It has been clear to see the discontent amongst the United fan base since the team flew out to the US for their pre-season tour. Three games (including a 4-1 loss to arch rivals Liverpool) later, and the tense relationship between Mourinho, the fans and the players has only grown.
With a number of questionable comments in his press conferences over in the States, Mourinho is not beating around the bush when making it clear that he does not value the club’s young stars as first team quality, while heaping pressure on the senior players to make an early return from their customary three week break after the World Cup.
Many are beginning to wonder if this is the beginning of Mourinho’s third year syndrome, a pattern that has followed the manager throughout his career which sees his managerial style begin to unravel, and in the past has ultimately lead to his departure from clubs.
But fear not, with influential characters in Jesse Lingard, Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku all returning for United, this could be the turning point of what was a bleak pre-season tour for the Portuguese boss.
A World Cup winner and a fan favourite at Old Trafford, Pogba’s confidence will be sky high, which Mourinho should look to utilise at United.
The Leicester game may come too early for Pogba as he looks to step up his fitness, but it has been proven just how vital he is to any midfield with his performances in the World Cup.
With the signing of Fred, Pogba is bound to be given a freer role which he will thrive off, as he did in Russia. The Frenchman is one of several key players returning to the club this week, as Jesse Lingard is set to follow him.
Lingard had a wonderful summer with the England squad as they lifted a nation and he too will want to replicate this form with United. His creativity was clear for all to see and with Lukaku’s finishing improving year upon year, the United faithful can potentially expect a heap of goals this season, which has been severely lacking in recent campaigns.
Forward players Rashford, Lukaku and defender Lindelof have all broken their contract agreement to please their boss and return to the club early. Returning early from their holidays will not only please Mourinho but will also be a relief to the fans as they see their star players return and their manager calmer.
Rashford has had his ups and downs at Old Trafford since his breakthrough in 2016. A lack of starts last season had linked the youngster with a move away from his hometown club, but his early return only proves that he is willing to fight for his place and carry on completing his dreams at United.
Lukaku had some brilliant performances in the World Cup, most noticeably against Brazil, as he showed power, skill and technique with the only pity being the fact he didn’t cap the game off with a goal. It is clear that working alongside Thierry Henry with the Belgium national side has developed Lukaku’s game, as the powerful forward has always shown a desire to improve his game.
Mourinho can also look forward to the return of Ashley Young and Marouane Fellaini who will both return from their holidays this week, which means United’s boss can work with a full squad ahead of his sides opener with Leicester City at Old Trafford on August 10.
A bleak and downbeat pre-season could result with a fast start to the Premier League as the players will want to prove a point to the fans, as they go searching for United’s 21stleague title.
A return of key players will surely see improvements on the pitch which can allow everyone to stop worrying and Mourinho to enjoy his role again.
You cannot presume anything these days, but come the start of the Premier League season, it will be clear to see what level United will be entertaining us with this campaign.