Man Utd boss Jose Mourinho and his joyless pre-season of frustration

Even by Mourinho's sullen standards, it has been quite a performance.

'One of my biggest goals in life is to make Jose smile — it doesn't happen very often,' was Klopp's response after Mourinho said the Liverpool manager's U-turn on big spending was 'funny'.

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho (centre) has endured a miserable pre-season so far

Jurgen Klopp joked earlier this month: 'One of my biggest goals in life is to make Jose smile'

Very little else has amused him on Manchester United's joyless pre-season trek around America with half a squad and plenty more problems than Mourinho would have anticipated.

The main source of his frustration is United's failure to deliver the signings he wants — and soon.

Not for the first time in his career, Mourinho is struggling to hide his impatience with his employers as Old Trafford chief Ed Woodward races to beat an early transfer deadline of August 9.

United open the Premier League campaign at home to Leicester City on a Friday night 24 hours later, a decision by Sky Sports that has also irked Mourinho.

His concerns that the start of the season will come too soon are understandable.

United have been without up to 12 World Cup players on tour, many of whom will not make an appearance here at all.

One of the few big names available to Mourinho, Alexis Sanchez, missed the first week of the trip because of visa issues. Another, Anthony Martial, made a sudden exit to be at the birth of his baby boy in Paris and has made it clear that he will not be coming back.

Captain Antonio Valencia has also gone, the victim of a calf muscle tear that will keep him out of the start of the season. New £19million signing Diogo Dalot cannot replace him because he is unavailable until September as he recovers from a knee injury.

Mourinho wants at least two more signings — ideally a centre back and a forward — but has been told by Woodward that United must sell before they buy.

Martial and Marcos Rojo are the two who have been earmarked to go, but offloading them for the right price in time to bring in replacements before the window closes will not be easy.

No wonder Mourinho has been at his malevolent worst in the US. 

Mourinho named Antonio Valencia (centre) as captain before the right back suffered an injury

Mourinho has been frustrated by the lack of senior stars available to play on United's US trip

The 55-year-old is unhappy with the quality of squad available to him and their performances so far as United have recorded three rather pointless draws against Club America, San Jose Earthquakes and AC Milan in front of disappointing attendances.

United's game against Liverpool in the early hours of this morning was expected to buck that trend, with a crowd of around 100,000 expected in Michigan, but this has largely been a pre-season tour to forget.

Mourinho has moaned about the lack of first-team players after the World Cup.

Given the chance to praise Paul Pogba's success at the tournament in Russia, there has been only more thinly veiled criticism of a player he believes can offer so much more for his club.

When asked if United have the squad to challenge for the title this season, Mourinho's refusal to answer was telling.

Maybe his mind is going back to the summer of 2015, when a poor transfer window and awful start to the season cost Chelsea dear. Mourinho was sacked by Christmas, just seven months after winning the title, with the champions in 16th place.

The United boss walked on the pitch ahead of Saturday night's friendly against rivals Liverpool

Mourinho has rarely smiled all summer and doesn't appear pleased with United's preparations

There are shades of that summer now in his disaffection with the board and murmurings of discontent in camp.

A coach who has never stayed much longer than three years at any of his previous clubs is entering his third season at Old Trafford in less than great shape.

Mourinho continues to live a hotel existence in the Lowry, away from his family in London, and can no longer call upon the support of his trusted lieutenant, Rui Faria, who left United at the end of last season. The two had worked together for 16 years, and the impact of Faria's departure — both as a coach and confidante for Mourinho — should not be underestimated.

It is building up to be a crucial season for United and their manager.

A prosaic style of football was tolerated when he started out by winning the Europa League, League Cup and Community Shield in his first year in charge at Old Trafford.

But the frustration among supporters was palpable as a swashbuckling Manchester City swept to the title last season, leaving United 19 points behind in their wake.

They simply cannot afford a slow start this time around, and Mourinho knows it.

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July 28, 2018

Sources: Daily Mail

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  • Wladimir Klitschko conqueror takes next step in comeback

