Gary Neville says Jose Mourinho faces “the biggest challenge he has had in football” after Manchester United were humbled 3-0 at home by Tottenham.
A second-half goal from Harry Kane and a brace from Lucas Moura piled the pressure on Jose Mourinho, who faced chants of “you’re getting sacked in the morning” from the Spurs fans.
There was a mixed reception on the final whistle from the Old Trafford crowd as United followed up defeat at Brighton with another loss, prompting questions over the future of the former Chelsea manager and Neville admitted he has a huge job on his hands if he is to try and reverse the club’s fortunes.
“The manager is always the person where the buck stops,” he said on Sky’s Monday Night Football.
“Jose Mourinho has been the most successful manager along with Pep Guardiola in the last 20 years in football and he is going through a difficult moment now over the last couple of seasons with Manchester United.
“This is now the biggest task he has had in his life and the biggest challenge he has had in football.
“He has got to come out of it because I have to say I look at the squad and the team and I’m not sure what the best XI is.
“He is going to have to back certain players and just stick with it because at the moment they are changing every game.
“The buck stops with the manager, it always does and it has to. At the moment there doesn’t look to be a balanced outfit there at all.”
Jose Mourinho applauding the remaining Man Utd fans at Old Trafford. 😵 pic.twitter.com/pSs97ya9fg
— Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) August 27, 2018
Former England goalkeeper Peter Shilton was also critical of the United defence, which Mourinho had been keen to strengthen on the summer transfer window.
He said on Twitter: “Big defeat for United tonight any good side has to keep clean sheets that is the base of a great team! Not good enough for Mourinho or United tonight !! Clean sheets or sack!!”
After Mourinho stopped to applaud the home fans on his way to the tunnel at full time, former Celtic striker Chris Sutton added on BBC Radio 5 Live: “Maybe that stance by Jose Mourinho at the end was trying to show unity, but who is he kidding? Has Mourinho just walked into this job? No.
“He has had two years to build this team and he has to take responsibility. His managerial record is fantastic, but if United want to accept mediocrity, then that is what they have. Man City and Liverpool are in a different league.”
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has demanded more respect because he has won more Premier League titles than the other 19 top-flight bosses combined.
The Portuguese endured a particularly spiky press conference after a 3-0 defeat to Tottenham, his heaviest home loss in management, which left the side 13th in the table with just one win from their opening three matches.
However, Mourinho – who won three titles in two spells with Chelsea – was in combative mood when challenged about the criticism coming his way both in the media and from fans, with many of those left inside Old Trafford at the final whistle booing.
“We lost a game because we conceded a goal from the first corner of the match against us,” he said.
“In the first half zero corners, zero free-kicks, on minute 50-something they had one corner and scored a goal, and you want, with that goal, you want to transform the story of the game.
“But don’t lose your time. Today I had the proof the best judge in football are the supporters.”
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 27, 2018
When it was suggested to Mourinho many had walked out before the end, he added: “I would do the same, losing 3-0 and taking two hours from here to the centre of Manchester.”
The Portuguese then went on the offensive, suggesting those in the media questioning him were orchestrating a campaign.
“Keep trying. Keep trying. Keep trying. We lost last season here against Sevilla and were booed because we deserved it, because we were not good,” he said.
“Today the players left the pitch after losing at home and they were applauded because they deserved it.
“So keep trying. Do you know what was the result? Three-nil. Do you know what this means (holding up three fingers)?
“Three-nil but it also means three Premier Leagues and I won more alone than the other 19 managers together. Three for me and two for them.”
Mourinho then left his seat repeating “respect, respect, respect” as he walked out of the press conference.
After sputtering in the first half, Spurs roared to life after the break as Harry Kane sent them in the right direction with a pinpoint header before Lucas Moura produced a brace to put the game away.
Here, we rate Mauricio Pochettino’s side after they earned an impressive result.
Hugo Lloris – His outstretched save to thwart Lukaku in the second half preserved Tottenham’s lead right after they got it. 8
Kieran Trippier – Had his hands full with Shaw but also delivered his usual playmaking to set up Tottenham’s assault. 7
Toby Alderweireld – Helped keep United off the scoresheet on a night where he could easily have been playing on other side. 7
Jan Vertonghen – Along with the rest of the defence, faced a strong United push in the first half before holding his ground after the break. 7
Danny Rose: Breathed a sigh of relief after his poor back pass meant for Lloris was easily intercepted by Lukaku, who almost slotted in. 5
Eric Dier – Struggled to make much of an impact and mostly blended into the background as United neutralised him. 6
Mousa Dembele – Took time to find his footing and settled in as the game went on, but was far from a factor. 6
Dele Alli – A menace but could have done better with a few chances, including the poor back pass from Lindelof in front of goal. 7
Christian Eriksen – His perfect pass to a streaking Moura resulted in a second goal and his presence was felt in midfield. 8
Harry Kane – Provided the first on a beautiful header which he directed into the corner of goal, out of De Gea’s reach. 8
Lucas Moura – First produced a brilliant finish to add Tottenham’s second and then capped the victory with a incisive run. 9
Serge Aurier (for Trippier, 76′) – Did what was required to keep United from mounting a comeback. N/A
Ben Davies (for Rose, 82′) – Had little to do in the dying moments as he kept Tottenham humming to see off the win. N/A