Jose Mourinho hasn’t become a bad manager overnight. He is still one of the most respected managers in the World, with excellent CV.
However, Mourinho is in unfamiliar territory at present. When he arrived in 2016, he generated outrageous expectation at Old Trafford and it was thought that Manchester United would rekindle their former glory rather quickly.
Manchester United "have big decisions" to make about the future of manager Jose Mourinho.
That's according to Rio Ferdinand.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) September 29, 2018
The imaginary fanfare sounded, the fans bought the latest shirt, probably in purple and lime, and they ordered another trophy cabinet. The hype that followed Mourinho was the size of a small Pacific island and initial impressions were good, but within two seasons the optimism has been replaced by uncertainty, doubt and a series of catastrophic results.
The ‘Special one’ has seemingly become more egocentric than ever and his inability to get the best out of World class players, has put paid to any notion of another premiership title this season. He has begun to serve up excuses as if they were an antidote for disappointment and is considered, by many, to be a master of misdirection and deception.
Against West Ham, United were spectacularly poor, almost like a Sunday league pub side. Pubchester United! They were slack, ponderous and oblivious to threat posed by West Ham. After the match Mourinho peddled out a series of excuses from a manual one suspects he has co-written but the fact is that Manchester United aren’t working as a team.
Generate your own Jose Mourinho excuse. pic.twitter.com/sFCThHPKkf
— Footy Humour (@FootyHumour) July 30, 2018
You can blame Pogba, Sanchez and Lukaku if you like, but the cost of assembling such talent, running into hundreds of millions of pounds, should at least enable a handful of them to kick a piece of leather up a field before dispatching it into a net.
You can’t tell me that it’s beyond the Portuguese boss, because if that’s the case, then he is not the manager we all believed him to be. Yet, it’s not only their form that is of concern, their style or lack of it is probably the more pressing issue.
The theatre of dreams has been witness to a number of turgid, unimaginative displays over two seasons and this one seems no better. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the idea of Mourinho at United seemed perfect but in practice it’s not exactly what both parties wanted or needed.
The Champions League contest against Valencia on Tuesday, is now a must win match. Not just a must win but it needs to be a win in the Manchester United style, if that doesn’t happen then Mourinho may be looking for a new job.
United have a rich history in European competitions and with the premiership looking like the stuff of fantasy, the UCL represents the only other trophy which matters.
When Mourinho goes and he will soon enough, his reign will be remembered for discord and underachievement. It will be on record that one of the best managers in the World, was unable to run one of the biggest clubs in the World, with some of the best players available.
A specialist in failure? Not quite but it’s still a mystery how things have gone so badly, so quickly.