MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 27:  Jose Mourinho, manager of Manchester United in action during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on August 27, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 27: Jose Mourinho, manager of Manchester United in action during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on August 27, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Now playing
04:01
Man Utd: What's going on with Jose Mourinho?
PHOTO: CNN / Getty Images
Now playing
02:53
Erling Haaland: The making of Europe's next football superstar
Manchester United's French striker Anthony Martial warms up for the English Premier League football match between Fulham and Manchester United at Craven Cottage in London on January 20, 2021. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /  (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
Manchester United's French striker Anthony Martial warms up for the English Premier League football match between Fulham and Manchester United at Craven Cottage in London on January 20, 2021. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Now playing
02:10
Racist social media abuse continues to plague UK football
Paris Saint-Germain's French striker Kylian Mbappe celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the first leg of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 football match between Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) at Old Trafford in Manchester, north-west England on February 12, 2019. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)        (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: FRANCK FIFE/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Paris Saint-Germain's French striker Kylian Mbappe celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the first leg of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 football match between Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) at Old Trafford in Manchester, north-west England on February 12, 2019. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:34
Arsene Wenger: Kylian Mbappe is the new Pele
PHOTO: Getty Images
Now playing
01:10
Wrexham: Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney take over Welsh football team
South African Pitso Mosimane celebrates with his team winning 2-1 over Zamalek in the CAF Champions League final played at the Cairo International Stadium on November 27, 2020.
PHOTO: Al Ahly Digital Media
South African Pitso Mosimane celebrates with his team winning 2-1 over Zamalek in the CAF Champions League final played at the Cairo International Stadium on November 27, 2020.
Now playing
02:54
Pitso Mosimane: Africa's Pep Guardiola looks to the future
BellaTeq co-founders Carolyn Greco, Nancy Avesyan and Margaret Osmundson pose in front of a mural with a Teqball table in Los Angeles.
PHOTO: BellaTeq
BellaTeq co-founders Carolyn Greco, Nancy Avesyan and Margaret Osmundson pose in front of a mural with a Teqball table in Los Angeles.
Now playing
03:09
BellaTeq: The first all-female Teqball team pushing the sport into the mainstream
PHOTO: RMC Sport
Now playing
01:10
Protesters storm Marseille training ground
Crystal Palace's English manager Roy Hodgson gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Crystal Palace at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on November 23, 2020. (Photo by Jan Kruger / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /  (Photo by JAN KRUGER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: JAN KRUGER/AFP/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
Crystal Palace's English manager Roy Hodgson gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Crystal Palace at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on November 23, 2020. (Photo by Jan Kruger / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by JAN KRUGER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Now playing
04:08
Roy Hodgson reflects on management in the Covid-19 era
Chelsea's English head coach Frank Lampard reacts to their defeat on the pitch after the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge in London on January 3, 2021. - Manchester City won the game 3-1. (Photo by Andy Rain / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /  (Photo by ANDY RAIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: ANDY RAIN/AFP/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
Chelsea's English head coach Frank Lampard reacts to their defeat on the pitch after the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge in London on January 3, 2021. - Manchester City won the game 3-1. (Photo by Andy Rain / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by ANDY RAIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Now playing
01:13
Frank Lampard sacked by Chelsea
Fortnite Global Football Pele Cup
PHOTO: Epic Games
Fortnite Global Football Pele Cup
Now playing
02:45
Football and Pelé join forces with Fortnite
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 04: Marcus Rashford of Manchester United scores his team's second goal from the penalty spot during the Premier League match between Manchester United and AFC Bournemouth  at Old Trafford on July 04, 2020 in Manchester, England. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in all fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Dave Thompson/Pool via Getty Images)
PHOTO: Pool/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 04: Marcus Rashford of Manchester United scores his team's second goal from the penalty spot during the Premier League match between Manchester United and AFC Bournemouth at Old Trafford on July 04, 2020 in Manchester, England. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in all fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Dave Thompson/Pool via Getty Images)
Now playing
01:20
Marcus Rashford on Manchester United getting penalties
CARSON, CA - FEBRUARY 07: Megan Rapinoe #15 of the United States takes a corner kick during the 2020 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying against Mexico at Dignity Health Sports Park on February 7, 2020 in Carson, California. the United States defeated Mexico, 4-0, and qualified for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
CARSON, CA - FEBRUARY 07: Megan Rapinoe #15 of the United States takes a corner kick during the 2020 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying against Mexico at Dignity Health Sports Park on February 7, 2020 in Carson, California. the United States defeated Mexico, 4-0, and qualified for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:03
Megan Rapinoe condemns US Capitol rioters as 'White supremacist mob'
MILAN, ITALY - JANUARY 09: Zlatan Ibrahimovic of A.C. Milan passes the ball during the Serie A match between AC Milan and Torino FC at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on January 09, 2021 in Milan, Italy. Sporting stadiums around Italy remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Marco Luzzani/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
MILAN, ITALY - JANUARY 09: Zlatan Ibrahimovic of A.C. Milan passes the ball during the Serie A match between AC Milan and Torino FC at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on January 09, 2021 in Milan, Italy. Sporting stadiums around Italy remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Now playing
03:16
Who are the most improved teams in European football?
PHOTO: Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy
Now playing
02:18
Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium: Qatar 2022's newest arena
Paolo ROSSI. Italy, born 23rd September 1956. In 1982 the World Cup was hosted by Spain. The final was played on 11th July in the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid. Attendance: 90,000. Result Italy 3 -- 1 West Germany. Rossi scores Italy's first goal in the 57th minute. Photographed on his vineyard in Tuscany, 31/08/09.




