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Manuel Pellegrini insists Jose Mourinho is still a top manager

by Leo Nieboer

West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini has insisted that Jose Mourinho is still a “top manager” despite Manchester United’s tumultuous start to the 2018/19 season.

The 55-year-old’s side have only won once at home this season and received widespread criticism for how they performed in their League Cup defeat to Derby County.

Another defeat to West Ham, yet to win at home in the Premier League under Pellegrini, would send Man United spiralling further into a state of crisis.

But the former Manchester City boss, speaking earlier today, was adamant that Mourinho still deserves to be recognised as one of the greats.

“Everyone changes over the years,” he said. “I think Jose continues to be a top manager. He’s had a brilliant career.”

Seeing Mourinho like this is hard because, once upon a team, he really was at the pinnacle of management. He won the Champions League with Porto and Inter Milan, neither of which were anywhere near being favourites for the competition.

He came to the Premier League and knocked both Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson down a few pegs. At his best, he is irresistibly good.

Right now, though, we are experiencing the other side of Mourinho: infighting, tactical dysfunction, failing to win games, general misery. Other managers may respect him but they will know – and tell their players – that he is not the man who once dominated club football.

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