These are not happy times for Jose Mourinho and Manchester United. But the already dire situation can be made worse by Arsenal on Wednesday, a fact that will gladden the hearts of Arsenal fans.
If there is one devil’s advocate that Arsenal fans have agreed to detest, it is Mourinho. The Portuguese was scathing in his assessment of the loved but departed Arsene Wenger, whom he at one time famously labeled a ‘specialist in failure’.
At the end of the match and with a win, Arsenal fans may be calling Mourinho a ‘Special Failure’ and not the ‘Special One’. Mourinho was a thorn in Wenger’s flesh, especially as Chelsea manager, and nothing would be more joyful for Arsenal fans than being the catalyst for his sack.
With no league win in three, Mourinho is under considerable pressure to haul United back into the mix, especially as it concerns the UEFA Champions League. United are currently seventh on the English Premier League table, eight points off Arsenal, who are currently in the fourth UCL position.
But history favours the Red Devils, who have not lost to the Gunners in the league since 2006 – a run of 11 matches. But Unai Emery’s Arsenal are showing a toughness that was sorely lacking in the concluding days of Wenger’s regime at the Emirates Stadium.
Since Mark Hughes was sacked, Mourinho has become the odds-on favourite to become the next EPL manager to lose his job with more United fans growing frustrated with the uninspiring show they are treated to at the Theatre of Dreams.
While answering questions in his pre-match press briefing on Tuesday, Mourinho said his team needs points and not miracles to close the gap on the top four.
“We are eight points from fourth [place] – I don’t think we need a miracle at all. I think we need a good run of results. I think we don’t need to waste points where we shouldn’t waste [them].
“Last week before the Crystal Palace game, I said that my hopes and targets were to be in that position [the top four] at the end of December.
“The target changed but changed in the sense of let’s try to close the distance as much as we can and try to be very close to those positions by the end of December. I think it’s far from a miracle.”
What will be the miracle is if he survives an Arsenal defeat on Wednesday.
Current Form: Man. Utd [D-W-D-L-W]; Arsenal [W-W-W-D-D]
29/04/18 PRL Man. Utd 2 – 1 Arsenal
02/12/17 PRL Arsenal 1 – 3 Man. Utd
07/05/17 PRL Arsenal 2 – 0 Man. Utd
19/11/16 PRL Man. Utd 1 – 1 Arsenal
28/02/16 PRL Man. Utd 3 – 2 Arsenal