EXCLUSIVE TEXT ACCOMPANIES / AVAILABLE FOR THIS PORTRAIT.

© Michael Donald / eyevine

Contact eyevine for more information about using this image:
T: +44 (0) 20 8709 8709
E: info@eyevine.com 
http:///www.eyevine.com
PHOTO: Michael Donald/Redux
Paolo ROSSI. Italy, born 23rd September 1956. In 1982 the World Cup was hosted by Spain. The final was played on 11th July in the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid. Attendance: 90,000. Result Italy 3 -- 1 West Germany. Rossi scores Italy's first goal in the 57th minute. Photographed on his vineyard in Tuscany, 31/08/09. EXCLUSIVE TEXT ACCOMPANIES / AVAILABLE FOR THIS PORTRAIT. © Michael Donald / eyevine Contact eyevine for more information about using this image: T: +44 (0) 20 8709 8709 E: info@eyevine.com http:///www.eyevine.com
Now playing
03:06
Paolo Rossi: 1982 World Cup hero for Italy dies at age 64
Romanian referee Ovidiu Hategan (in yellow) talks to Istanbul Basaksehir's staff members during the UEFA Champions League group H football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Istanbul Basaksehir FK at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, on December 8, 2020. - Paris Saint-Germain's decisive Champions League game with Istanbul Basaksehir was suspended today in the first half as the players walked off amid allegations of racism by one of the match officials.
The row erupted after Basaksehir assistant coach Pierre Webo, the former Cameroon international, was shown a red card during a fierce row on the touchline with staff from the Turkish club appearing to accuse the Romanian fourth official of using a racist term. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: FRANCK FIFE/AFP/AFP via Getty Images
Romanian referee Ovidiu Hategan (in yellow) talks to Istanbul Basaksehir's staff members during the UEFA Champions League group H football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Istanbul Basaksehir FK at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, on December 8, 2020. - Paris Saint-Germain's decisive Champions League game with Istanbul Basaksehir was suspended today in the first half as the players walked off amid allegations of racism by one of the match officials. The row erupted after Basaksehir assistant coach Pierre Webo, the former Cameroon international, was shown a red card during a fierce row on the touchline with staff from the Turkish club appearing to accuse the Romanian fourth official of using a racist term. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)
Now playing
03:28
PSG vs Istanbul Basaksehir: Teams walk off pitch following alleged racist incident

Story highlights

Man Utd has made its worst league start to a season since 1992-93

Mourinho's team has lost two of its opening three games

(CNN) —  

Two consecutive defeats, the heaviest home loss in four years – it’s been a dismal start to the season for Manchester United and many fans are pointing the finger of blame at manager Jose Mourinho.

Mourinho’s immediate reaction to the most recent defeat against Spurs, the first time the North Londoners had won at Old Trafford since 2014, almost distracted from the result as the former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss stood and applauded the section of fans who had stayed until the end and embraced full-back Luke Shaw, a player heavily criticized by the United manager over the last three years but who has started the season well.

Then at a media conference following United’s 3-0 defeat to Tottenham at Old Trafford Monday – Mourinho’s biggest home defeat of his managerial career – the Portuguese raised three fingers as a reminder of the trio of Premier League titles he’d won in his career and called for respect.

The United manager’s outbursts over recent months – one journalist dubbed it a “moanathon” – have led many to ask whether this is the onset of what is called his “third-season syndrome,” a nod to Mourinho’s eruptions in his third seasons at Real and Chelsea (second stint), which ultimately led to him losing his job.

On Friday Mourinho, a title winner in Italy, Spain and England, proclaimed that he would be “one of the greatest managers in the world” even if he doesn’t win the Premier League title while at United.

But should Mourinho fail at United – his team next play Burnley on Sunday – could it be the beginning of the end of Mourinho as a manager of great clubs? Is the 55-year-old out of step with the managerial times?

READ: Mourinho demands more respect after loss

Mourinho is embarking on his third season at United.
PHOTO: CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Mourinho is embarking on his third season at United.

“He’s a product of a different time and culture,” author and journalist Michael Calvin told CNN World Sport of Mourinho.

“His man management has always been based on the old system of command and control. With the modern player, and in the modern club context, that’s very difficult to get across.

“Look at the situation with Paul Pogba. He embodies the modern footballer who is as much a social media phenomenon than a footballer.

“When United are talking about their social media penetration rates at their AGM that gives you some idea of how powerful he is if there is a power play going on. So Mourinho’s style, and to be honest Mourinho’s ego, can’t really deal with that.”

