Mourinho faces tough test as Manchester United travel to Burnley

By AFP: Saturday, September 1st 2018 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Premier League
Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho [COURTESY]

Rocked by their worst start to a Premier League season for 26 years, Manchester United head to Burnley this weekend with Jose Mourinho’s future as manager firmly in the spotlight.

Across Manchester, City have no such worries as the champions host Newcastle in a 10th-anniversary celebration of the transformative takeover by their Abu Dhabi-based owners.

Mourinho under fire

Beset by mounting problems on and off the pitch, Mourinho is in danger of another acrimonious third-season departure to go with his sour exits from Chelsea and Real Madrid.

He is battling to avoid the sack after a turbulent period marred by rumours of a rocky relationship with United star Paul Pogba and a transfer squabble between the Portuguese coach and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.

United’s second-half collapse in their 3-0 defeat against Tottenham on Monday —the worst home loss of Mourinho’s career — was a huge blow, coming hot on the heels of their 3-2 setback at Brighton.

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Mourinho insists he retains the support of United’s fans, who have reportedly hired a plane to fly over Burnley’s stadium bearing a message criticising Woodward and owners the Glazer family.

Emery era a work in progress

After 22 years with Arsene Wenger calling the shots, Arsenal are still adjusting to the Unai Emery era as they head to Cardiff tomorrow.

Beaten by Manchester City and Chelsea in their opening two games under Emery, Arsenal finally got off the mark with a 3-1 victory against West Ham last weekend.

But Emery’s maiden success in the Premier League did not erase the feeling there will be more teething problems to come, even after he reportedly banned fruit juice from the training ground menu.

Arsenal could easily have lost to West Ham after their creaky defence was breached on numerous occasions.

City’s anniversary bash

Ten years after Sheikh Mansour’s generation-defining takeover of Manchester City, the champions will aim to get back on track by staging an anniversary party against Newcastle today.

City’s status as England’s pre-eminent force has been cemented by an unstoppable combination of Abu Dhabi-based Mansour’s billions and boss Pep Guardiola’s managerial genius.

City looked as good as ever in their opening two wins of the season but were exposed in the 1-1 draw at Wolverhampton.

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