindles and he has moved on somewhere else.”
Football is – and always has been – governed by fine margins. Just five points separate Mourinho’s men from the seemingly untouchable Man City, and a couple of wins would, theoretically at least, see them rise to the top of the table.
Here we see the conflict between sensationalist punditry and reality at play. Modern football, on a technical level, is riddled with nuance, whilst those commenting on it deal in strict absolute statements (Mourinho cannot win the title this year, Pogba is a waste of money, and so on).
It ought to be acknowledged that the season is still in its nascent stages, and with no team – except for Arsenal, who just end up collapsing by about February anyway – yet to fully hit their stride, anything is possible.