Rio Ferdinand has made it clear that Manchester United will be expected to win major trophies under Jose Mourinho this season.
The Portuguese enjoyed a successful opening campaign at Old Trafford last year, atoning for a poor league finish by claiming the League Cup and Europa League.
And they have made an encouraging start to the 2017/18 campaign, claiming 11 wins from 15 games and securing maximum points from their first three Champions League group games.
Speaking in an interview with Goal, Ferdinand emphasised the importance of remaining at the very top throughout the season for Mourinho.
“Once you’re a Man United player, the pressure comes with it,” he said. “The history suggests you win titles and they’ve not done that for a number of years now.”
“The fans want that, they’ve given Jose Mourinho a bit of time, the club have as well. He’s gone out and invested heavily, very well, but now he’s got to go and produce.
“The problem he’s got, he’s got a very talented and strong [Manchester] City team as well, who are performing and look the form side at the moment. I believe it will be a battle between the two Manchester clubs [for the title].”
Mourinho currently finds himself at the epicentre of a kind of threshold for this club in the post-Fergie era.
David Moyes, of course, didn’t get this far, whereas Louis van Gaal reached the exact point of progression, albeit by scoring and entertaining far less, Mourinho currently finds himself at: a promising first campaign and now near the top of the table in late October.
In this sense, no post-Fergie United manager has managed to go any further than this yet. Things went downhill for the Dutchman from this point onwards, and the watching world will look on to see whether Mourinho now can delve into unchartered territory.