Specialist in failure. #MourinhoOut. #SpecialOnce. Manchester United’s defeat to Watford felt – and looked – like a moment we’d all seen before.
It was the Red Devils under Louis van Gaal, it was Chelsea under Jose Mourinho last season; players pulling in different directions, no cohesion, no will to make it work.
An utter disgrace would be a polite way of putting it.
Man Utd had the lowest shot accuracy (18%) of any team in the Premier League today.
Wayward shooting. pic.twitter.com/x32ymzzEu9
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 18, 2016
It feels like Manchester United have loaded Jose Mourinho the wrong way, they’ve got the former Real Madrid’s manager’s classic third season of disarray and disharmony, first, rather than the two seasons of dominance, that they were expecting to get.
Part of me feels almost sorry for the Special Once, because he’s actually a broken man, a manager lost, a bloke who doesn’t know how to recapture what once made him so ‘special’. However, I then remember he’s a poisonous, disrespectful and vile chap, who deserves everything that has happened to him over the last 12 months or so.
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Mourinho is lost; Jose’s style of management was always walking a volatile tightrope, fine when it brings about trophies, but if it goes slightly bad, then everything was always destined to come crashing down.
And it happened at Stamford Bridge. Over a decade of dominance from FC Porto to Real Madrid, everything blew up in spectacular fashion.
Players no longer accepted being publicly humiliated and ‘pushed under the bus’, they no longer bought into Mourinho’s ‘siege mentality’ but instead of adapting, Jose just upped the ante and pushed them harder and further – and then you ultimately end up with Eden Hazard’s performances from last season.
They got him the sack, they wanted him gone and Jose is hurting; licking his wounds as he tries to not replicate it all at Old Trafford.
And this is how we’ve come about with the former Inter Milan manager that we have at Old Trafford, now; one that is wrestling with himself, unsure which bits of his previous management regimes to keep and which ones he has to let go of.
The struggles of a man trying to reinvent himself, trying to be liked again, and still getting it wrong, is a hard thing to watch. Jose believes he’s a misunderstood genius, and perhaps he was once right, but now he’s an almost forgotten irritant.
Mourinho still hasn't learnt his lesson. Throwing players under the bus already, seen it with Casillas, Ramos, Mata, Hazard & now Shaw.
— James (@IondonsGreatest) September 19, 2016
It feels like Mourinho had a harsh reality check with himself when ousted from west London, and had a look in the mirror about what he needs to change.
That’s admirable, it takes a big person to acknowledge their own flaws. But it’s only admirable if the character assassination of yourself leaves you a better person afterwards. In Jose’s case, he fucked it.
Instead of dropping the public ‘hangings’ of his players – from Juan Mata to his latest ‘victim’ Luke Shaw – Jose felt that was still one of his redeeming qualities as a manager. Instead of keeping the ability to make those harsh (but needed) calls – dropping Iker Casillas – Mourinho has rid himself of being able to make those big decisions, and now bottles the elephant in the Roon, and refuses to drop Wayne.
The ‘mind games’ remain, and they’re the biggest indictment that Mourinho just doesn’t get ‘it’ anymore. And he still doesn’t understand why his players turned on him at Stamford Bridge.
Man United under pressure. Mourinho's genius mind gamez of sitting on a chair and reading the match programme not working so far.
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) September 18, 2016
Mourinho is no longer closer to that deep soul searching he needs to do, to start the process of not tarnishing his footballing managerial legacy.
If ever the tag ‘specialist in failure’ suited anyone, it’s the Special Once.