Remember When Jose Mourinho Had 'Reached The Point Of No Return'? Odds Reflect The Month That Has Transformed Manchester United
How times change in football.
Little over a month ago, Manchester United head honcho Jose Mourinho was set to be the first casualty on the managerial chopping block.
Odds on at 4/6 following a disastrous start to the season that saw them humiliated in being knocked out of the EFL Cup by a Championship side and sink way behind the leading pack in the Premier League meant that headlines were scrambled as to who would be the man to step into Mourinho’s shoes.
Referendums were held, Zidane was flirted, but the Portuguese persisted.
A cold, wet, dog-eared end to September and a frightening beginning to October saw Halloween come early to the red side of Manchester, so much so that on the 6th October, Sports Journalist David McDonnell wrote for The Mirror that the beleaguered Mourinho had ‘reached the point of no return, with the axe ready to fall’.
This was ahead of a crunch-match with Newcastle United, with Mourinho due to depart after two seasons - ‘resigned to his fate’ - whatever the outcome of that Saturday fixture at the Theatre of Dreams, that had by that point turned into the Theatre of Screams.
At half-time that seemed set to be the case, with the Magpies on the verge of managing their first win all season - a stretch that had by then ran over seven games.
A remarkable comeback made it eight, with a second half United performance that harked back to the days of yore sending Old Trafford into uproar and retrospectively now looks like the turning point of United’s fortunes, despite the lowly opposition on that day.
Since then, a mockery has been made of McDonnell’s prognostication, with United only suffering defeat once - in the Champions League to Serie A champions Juventus - with revenge majestically being reaped this week at the Allianz Arena.
United wins against Everton and Bournemouth were battling but perhaps the most entertaining in the Premier League of late.
United have gone behind in a total of five of their last six games, and coming out with victories in four of them. This is not to mention conceding a last minute goal to Chelsea to take a good point away from Stamford Bridge.
They now find themselves at 25/1 to win their fourth European Cup, ninth in the pecking order, down from 50/1 after their draw with Valencia and loss at Old Trafford to the Old Lady.
Ahead of the crucial Manchester Derby at the Etihad this weekend, United also find themselves 66/1 for their 14th Premier League title - what would be their first in six years. A month ago, the Red Devils were 200/1.
Mourinho - once favourite for the chop - is now to his credit lurking between the murky duo of Rafa Benitez and Roy Hodgson, at around 20/1. Should this run of United’s continue, fans will be happy to see those odds rise further.