By Dave Marshal
For all of his managerial career, all the clubs that have employed Jose Mourinho have known that even with the success, he comes with a lot of baggage. From siege mentality to alienating top players to altercations with referees, the Portuguese is clearly a master of the dark arts. After a summer splurge and an exciting start to life at Old Trafford, the lines are not falling for the former Chelsea gaffer in pleasant places, as Manchester United sit sixth on the Premier League table, a whopping eleven points behind Chelsea.
Against West Ham on Sunday, the players huffed and puffed, with the game ultimately ending in a draw. The story of the night, however was not about the fourth consecutive home draw the club has managed, but by the actions of their manager. After the referee booked Paul Pogba for simulation, Mourinho kicked a water bottle in protest and was sent to the stands for his actions.
Few people will argue that Mourinho’s actions show a man that is passionate about lifting his team from the doldrums of mediocrity they are currently exhibiting, yet, it will get to a time the board of United may have to warn the 53 year old Portuguese about his on-pitch conduct. Former footballer and Arsenal legend, Martin Keown believes Mourinho’s conduct is against what the club stands for and could lead him to problems with his employers. Speaking on match of the Day 2, Keown said, “It is a massive ovverreaction. I don’t get it, he knows he’ll get sent off,” “He’s in a massive job there – he needs to keep that lid on things. “But their manager… the hierarchy at his football club will not be happy with the image he’s creating now at that football club.” he added, according to the Daily Star.
Over the years, Manchester United have been the model club, going about their business without much fuss. Apart from the occasional odd statement by any of their managers, the club has been a point of reference in how clubs conduct themselves, but Mourinho is slowly changing that impression. With lots of sponsors, United don’t want to be seen as antagonists to existing authorities.