    Wladimir Klitschko conqueror takes next step in comeback

    sion.</p><p>Tyson Fury wants to remind everyone he is the lineal heavyweight champion. He’s the man who beat the man, having defeated Wladimir Klitschko for the WBA, WBO and IBO titles by unanimous decision in November 2015. It was Klitschko’s first loss in 11 years.</p><p>But the new champion was plagued by bouts of depression and drug addiction and didn’t fight again for nearly three years. The colorful Fury made his return June 9, with a fourth-round TKO over an outclassed Sefer Seferi, and continues his comeback Saturday with a scheduled 10-round bout against former two-time heavyweight title contender Francesco Pianeta, of Germany, in Belfast, Northern Ireland.</p><p>The bout is part of a card headlined by Carl Frampton’s interim featherweight title defense against Luke Jackson. The bouts can be seen on Showtime Boxing’s Facebook page and Showtime YouTube beginning at 3:30 p.m. A replay will be televised on Showtime Extreme at 10 p.m.</p><p>Fury (26-0, 19 KOs) was stripped of his belts during his long absence. But with a win over Seferi, the United Kingdom native could get a title shot in his next bout, possibly against WBC champion Deontay Wilder.</p><p>“The old Tyson Fury is gone,” said the 6-foot-9 Briton. “The Tyson Fury from three years ago and beyond is finished. The new Tyson Fury is here now and my promise is to put on a good fight. I do want to win a world title again, so I have to raise my game. I’ve been out of the ring for three years nearly. It’s been challenging and a long, hard battle to get back to where I am.”</p><p>Wilder is in Belfast and raising a ruckus in hopes of landing a fight with Fury next spring. During the weigh-in, Wilder kept screaming his slogan, “Bomb Squad,” drawing the ire of Tyson’s brother, John Fury, who kept telling Wilder to “shut up” and who had to be restrained from going after the WBC champion.</p><p>Wilder had been chasing a fight with unified champion Anthony Joshua of the U.K., but the two couldn’t reach an agreement before Joshua penned a deal to defend against Alexander Povetkin on Sept. 22 at Wembley Stadium. Now Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) is chasing Fury.</p><p>“If I come through this then Wilder has a chance to fight me for the lineal championship,” Fury said. “I’m not the one who gets the chance to fight him. Let’s face it, he hasn’t really fought anybody. He has 40 fights and it is what it is. We’re not here to talk about Wilder at all. It may as well be a million years in the future. I’ve got to concentrate on this man in front of me [Pianeta]. I’m sure he wants to take my glory away from me.”</p><p> News Corp. is a network of leading companies in the world of diversified media, news, and information services. </p>

    1 August 18, 2018
  • Man Utd news: Real Madrid and Barcelona are to blame for Paul Pogba woes - Paul Merson

    Man Utd news: Real Madrid and Barcelona are to blame for Paul Pogba woes - Paul Merson

    Cup though as he inspired his country to victory.</p><p>His impressive displays have seen him linked with a move to Real Madrid and Barcelona with both clubs thought to have shown interest.</p><p>Barca remain the frontrunners for his signature despite United&rsquo;s reluctance to sell before the Spanish transfer window shuts on August 31.</p><p> It's always the same with players. Real Madrid and Barcelona come in for you and it turns people's heads </p><p>And former Arsenal star Merson feels the potential opportunity to play at Spain&rsquo;s top two clubs has had an impact on Pogba&rsquo;s time at United.</p><p>"I'd rather Jose be happy than Pogba. But as we saw last season, Pogba didn't pull up too many trees,&rdquo; Merson told Sky Sports.</p><p>&ldquo;He had a great World Cup, don't get me wrong.</p><p>"But it's always the same with players. Real Madrid and Barcelona come in for you and it turns people's heads.</p><p>&ldquo;Everyone wants to play for those two teams, that's the way it is around the world. We see it with [Philippe] Coutinho and other players.</p><p>"It's turned his head and you're going to have the agent [Mino Raiola] joining in with his little quotes to the newspapers, things like that. He's a World Cup winner now.</p><p>"I think he just has to prove it on the pitch [for United].</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve always said he's a great talent. He was thrown in, &pound;90m, that's a lot of pressure, playing for who are, in my opinion, the biggest club in the world. I just think he needs time."</p><p>Pogba silenced his critics last weekend when he scored from the penalty spot in United&rsquo;s 2-1 win over Leicester in the Premier league opener.</p><p>And ahead of the match, Mourinho was quick to downplay speculation of a rift between the pair.</p><p>"The truth is we are together for two years and a couple of weeks, I've never been so happy with him as I am now," said Mourinho, who played Pogba for 83 minutes against Leicester just days after the player returned to training with the club.</p><p>"I cannot demand more from him, I cannot ask more from him. He came here on a Monday, he trained three days, I asked for his support, contribution in a match where we had difficulties.</p><p>"He did it, did it better and for more time than we could expect.</p><p>"When he says he did it for the fans and for the team it's exactly what I want."</p><p>Pogba remains under contract with the Red Devils until 2021.</p><p> See today's front and back pages, download the newspaper, order back issues and use the historic Daily Express newspaper archive. </p>

    1 August 18, 2018

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