I think you can definitely have a decent season with Jones, Smalling, Bailly, and Lindelolf -- the last two of which Mourinho himself bought for a lot of money. Especially if you have players like Matic and Fred and Fellaini and Herrera to play in front of them, and the kind of incredible talent in attack that Mourinho has at his disposal. There can be no excuses when you have such a talented team. Worst of all, in this case the excuses came even before the season. This is Mourinho being his usual unstable self, getting bored and becoming an idiot after a couple of years. He's done it everywhere.
Do you think Liverpool or Chelsea have a much better group of CBs? I don't think Lovren, Matip, Gomez, David Luiz, Rudiger, Cahill, etc. would particularly change anything. I also don't think Spurs or Chelsea have a much better squad than star-studded United overall.
"It is possible to imagine a distant future in which most other species of life are extinct but the ocean will consist overwhelmingly of immortal jellyfish, a great gelatin consciousness everlasting".