A lot of football fans are already familiar with Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho’s third-season syndrome theory. But for new followers, it can best be defined as the Portuguese’s persistent difficulty with maintaining success for more than two seasons at one club.
At Madrid, and on both of his Chelsea managerial stints, the 3rd season didn’t end well. However, his 2nd season in charge of those clubs were particularly brilliant, as that was the time Jose won some of the most important trophies that thrusted him into limelight. From Porto to Chelsea and Real Madrid.
So could this be the case at Manchester United as he enters his 2nd full season in charge?
As far as debuts go, last term was a significant success on all fronts for both club and manager. Building on that success, United have already made headway in their summer recruitment, most notably signing Lindelöf and Lukaku. It seems things are about to get more interesting for the Europa League winners.
The Red Devils have struggled for glory and relevance since Sir Alex departed, while fans have also continuously bemoaned the lack of the entertaining football once played in the Theaters of Dreams.
The Portuguese won’t likely be able to ever deliver the latter, but at the very least, the promises of making the former return in abundance are there.
If things go according to his plans this summer, United could be the team to beat next term – both in England and Europe.
Jose delivers big in his 2nd seasons. It’s become a cliche because of how often he has continued this remarkable trend.
Winning 2 of the 4 competitions United played in last term was very significant for the Portuguese. This proved to all his critics that the Mourinho of old was, indeed, still there after the infamous disaster at Chelsea the previous season. And this success is what will breed confidence into Man United going into next season; that their spectacular season is—if I may—”written in the stars”.
New signings will make United more clinical
United just registered 54 goals across the league last term—1 less than Bournemouth and 4 more than Palace. Offensive recruitments are being prioritized this summer as Mourinho seeks to make his side more ruthless in front of goal.
Signing Lukaku was a big step towards shoring up that need. His 85 EPL strikes so far in his young career no doubt will boost the confidence of those around him who have been struggling.
Perisic is being touted as a possible addition to the squad after the move for Griezmann hit the rocks. The Croatian, who has a keen eye for goal as well as being excellent at crossing, will add more firepower to the Red Devils’ offense.
Pogba and Mkhitaryan are expected to fly next term after having mixed campaigns. The likes of Martial, Rashford, and Lingard will also be saddled with the responsibility of upping their game one notch further.
At the back, everything looks set. De Gea’s links with Real Madrid are now a thing of the past, with rumours dying before the summer began. Lindelöf’s arrival gives Mourinho a quality starter while Smalling and Jones are solid alternatives. Especially when you take into consideration that United had to field fullbacks into centre-back positions at times this past season.
There are hardly any reasons for Manchester United and Jose Mourinho to underperform next term. If we are to go by history, the second season is almost always the best for the Portuguese.
That history should repeat itself one more time feels inevitable.