Are Man Utd players trying for Mourinho? What do the stats say?


Months? Weeks? Days? How much longer will Mourinho stay at Man Utd?

Lacking effort. Downing tools. Not putting it in. Whatever you call it, giving anything less than 100% is seen as one of the biggest ‘crimes’ a footballer can commit on the field of play.

And if several former Manchester United players are to be believed, it is an offence being committed by numerous members of the current squad.

But is that actually the case? Has the work-rate of the United players dropped? Or are other factors to blame for their poor recent results?

Let’s look at the facts…

Hammered at West Ham

United’s difficult fortnight
Opponent Competition Venue Result
Wolves Premier League Old Trafford 1-1
Derby Carabao Cup Old Trafford 2-2 (7-8 on pens)
West Ham Premier League London Stadium 1-3
Valencia Champions League Old Trafford 0-0

United’s lacklustre defeat at London Stadium was the lightning rod for accusations the team is lacking in effort.

The game, which a pedestrian United lost 3-1, confirmed the club’s worst league start in 29 years and prompted fierce criticism from former players Rio Ferdinand and Paul Scholes, who were working as pundits for BT Sport.

“As a football player, part of your DNA is hard work and effort. I didn’t see that,” said Ferdinand.

“It’s criminal from United. You’ve got to work hard. There’s no passion to work hard. That’s the problem. You’ve got to grind, work hard. They didn’t.”

Scholes added: “That was as bad as you’ve seen from a United team for a long time. The attitude has been questioned before and it has to be questioned again. The hunger and desire to get amongst people wasn’t there.”

Some players care more than others – Mourinho

After the game, manager Jose Mourinho said his players still possessed the requisite desire to train and play but added “some care more than others”.

United were marginally better against Valencia, with Mourinho claiming his players “raised the level of their efforts”, but that did not spare them from criticism from former United striker Dion Dublin on BBC Radio 5 live.

“Looking at their body language, a few players aren’t playing for the manager,” he said.

“I hate to call out players, but it’s Manchester United, it’s a Champions League night, you’re at home against Valencia and you cannot put a performance in like that.”

Ex-United captain Paul Ince has been even more damning, suggesting the players were “throwing Mourinho under the bus” in an attempt to get him sacked.