first_img0Shares0000Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is struggling to turn the club’s fortunes around © AFP / Ian KINGTONLONDON, United Kingdom, Sep 30 – Manchester United are a club in crisis and Jose Mourinho is seemingly powerless to prevent a slide into mid-table mediocrity for the 20-time English champions.The Old Trafford hierarchy preened this week after the latest financial results showed the club had earned revenue of more than half a billion pounds for the third year running. But United, who finished a distant second behind Manchester City last season, are going backwards on the pitch — licking their wounds after their worst start to a league campaign for 29 years.Mourinho’s men travelled to the London Stadium on Saturday boasting an enviable record against West Ham but came away chastened after a 3-1 defeat killed off any realistic hopes of a Premier League challenge before the end of September.Jose Mourinho (right) and French midfielder Paul Pogba are at loggerheads © AFP/File / Oli SCARFFLanguishing nine points behind leaders City, they now face a battle even to qualify for the lucrative Champions League, a prospect that will give the money men sleepless nights.Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand said the club face some “big decisions” over the manager’s future after the listless display in the capital.“There are some big decisions to be made at United now,” he said. “There will be conversations at the top level, about the future of the manager and the squad, because the basics are not being done. There has to be something said.”– Pogba-Mourinho rift –United’s build-up to the match against West Ham was overshadowed by the growing rift between Mourinho and Paul Pogba, who was stripped of the vice-captaincy before their League Cup exit against Championship side Derby in midweek.It came after the French World Cup winner implicitly criticised his manager’s tactics, imploring United to attack more and as rumours continued to swirl linking him with a move to Barcelona.It is difficult to see how both player and manager can work together in the long term after such public displays of disunity.United are anxious to hang on to one of the world’s most marketable players but all the signs are that they are sticking with Mourinho for now despite their desperately poor start to the season, which has seen them muster just 10 points from seven games.Manchester United have not won the Premier League since the days of Alex Ferguson © AFP/File / ANDREW YATESPogba gave another under-par performance against West Ham but he was not the only player to disappoint in the late September sunshine.United are lacking in ideas, short of inspiration and shape, with many of the players looking like square pegs in round holes.Manchester City and Liverpool have a definable ethos and way of playing but United — for so long the standard bearers of swashbuckling forward play under Alex Ferguson — are painfully lacking in identity in Mourinho’s third season at the club.They have a clutch of top players including Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez — who was left out of the squad against West Ham.United have backed Mourinho heavily in the transfer market but their policy has been scattergun, with January signing Sanchez failing to recreate his Arsenal form at Old Trafford.Mourinho did not look too despondent after Saturday’s result but his attempts to shift the blame for two of United’s goals onto the officials failed to take the spotlight off his under-performing players.United appeared to have turned the corner after a poor start to the season, winning three away games on the bounce.But a disappointing draw against promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers last week came before the Derby setback.United’s hierarchy may appear relatively sanguine despite the poor run but how long can they afford to wait before they reach crunch point?Defeat on penalties in the League Cup leaves only two competitions left that they can win barring a miracle in the Premier League — the FA Cup and the Champions League — and victory in Europe looks an unlikely prospect.United are already onto their third manager since Ferguson retired as a Premier League champion in 2013.The club used to pride itself on its stability during the Ferguson years as other clubs chopped and changed but they have to pull themselves out of their current spiral of decline.Will they stick or twist?0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more


first_imgTwo elderly brothers who beat off raiders with just a brush have been targeted again.Well-known farmers Jim and Eric Steele saw off a gang of four burglars who called to their home looking for cash.The pensioners, aged 69 and 75, gave one raider a beating and chased them from their home on Main Street in Manorcunningham on Monday week last. One of the attackers was injured and they fled empty-handed.However the brothers have revealed they were set upon again just four days after they saw off the first gang.Doors on the brother’s outhouses were broken, machines were damaged and oil was stolen in the second raid.The brothers didn’t hear the break-in at the rear of their home and only discovered the damage and robbery the next morning. Eldest brother Jim told Donegal Daily he suspects it could have been the same gang again.He said he will deal with the raiders in “his own way” if they call back again.“The first time I used a brush and gave one of them a good shot to the guts.“They weren’t expecting that but this is our home and we will do all we have to do to defend it.“The next time it might not be a brush if they come in here,” he warned. Brother Eric said they are now taking in turns sleeping in case the gang come back.“The guards can’t be everywhere so we have to look after ourselves and our property.“We don’t have anything in our house but this is our home and we won’t be frightened out of it,” he said.Nobody has been arrested in relation to the burglary on the Steele brothers’ home. More than 20 burglaries have taken place across Donegal in recent weeks with a number of elderly people hurt during some of the raids.A number of people appeared at Letterkenny District Court this week charged in connection with other alleged burglaries across Donegal.All seven people were released on bail to appear at future court sittings.Jim Steele said he was outraged when he heard that all suspects have been released.“The Gardai are bringing these people before the courts and they are just allowed to walk free again.“What kind of message is that sending out to old people living alone that these people are back out on the streets again,” he said.WELL-KNOWN FARMING BROTHERS HIT BY GANG AGAIN was last modified: January 24th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Eric SteeleJim Steelemanorcunninghamlast_img read more