Jose Mourinho warned about 'vultures' circling ahead of crucial fixtures

Wednesday, December 5th, 2018 11:55am

By James Gray @jamestingray

Jose Mourinho's future at Manchester United could be decided in the next 11 days with games against Arsenal and Liverpool.

United host the Gunners at Old Trafford tonight, hoping to end Unai Emery's 19-match unbeaten run in all competitions.

They will then face Fulham before a trip to Valencia and a clash with Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool at Anfield.

Former United defender Alan Tonge reckons negative results against two of their Premier League rivals in Arsenal and Liverpool could be the final blow in Mourinho's tempestuous reign.

"He's got to try and find something from the bottom of the well because there's a lot of vultures hanging around and they've got a bit of a tough period," Tonge told Ian Stone's Comedy Breakfast (weekdays 6.30am-10.30am).

"Obviously Arsenal tonight is not easy, Fulham at home really you'd expect to win but you just don't know.

"Then we go to play our biggest rivals Liverpool away the week after.

"Fans are starting to boo a little bit after games and he is under a lot of pressure at the moment."

Mourinho admitted this week after a 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace that his target for the end of the year has changed.

The Portuguese manager said he would no longer be able to get his side into the top four by January, but that they could get 'very close'.

Tonge added: "It's a confidence game at the end of the day and United's confidence is low at the moment.

"We're not firing, we're not united and we're not pulling together.

"Jose comes out and points fingers sometimes.

"Something is not quite right in the club at the moment and it's not just Jose. Some of these players are not stepping up for him.

"There seems to be a bit of turmoil in some of the senior stuff in the club. Ed Woodward's come under criticism. It's a collection of things rather than just pointing fingers at one person."

And Tonge also called on United's squad to step up on the pitch to save Mourinho's bacon.

"I don't think they don't want to play for him. I wouldn't like to think that at a club of United's stature. It's not correct," Tonge said.

"The injury problems will open up opportunities for other players and it's up to these other players to try and stand up and be counted, like McTominay and a couple of fringe players who will get run-outs tonight. It's up to them to grasp the nettle and crack on.

"It's not been a great start to the season at all and it comes down to the pre-season for me. This is where all these problems started with the lack of transfer activity. I think that's the source of all these problems."

More from Love Sport Exclusives