Jose Mourinho’s managerial career looked dead and buried after Snapchat stories of a naked headbutt on Paul Pogba leaked.
But football has a short memory.
Nuno Santos- so impressive in guiding Wolves to a 2019/20 Champions League place- took the reigns at a Neymar-less PSG, creating a vacancy at Molineux.
There was only ever going to be one man for the job, especially when Jorge Mendes hijacked the recruitment process.
Jose pitched up in the Black Country.
The artist formerly known as The Happy One formerly known as The Special One was now The Not Allowed Within Two Miles of Pogba One.
But the smile had returned. The glint in the eye was back. Your mum was commenting on how good he looked every time his face popped up on Match of the Day.
Jose’s first act was to shore up the heart of Wolves’ defence.
Pepe had blocked his number. A mix-up, orchestrated by Ed Woodward, nearly resulted in Wolves bringing Nemanja Vidic out of retirement instead of signing Nemanja Matic.
Jose was out of options. But then the light bulb went off. How could he have been so stupid to overlook one of Europe’s premium young centre-halves?
Two hours later, Scott McTominay had been announced as Wolves’ record signing. The fee? “I prefer not to speak,” Jose told journalists, while attempting to plug Strepsils during a bizarre press conference.
Jordan Lukaku, Marouane Fellaini and Lee Grant also arrived, funded by the sale of Ruben Neves to Barcelona.
The real coup was convincing Alexis Sanchez to leave the doldrums of United’s reserve squad to move to Wolves. The transfer fee of £25million and seventeen Labradors seemed steep for a player so out of form.
As fate would have it, the
definitely not fixed random Premier League fixture generator threw up United v Wolves at Old Trafford in the first game of the season.
United won 4-0, with Zinedine Zidane’s side mercilessly targeting auxiliary right-back Adama Traore throughout the entire 90 minutes.
Wolves fared no better in their first Champions League group stage fixture.
Mourinho’s insistence on travelling to Qarabag by bus to improve team coherence was well-meaning, but the 58 hour journey from Wolverhampton to Baku left the players exhausted.
And then it happened. Wolves’ second Premier League game saw Burnley travel to Molineux. A first-half hat-trick from Ashley Barnes left Wolves 3-0 down.
Jose strode out onto the pitch at half-time with a mic in his hand and the crowd expecting a Delia Smith-esque pep talk. What actually happened will go down in Premier League history.
Mourinho said: “I quit. That’s it. Done. Finito. No more of this shite for me. What’s the f****** point? I’m a multi-millionaire. I don’t need this s*** in my life any more.
“I’ve just conceded three goals to Ashley Barnes. Ashley f****** Barnes. Who the f*** is Ashley Barnes? He’s a specialist in failure.
“I’m a coach, I’m not Harry Potter. He is magical, but in reality there is no magic. Magic is fiction and football is real.”
And with that, Jose was done. Thanks for the memories.
(For the interest of legal peace of mind, all those quotes are made up. Except for the Harry Potter stuff. Jose actually said that.)
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