The season is not even halfway through, yet Jose Mourinho has already fallen into frustratingly old habits.

His Manchester United side have just 20 points from 13 matches, which is a poorer return than either Louis van Gaal – both seasons – or David Moyes at Old Trafford.

Mourinho, though, refuses to accept United’s – or his own – failings.

It is exasperating.

“If we just focus on Burnley, Stoke and Arsenal - nine points easily,” said the Portuguese following the draw with the Gunners.

“If we had those six points more we are top four and close to the top of the league.”

But it doesn’t work like that.

“We all know inside that in this moment we are the unlucky team in the Premier League,” he continued.

He is simply diverting attention away from his poor results.

The draw with West Ham last weekend means United have now won just one of their last seven Premier League matches.

Mourinho should shoulder some responsibility – both privately and in public.

After all, he made six changes for the visit of the Hammers, having overseen the 4-0 win against Feyenoord just three days earlier.

Yet his assistant Rui Faria – standing in for interviews after Mourinho was sent off for kicking a water bottle – once again bemoaned the team’s fortunes.

This tactic is not just limited to the Manchester United management, either.

Alan Pardew, too, has also been known to plead ignorance in the face of failure.

When asked about Crystal Palace’s proclivity for conceding goals from set pieces he responded: “That’s not us.”

Having shipped four of them in the 5-4 defeat at Swansea last weekend, it would appear that it probably is.

It is clearly something that needs addressing should the Eagles want to keep their place in the Premier League, so why not just be honest and say so?

Mauricio Pochettino, too, blamed luck after his side’s first league defeat of the season, against Chelsea.

“We were better than the team that came in very good form,” he said.

“I think we competed very well in the first half and it was a little bit unlucky how we conceded the goal.”

Maybe so, but the reality is that Spurs have now won just one of their last 10 matches.

No matter how unlucky they are, some of the blame for that run must fall on the manager.

And – as in each of these cases – the sooner he acknowledges that, the better.