- Ibriana Jones: Red Devils of the Lost Ark!
- Chelsea set to win Title at a Kante!
- Leicester face tough choices as losses compile
- The Year of the Roo-ster!
- Marvel at the latest Craven Cottage arrival: Fulham Sign Thanos!
- Wayne Rooney’s goalscoring record is a rare piece of Manchester United history. Take notice.
- MOTD: Ibrahimovic salvages United point against Liverpool
- The Crystal (Palace) Maze!
- Glory Days for Andre Gray!
- Nice success offers Balotelli a new lease of life in 2017
A Year on and Mourinho still seems Haunted by Ghosts!
Jose Mourinho might be happier staying at ‘Hotel Transylvania’ this Halloween, rather than the Hotel Trouble he has been suffering from in Manchester, as the all important ghouls… I mean goals seem to have vanished from his United side. Mourinho had a terrifying Halloween in 2015, with the ghosts of his past rising back from the dead to scare him into submission once again. This time last year, the 53-year-old Portuguese was seeing his Chelsea side play scarily bad, with Halloween weekend providing one of the final nails into his Stamford Bridge career coffin. The Blues lost 3-1 at home to rivals Liverpool on the 31st October 2015, which sent Mourinho down a cursed path of facing the sack from the West London club By Christmas. Fast forward twelve months on and things are still looking frightening for the self-proclaimed ‘Special One.’
Missing Mourinho as the Manchester Misery continues for jittery Jose!
The Grim Reaper came in the form of tattooed referee Mark Clattenburg on Saturday at Old Trafford, as when Manchester United were denied a penalty after Italian full-back Matteo Darmian was tripped in the area by Jon Flanagan, Mourinho was soon given his marching orders following his incensed reaction. He had to send a ‘runner’ to communicate notes to the bench and assistant Rui Faria conducted the post-match interviews.
The former Inter Milan and Real Madrid manager spent the whole of the second half sitting in the stands, but was not the only one on the red side to see, er…, red in the 0-0 draw with Burnley. Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera may have also felt like he had broken a few enchanted mirrors, as he joined his boss in being sent-off in the second period for a tackle which looked more accidental than dangerous. Herrera received his second booking from Clattenburg for an honest trip, which would receive a worse review on TripAdvisor than taking a wrong turn to Transylvania this Halloween. Mourinho was the ‘Humiliated One’ last week after his 4-0 embarrassing defeat to Chelsea and this time was the ‘Frustrated One’, with the distraction of being sent to the stands taking the headlines away from the fact his side may have only drawn, but had 37 attempts at goal – a new record.
Hotel Hell could lead to an even shorter Spell!!
Jose Mourinho has publicly complained at his accommodation in recent days, with the ex-Porto boss still living out of a hotel. Some skeptics may say there is no point in Mourinho unpacking his bags and splashing out for Manchester mansion, as he tends not to stick around much longer than a Pumpkin the day after Halloween. Mourinho has a reputation for staying at a single club for three years at most, but he could soon become an Old Trafford ghost, if results do not pick this season. He has not yet carved a consist winning formula, with two 0-0 draws and a 4-0 thrashing coming in-between a healthy 4-1 Europa League victory over Fenerbache and a 1-0 EFL Cup win over enemy neighbors Manchester City. It seems to go from one game getting the right result to another game getting a good performance, to then having games with negative results (ghastly goalless draws and even evil defeats) and negative performances. The 0-0 away draw with Liverpool saw defensive tactics employed to get the point, but the 0-0 home draw with Burnley was certainly attacking tactics, but there was more chance of seeing a ghost than seeing the ball in the back of the net.
Mourinho may soon tire of managing another mid-table team, especially after the axe fell so dramatically on his head this time last year at Chelsea. France midfielder Paul Pogba may turn out to be a poisoned apple, rather than the treat he was expecting, as Juventus may have pulled off the biggest trick of the year when they sold him for £89milion and signed Gonzalo Higuaín for £75million from Napoli. It seems only be a vulnerable West Ham fan at the Olympic Stadium is a more daunting fate than being Man Utd manger right now! Ironically, for an article about Halloween and struggling Manchester United managers, it is only the ‘Black Cats’ of Sunderland and their haunted-looking boss David Moyes who is suffering from more toil and trouble.
Red Devils feel the Heat-on Halloween weekend!
One of the main reasons Manchester United dropped to eighth position in the league, was the fact the Red Devils could not get past the wall that was former United keeper Tom Heaton. The 30-year-old Burnley and England international helped ‘the Ginger Mourinho’ Sean Dyche get an important point from ‘the Theatre of Dreams’, which is becoming ‘the Theatre of Nightmares’ for a fourth season running. Tom Heaton may be third choice for England, but for the Clarets he has been better than blood for Dracula, as one save in particular – to keep out the monster of a man Zlatan Ibrahimovic – was reminiscent of Great Dane and father to ‘Kasper the Friendly Foxes Keeper’ Peter Schmeichel. Heaton showed his former club he can shock them more than someone dressed up in a killer clown suit, with a string of blocks and saves, which means United are even behind Walter Mazzarri’s Watford in the table.
United have won only one of their last seven league games and are now eight points behind joint Premier League leaders Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool – who all scored four on Saturday and all have 23 points after ten games played. It has been a Happy Halloween for those three title contender sides, as West Brom, Sunderland and Crystal Palace were all given a Fright Night, in their respective defeats, with Liverpool’s 4-2 win over Palace a particular Thriller! The likes of Jose Mourinho, Wayne Rooney and the other Old Trafford crew who have suffered a scare in recent form, will be hoping all their sins will be cleared by the time they visit Turkey on Thursday, before this horror show becomes like a permeant mask. United will be hoping they have some form of luck in the coming days and Mourinho’s dismissal to the stands does not lead to further punishment down the line, like a stadium ban for their new ‘happy’ boss in town. At least they do not need to face Antonio Conte’s four-midable Chelsea next week, as that would be a real Hazard!
Catch-Up on Richard’s Halloween themed article from last year: The Horror Show Continues for Chelsea with 3-1 Defeat to Liverpool
Homepage photo credit: Aleksandr Osipov [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons