By 90Min
October 05, 2018

The thing about these days, right, is it's always someone else's fault.

Ultimately, the English Press were deemed responsible for England's elimination from the World Cup in July, in 90min's first edition of the new, special, absolutely essential reading Who Is to Blame? series. But football moves on, and with it moves the blame game. 

It's the job - no, wait, the duty - of this series to follow this beautiful set of words wherever they travel.

For edition two, we're not following up with an investigation of the Chris Deeley led 'Crisis of Barcelona' theory, nor are we looking at Mohamed Salah's startling drop off in form at Liverpool - Twitter says Sergio Ramos is to still blame for that. No. Our eyes are firmly focused on Manchester United.

Sitting 10th in the Premier League after seven games, nine points off leaders Manchester City, United are in crisis. They may sack manager Jose Mourinho if they lose to Newcastle this weekend (they absolutely won't bin him, but that's besides the point) and they are in absolute meltdown mode at the moment.

So, with the entire world speculating about Who Is to Blame? for this mess, we should probably give you some real, hard hitting answers.


20) Manchester Weather

OLI SCARFF/GettyImages

Blame Rating 1/10


Imagine all the other players Manchester United could've wasted their money on if the weather was a little bit nicer? 


19) Sir Alex Ferguson

Aurelien Meunier/GettyImages

Blame Rating: 2/10


Set the bar too high, probably.


18) Antonio Conte

Stu Forster/GettyImages

Blame Rating: 2.5/10

Lit a fire in Jose Mourinho that probably stopped him attacking his players so much. 

Instead, Jose focused his attention last season on throwing Conte under the bus for his part in a match fixing scandal, while he also claimed he "wasn't going to lose his hair to speak about Antonio Conte" - in a not so subtle dig about the Italian's baldness.

Mean, really, since Conte is not bald. He was, but he is now not. He didn't even make the 26 man ranking list of every bald manager to ever manage in the Premier League.

When Conte left Chelsea in the summer, it all started to fall apart further north. Coincidence?


17) Wayne Rooney

Matthew Ashton - AMA/GettyImages

Blame Rating: 2.5/10

Should be in there somewhere, probably. Was blamed for a lot of stuff while he was at United, so it just makes sense.


16) Scott McTominay

BEN STANSALL/GettyImages

Blame Rating: 3/10

Tall. Modern but not too flashy hair cut. Limited social media presence. Young. Plays the simple pass. Doesn't take risks. Mourinho's gateway excuse for "giving youth a chance".

Loves the kid so much he made up an award for him. Trusts him implicitly. But that's the problem. 

Don't play Scott McTominay in a central defence, it helps give the impression that Mark Noble is actually good at football.


15) That Guy Who Dabbed in Front of the Man Before the Man Dabbed Back at Him in That Bank Advert

Blame Rating: 3.5/10

Sums up just how tragic everything has become, to be honest.


14) Arsene Wenger

PAUL ELLIS/GettyImages

Blame Rating: 4/10 


In announcing his resignation from Arsenal's top job at the end of last season, Arsene Wenger immediately removed himself from the position at the top of the 'Premier League manager who has allowed his club to run out of control for the longest time' rankings.


Wenger was getting it from every angle for a good five years, as he continuously extended his stay with the north London club and continued to make them the quintessential banter club of 21st century football.

Arsenal are starting to look coherent now under new manager Unai Emery, and now all the focus sits on Mourinho and Man Utd. They're teetering on the brink of being the new Arsenal, and that is a very bad thing.


13) Romelu Lukaku

GLYN KIRK/GettyImages

Blame Rating: 4/10

Has missed a few chances at rather crucial times in matches. Scoring them might have made life just a little bit easier.

That gaping open goal miss against Tottenham would have given his side an early advantage and changed the game. United ended up on the wrong end of a 3-0 scoreline. The week before, it was a similar story - this time at Brighton.

Of course, that's papering over the cracks a little bit - United would still have a multitude of problems - but they might have more points.


12) Those Fans Who Paid for That Plane

Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

Blame Rating: 5/10

Planes with trailing messages calling for someone to "get out!", or something along those lines, they generally work in the end. 

It's just, the thing is...it makes you look really tinpot.


11) Manchester United's Brand New Mobile App

Blame Rating 5/10

Perhaps as important to the people within the club as the performances and results at the moment.

I have looked at it though, and can confirm it's actually pretty good.


9) Pep Guardiola

OLI SCARFF/GettyImages

Blame Rating: 5.5/10

Makes things a whole lot worse for Manchester United when their city rivals, formerly noisy neighbours Manchester City, are running their ship perfectly, scoring 100 point league seasons and playing brilliant football along the way. Pep's the man who's got it all functioning.

Remember that time where Pep and Jose joined the Premier League at the same time? When it was meant to be the most spectacular battle of managers we've ever seen in England? Better than Wenger vs Ferguson? It's not lived up to the hype. Pep's wiping the floor with his old adversary.

Who's winning on first team minutes played by academy graduates though, Pep? Eh?


8) Anthony Martial

Blame Rating: 6/10


Had a baby and ticked off his manager because he wanted to spend time with his family in the aftermath. Then he didn't defend well enough against West Ham last weekend even while United played what became effectively eight defenders - each as lazy as the other.

Always looks a bit annoyed too.


7) Paul Pogba's Hair

PAUL ELLIS/GettyImages

Blame Rating: 7.25/10

If Paul Pogba concentrated more on his football and less on his hair, Manchester United wouldn't have any problems right now.


6) Paul Pogba's Barber

Blame Rating: 7.5/10

Enables Paul Pogba to concentrate more on his hair and therefore less on his football.


5) Paul Pogba

Matthew Ashton - AMA/GettyImages

Blame Rating: 7.75/10

Wears his hair how he decides to wear it. But also, crucially, plays football - so should probably stop poking fun at the people who like to talk about his hair and be somewhat more serious.

Paul Pogba is, or should be, one of the best midfielders on the planet. He has the talent to be, has shown that he can be, but it's never worked out for a sustained period at Old Trafford.

May have fallen out with Mourinho on numerous occasions, and may even want to leave the club whether Mourinho stays or not, but he should be grabbing games by the scruff of the neck, he should be a leader (with or without the armband) and he should be fully committed.


4) The Collective Unit That Is the Manchester United First Team Squad

Michael Regan/GettyImages

Blame Rating: 8.5/10

No matter who your manager is, whether you like said manager or not, as a professional football player, you should have professional pride. That's especially the case when you play for Manchester United.

And over the last few months, it's been obvious - that professional pride has been lacking in the United first team.

The players need to remember that they are playing for the crest on their chests, the shirts they're wearing, and the fans who pay their hard earned money to watch them. Things may not be so rosy under a manager who saps the fun out of everything, but we need to see more than they're offering.


3) Jose Mourinho

Amin Mohammad Jamali/GettyImages

Blame Rating: 9.2/10

If Jose Mourinho had left Manchester United at the end of last season, he could've walked away and said, in no uncertain terms, that it was a job well done.

He hadn't won the league - which was always the long-term goal - but what he had done was brought the club a number of steps forward. He'd won the Europa League in his first season, and last term United finished in their highest position since Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement. 

The trouble is, we're at that "third season" now, and Jose doesn't do well in them. He didn't get what he wanted in the summer, proceeded to throw his toys out of the pram, and has been the absolute primary factor in why the atmosphere around the club has been toxic since the start of pre-season. He may have genuine gripes and feel unsupported (which is true) but it's got to the point now where he's lost control.

A manager, at the end of the day, must successfully manage his group of players. Instead, he's fallen out with Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial, Antonio Valencia, Luke Shaw and Eric Bailly among others, while he's completely lost the faith of the squad as a whole.

Oh, and results. The results are bad. Generally when that happens, y'know, it's the manager.


2) The Glazer Family

Members of the Glazer family arrive ahea

Blame Rating: 9.5/10

Have drained over one billion pounds out of the club since their takeover in 2005.

David Conn has put together a really good piece detailing just how bad it is.


1) Ed Woodward

JON SUPER/GettyImages

Blame Rating: 9.8/10

Somebody had to be at the top of the list, and it's Ed Woodward.

He's not a football man, but he's making football decisions. Bad ones. This is not a good thing.

We could zone in on any of the countless mistakes that this man has made over the past few years, but let's focus on his relationship with Jose Mourinho. Woodward made the decision to offer Mourinho an extension to his contract in January of this year, despite the fact Mourinho was nowhere near completing the job he'd been tasked with.

Woodward then failed to provide funds for the Portuguese to sign his preferred transfer targets before the current season started. And when Mourinho has continuously said his squad over-performed last season and isn't good enough to win the title*, this, again, is not a good thing.

JON SUPER/GettyImages

*Other coaches may see things differently, but Mourinho is very much right - it is not good enough to win the league under Mourinho. His style is different.

January's contract renewal put Jose is a cushty position. He's reminded us on numerous occasions that he's got a contract until 2020, and he's been throwing his weight around because of it. He's got security. He's got a fat pay off coming if things become untenable. He's got the power in his hands - and it's Woodward's fault.

You can only hope that next time he's got to make a decision, it'll actually be a good one.

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