Uneasy relationship

A key figure for France as Les Bleus won this summer’s World Cup and United’s most expensive purchase for a then world record $115 million (£89m) in August 2016, Pogba has been inconsistent since his move from Juventus two years ago.

The Frenchman is failing to fulfill his potential, but whether that is the fault of the player himself or his manager is open to debate.

“You hear a lot of people saying Jose Mourinho needs to get the best out of him but he needs to do it for himself and prove he’s at that level to help Manchester United,” former United great Wayne Rooney, who played under Mourinho for a season, recently told CNN Sport.

Pogba and Mourinho are said to have an uneasy relationship so who would hold more sway if the club ever had to choose between the two?

The 25-year-old has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford, with Barcelona reportedly interested in acquiring the midfielder, according to the transfer rumor mill.

But even though his performances in a red shirt have been underwhelming, would United want to get rid of an asset like Pogba, a player who is likable and clickable – 28 million followers on Instagram and over five million on Twitter and a particular appeal to Generation Z?

READ: Ronaldo to face former club Manchester United

Mourinho speaks with Pogba during United's defeat against Brighton.
PHOTO: Dan Istitene/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Mourinho speaks with Pogba during United's defeat against Brighton.

In 2017, Pogba was named the third-most marketable sportsperson in the world, while he is also sponsored by Adidas, United’s kit manufacturers.

Ed Woodward, United’s executive vice-chairman, has already said that the team’s performances “doesn’t really have a meaningful impact on what we can do on the commercial side of the business.”

Mourinhho’s reported problems with Pogba – and given his marketing profile – highlights the changing nature of the sport.

One of the issues Calvin explores in his most recent book “State of Play” is the need for more emotionally intelligent managers and coaches in football, as epitomized by England manager Gareth Southgate.

“We’re actually watching someone who is out of his time,” said Calvin of Mourinho.

“It was very marked within the World Cup where Southgate had almost the moral courage to say to these players ‘just be yourselves.’”

Mourinho applauded fans after United's defeat by Tottenham.
PHOTO: Michael Regan/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Mourinho applauded fans after United's defeat by Tottenham.

”Joylessness’

Mourinho, in a sense, set the tone for the start of the season United has had.

Entering his third season at Old Trafford, he predicted a “difficult season” for a team which finished second in May.

Not enough money has been spent, said the Portuguese, who has seen three players added to his squad over the summer – Brazil midfielder Fred for $60 million, Portuguese defender Diogo Dalot ($24 million) and third-choice goalkeeper Lee Grant ($2 million).

The Portuguese was also critical of his players this summer; questioning captain Antonio Valencia’s fitness and the length of Anthony Martial’s absence from the summer tour following the birth of his second child.

While United were relatively quiet in the most recent transfer window, Mourinho’s net spend as United boss is reportedly $389 million – only Manchester City (£500 million) has spent more. It was under Mourinho’s stewardship that defenders Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly were purchased, both of whom are currently out of favor with the United boss.

“I think there’s a joylessness about him,” continued Calvin.

“When he came into English football, he had a joy about him and impudence about him. There was definitely a spark in his eyes. Now there’s a deadening effect to his continual pessimism and complaints.

“He talks about not being given the players he wants. He’s spent a lot of money on that team with very little effect.”

In Mourinho’s first season, United won the League Cup and Europa League, but finished sixth, 24 points behind champion Chelsea. Last season his team didn’t really mount an effective challenge to Manchester City as Pep Guardiola’s ran away with the title.

Empathetic managers such as Klopp and Pochettino are the future, said Calvin.
PHOTO: Alex Livesey/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Empathetic managers such as Klopp and Pochettino are the future, said Calvin.

In the opposition dugout on Monday was Mauricio Pochettino, a man, says Calvin, whose managerial style is the future.

“Potch is the exact opposite,” he said. “He drives people, he trusts you and there’s a sense of adventure.

“Someone like Mourinho has lost the ideas of the real values of his football club. The counterpoint to that is someone like [Liverpool manager] Jurgen Klopp. He reflects the emotional intensity of the club.”

Mourinho signed a contract extension in January and former players have spoken out in favor of the manager.

Former United captain Bryan Robson told the United’s TV station that “the track record that Jose has holds up,” while another ex-United player Ryan Giggs said it was time for the club and fans to stick together.

Drawn against Juventus, Valencia and Young Boys in the group stages of the Champions League, United’s fixtures over the winter will not get any easier.

Juventus now has Cristiano Ronaldo in their ranks, Valencia is on the up, while last season United was dumped out of the Champions League stages by Sevilla in the last-16 round.

Visit cnn.com/sport for more news and videos

“The leopard has got to change his spots and I can’t see that happening,” said Calvin.

“The unspoken question so far is: is this Mourinho’s last job at one of the world’s great clubs?

“Mourinho deserves the greatest credit and respect for what he’s done in the game but if we look at what he will do I think we’ve come to the end of the line. I’d be surprised if he’s there at the end of the season.”