Més Que Un Column

Mourinho, a man without a mission?

So, the title race.

In what seems like the first time since the eve of the industrial revolution, United are out of it by October. Thank God, I don’t think I could’ve taken seven months of having to discuss the possibility of a Mourinho-managed United side winning it.

Their third defeat of the season down at that running track in London last Saturday means that the Mancs are closer to Huddersfield and Cardiff points-wise, than they are to North-West rivals Manchester City and Liverpool.

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A tough afternoon in the capital. #MUFC #WHUMUN

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One more loss for Mourinho’s men (not that they’re really associating themselves with him anymore) would mean that they’d have already dropped the same amount of points this season as Guardiola’s City did in the entirety of the last campaign.

It’s hard to know where it goes from here for Jose. I can’t ever remember a time when there’s been this amount of focus from the press on one individual in the league (not that we’re helping the matter). But it seems like the media circus surrounding United’s manager will continue, regardless of results, until he eventually departs the club.

It’s now unchartered territory for Mourinho. Watching him try to lift a team to fight for something other than the title will be odd, that’s if he lasts the season, of course.

Although, if having most of my childhood football-related dreams be destroyed Ferguson and Co. has taught me anything, it’s that they’ll probably finish the season with more silverware than us, whilst also finding a way of ruining our campaign.

But for an article based around the title race, I’ve spent far too much time discussing a side currently sitting tenth in the league.

City sit top on goal difference, as everyone continues to ignore the fact that they’ve been cheating for the last ten years. It really is mad that no one questions how they can get away with spending the sheer amount of money that they do. I imagine the lads running FFP are sitting in an office somewhere in Geneva literally sticking their fingers up their arses. Has anyone checked on them recently?

They continue to march on. Unlike United, they’ve made a draw against Wolves look like a brief blip in an otherwise faultless start. It is quite scary that they’re not getting any worse.

They face their kryptonite this Sunday. Incredibly, City haven’t won at Anfield since five years before the takeover, all the way back in 2003. Mainly because in ‘10/11, we played them at the Etihad in that half of the season that Hodgson was our manager. Glory days.

It really does seem like a crossroads in City’s season. A win would mean that the one hurdle they continuously stumble on will have been finally cleared. A win would further limit the potential points that City could drop, as it’s already hard to see Liverpool win the league if they don’t get at least one victory over Guardiola’s side this season.

A loss or even a draw would show the Reds to be City’s equal, and signal towards the title chase going all the way to the wire next May.

They are the only two title challengers. The last few weeks has seen Chelsea heralded as the third horse in this nine-month long footballing Grand National. But I’m not buying it.

Even when Sarri’s blues led Liverpool last Saturday, I wasn’t buying it. The effect of Thursday-Sunday football has already been seen, drawing with West Ham three days after heading out to play in a cauldron in front of a load of topless lads somewhere in Uzbekistan.

They’re in the same group as F.C. Vidi, PAOK and BATE Borisov. Two of them are so far around the world that I’m almost sure you’re quicker flying west over America.

And then the Reds. While it was all well and good saying that Liverpool didn’t get out of second gear for the first few games in August, it is getting a bit worrying that it’s October and Klopp’s boys are yet to really click for a full ninety minutes. It’s going to be mad when Liverpool win the league with 94 points and James Milner is the only lad who’s looked up to anything.

The most remarkable thing is that both of the challengers from the North-West have played seven, won six, drawn one, and yet this is now the standard rather than a relentless start that no one can keep pace with. Something has to give on Sunday evening.

Can’t wait to see City blame the loss on a bus attack that happened six months ago.

Please win, lads. I don’t want United being crap to be the best part of this Premier League campaign.

All the best.