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Gary Neville: Jose Mourinho faces the biggest challenge of his career

by Leo Nieboer

Gary Neville believes Jose Mourinho faces the toughest test of his Manchester United career following his side’s humiliation at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur on Monday night.

Man United begun the game well but, in similar fashion to their defeat at Brighton, crumbled miserably after conceding the first goal, losing 3-0 in the end following a second half capitulation.

The fallout from the affair will drag on for some time, with Mourinho facing the possibly impossible task of dragging this team out of its tactical slump.

Speaking on Sky Sports after the game, Neville insisted Mourinho faces the biggest task of his career to date.

“The manager is always the one where the buck stops and Jose Mourinho has been the most successful manager in football in the last 20 years, along with Pep Guardiola, and he’s going through a difficult moment over a couple of seasons,” he said.

“This is the biggest task he’s ever had in his life in football and he’s got to come out of it.

“I look at the squad and the team and I’m not sure what the best XI is, what the best strike force is, I’m not sure there’s a back four there. “You are just going to have to back certain players and
go with them and stick with it, rather than changing it every single game.

“The buck stops with the manager and I have to say, at the moment, it doesn’t look a balanced outfit there at all.”

This is the lowest Mourinho has ever been at United, and yet he’s very much been here before.

The omens are worryingly similar to that miserable third campaign at Chelsea in 2015: the mounting frustration, the lack of personnel, the paranoia, the sense of flimsiness at the heart of defence which feels so unlike Mourinho you cannot help but feeling there is something truly rotten at the very core.

United have not conceded as many goals in their first three league games in 49 years. This is their worst start to a Premier League season since 1992. This was the first time Mourinho, in almost 18 years of management, had lost by three goals at home.

When those stats start cropping up, the overriding conclusion one makes is that United are heading for implosion, rather than any kind of resurgence.

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