Mourinho saga with United was quite painful, and it’s must be hard for him to not be resentful of the organization that chased him away in favor of someone who is now producing equal to worse results.
Moreover, the United board has continually backed Ole during this bad period, while they were quick to pull the trigger on Jose.
Fortunately for the Special One, they enter this game in solid form.
The previously drowsy Spurs now have both a home and away win under their belt since the start of the Mourinho tenure, scoring 3 goals in each before the opponents clawed back two. Though these wins came against bottom-half opposition, they produced goals that would expect from an in form top 4 sides.
More importantly, the Spurs are not only playing to their talent level but slightly above. Though the defense has been a little loose while closing out wins, Jose is getting every last drop on offense from each outfielder (even Sissoko scored!), which is a scary prospect for the rest of the league.
On the other side of the field, Manchester United are coming off of a disappointing home draw to Aston Villa, and more alarmingly, a new injury to striker Anthony Martial.
Let’s not forget how impotent United was when Rashford was put in the striker position – the Red Devils could not score (especially from open play) to save their life!
We are going to get more of that lame attack if Rashford has to play striker again, but if Ole has any sense he will start Greenwood up top in an attempt to keep the attacking style that has actually produced results for them.
Assuming the offense is there and McTominay is healthy, I expect the United defense to be solid and make few mistakes in possession, which is important for the Red Devils.
Overall, I’m riding with Tottenham here given the Mourinho intangibles and the high likelihood that United are without Martial. Just the Mourinho intangibles alone have me favor the Spurs win slightly over the draw, but the prospect of a limp Man U attack makes the Tottenham win probable and valuable.
Mourinho will return to Old Trafford for the first time as an opposition manager this evening and he will be looking to make it four wins from four games since replacing Mauricio Pochettino at Spurs. The Humble One has recorded victories over West Ham, Olympiakos and Bournemouth and spirits are on high note defeat United tonight.
Reacting to the game against United, Mourinho said the match will be a difficult one.
‘Big game, two historical clubs, always a big game and we are both involved in let’s say a difficult situation because we want more, we want better,’ Mourinho told Tottenham’s official website.
‘I believe it’s the same with them and it will be a good game in a moment where there are lots of matches. It’s the same for everybody.
‘They were clever in that they were already qualified in the Europa League, so they rested all their players in the game at Astana, so they have one less game than us but that’s football. Of course, it will be a difficult match for us, but also a difficult match for them.’
Manchester United recorded club’s worst start to a season for 31 years after Solskjær’s side won four of 14 league matches and are closer to the relegation zone, six points than the top four.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær said his team needed the results and urges his fan to be more patient about him at old Trafford.
I can just go on the evidence of the game days and supporters I’ve met, there’s not many I’ve met that say: ‘You’ve got to do something different.’
They can see what we’re trying to do. They know there’s a lot of work being done behind the scenes – putting culture into the team, with what’s happening here at Carrington [in training]. We just need results. All the six games we’ve drawn, I feel we should’ve won. That’s the evidence; that’s all the answer we can give.”
“Everyone knows continuity is one of the keys of success,” he said. “Some clubs have more patience than others, some clubs don’t have that time and continuity. We have a plan in place and hopefully, we can get the results to speed it up.
“Sometimes it doesn’t go at the speed you want but it’s still going in the right direction. There are different aspects to this: it’s on the pitch, it’s behind the scenes, it’s what’s happening in the club.”
United fans have been clamoring for the sack of Ole if Mourinho bests ole tonight, will he be shown the existing door?