Sir Alex Ferguson’s long career may have had its peaks and troughs, but there was never any suggestion that the ruthless Scot had genuinely lost his managerial mojo – unlike United’s current gaffer, Mourinho.
Not every top-level manager has been so lucky though, and for most of them the period they spend at the very top of their game is usually relatively short-lived. Unless their name is Harry Redknapp, in which case it never actually started.
There are a variety of reasons why a managerial career may go to the dogs. Some are left behind by tactical innovations of fresh-faced upstarts, others take the wrong job, and some… well, some just inexplicably lose it, whatever it is.
Here are seven once great managers who lost their touch.
Capello's all-conquering Milan side were arguably the best team of the 90s, but the Italian's underwhelming spells as national manager have been a poor way to end his stellar career.
Sorry, Liverpool fans; the guy went from coaching Cristiano Ronaldo to Jonjo Shelvey. Trading Madrid for Tyneside simply isn't good for your career - just ask Michael Owen.
Sven Goran Eriksson
The England job is often the kiss of death for a managerial career - and so it proved with Sven, who has been largely concerned with lining his pockets since parting ways with the FA. Give the man his due, though: he is a bonafide stud.
Luiz Felipe Scolari
Gene Hackman lookalike Scolari was the toast of Brazil when he brought home the World Cup in 2002, but there's no coming back from the humiliating defeat he suffered at the hands of Germany twelve years later.
Andre Villas-Boas put in place the building blocks for Chelsea's 2012 Champions League triumph, said Andre Villas-Boas.
The handsome Portuguese is now coaching in China, aged 39.
While we hate to admit Piers Morgan is right, Piers Morgan is right. Wenger's first decade at Arsenal was nearly faultless, but this barren run has lasted far too long.
Has there ever been a sharper career decline than that of Jose Mourinho? His Man Utd side spent big over the summer, but it looks like the Special One is struggling to put last season's Chelsea nightmare behind him.
The upshot of finding yourself on the managerial scrapheap in Europe is that there is no shortage of deep-pocketed owners in football’s emerging markets prepared to offer you a second chance. Try not to make a mess of things over there though, because if you do you may find your credibility – if not your bank balance – takes an even bigger hit.