A 3-1 loss at West Ham on Saturday left United with 10 points from seven games — matching the club’s previous worst Premier League start under Moyes in 2013 immediately after Alex Ferguson’s retirement.
Mourinho seems more focused on picking internal battles rather than motivating his players and preventing a display as disjointed as the one in east London that followed a League Cup loss to second-tier club Derby on Tuesday.
Mourinho hasn’t just feuded with midfielder Paul Pogba, who played 70 minutes after being stripped of the vice captaincy, but with the club’s hierarchy. After spending the off-season bemoaning his inability to sign a center back, midfielder Scott McTominay was deployed on the right of an unsettled three-man defense.
Little wonder that United was so easily picked apart by a West Ham side with only four points from six games before Saturday. It hadn’t won at home this season until Felipe Anderson, Andriy Yarmolenko’s deflected strike and Marko Arnautovic beat goalkeeper David De Gea.
By the time West Ham took the lead in the sixth minute, United had struggled to escape its own half. A cross from Pablo Zabaleta was flicked in at the near post by Anderson.
The Brazilian midfielder provided the second in the 43rd. A corner was headed on by Issa Diop and Yarmolenko took the ball past Nemanja Matic before a shot took a heavy deflection off Victor Lindelof and looped into the net.
United did pull one back — just after Pogba was taken off in the 70th — with Marcus Rashford turning in Luke Shaw’s corner with his back to goal.
But hopes of a comeback flickered only briefly. West Ham regained its two-goal cushion in the 74th when Mourinho’s brittle defense was pierced with ease. Mark Noble was able to thread pass through to Arnautovic, who evaded Christ Smalling before striking past De Gea.
By ROB HARRIS , Associated Press