Jose Mourinho has been here before. This whole third season syndrome, which is currently hanging over his head is not new. This, amid his spiky management style, was known to Manchester United when the club hired him in 2016.
Manchester United too, have had difficult times before. But never before has it been acrimonious. The utter disdain and sheer resentment around Old Trafford weren’t part of the club’s heritage. The Special One also knew this too well, when he took the job in the summer of 2016.
After failed attempts with David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal, a top-class manager with a pedigree of success was needed to take over the mantle left by Sir Alex Ferguson – after 26 years, and the Special One was the anointed one.
Three seasons down the line, Mourinho is yet to revive the club’s fortunes, but having delivered three pieces of silverware in his first season; the Community Shield, the League Cup and the Europa League; the Portuguese has bettered the antecedents of his two predecessors.
Things have, however, gone from good to bad in the 20117/18 season when lots of improvement were expected. Muo and his men were bundled out of the Champions League and the League Cup, having already conceded the Premier League title to Manchester City with a huge gap and later lost the FA Cup Final to Chelsea. The comments that followed each of those failures, particularly the Champions League exit was bitter and were pointers to the fact that the pedigree of the self-acclaimed Special one floors the ambition of the club, especially after such shameful defeats.
He did it again on Monday night, comparing the scoreline to the number of Premier League title he has won while shaming nineteen other managers in the process.
When you sense an unfair or undue conspiracy against you amongst the media, the last thing you want to do is storm out of a press conference.
It’s been from bad to worse so far in the 2018/19. The omen has been bad since the start of the preseason. Mourinho moaned over the unavailability of first-team players, requested more signings; particularly in the defence but Executive Vice-Chair, Ed Woodward was reluctant to trust the manager with the club funds. Between that, were unforgiving, undermining and belittling comments about some of his players. The lacklustre ones so to say.
Strange things really happen, and the home defeat to Spurs, who hardly find their rhythm whenever they visit the Old Trafford might be the start of worst things to come for Manchester United.
From a historical perspective, Manchester United have never lost a home game by three-nil in the Premier League, and just like the 1992/93 season, the Red Devils are having one of their worst starts to a Premier League campaign.
When they did in 1992/93, they went on to win the league then by beating Aston Villa and Norwich to the diadem. For that not to be eventually discarded as a wishful thought at the end of the current season, the Red Devils will hope that Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City all have catastrophic seasons, to be sure of winning the title or even managing a good finish.
The reality is, the man in charge has predicted this chaos before a ball was kicked. Manchester United know it, if the club must position itself better, it’s either they show Mourinho the exit door or hand him his demands.
It could get better or worse from there.