Jose Mourinho is the ultimate pantomime villain.
But in his two years as Man United we’ve barely seen the Special One at his provocative, cheeky best.
Until last night.
United’s impressive, last gasp win at Champions League favourites Juventus was achieved in true Mourinho style… through a last minute own goal after sending on Marouane Fellaini.
That of course is a slight discredit to United, who stirred in the second half and have shown flashes of attacking rejuvenation in recent weeks.
What followed was the Mourinho of old, cupping his ear in a taunt to the Juve fans after pulling off an unlikely comeback.
This was the Mourinho United fans thought they’d acquired after he succeeded Louis van Gaal in the summer of 2016.
Instead he has resembled an old man shouting at a cloud, devoid of fresh ideas amid the ever-changing footballing landscape.
So has the penny finally dropped?
After two years of miserable, energy sapping football has Mourinho finally accepted that attack might be the best form of defence?
He fought tooth and nail for a new centre-back in the summer and kicked his toys out of the pram when his wishes were rebuffed.
But, after a torrid start to the season, Mourinho seems to have recognised he can’t rely on the defenders he does have at his disposal, so he might as well prioritise the other end.
Anthony Martial, who looked destined for the Old Trafford exit, is the most in form player in the Premier League right now.
Marcus Rashford and Juan Mata are both contributing match-winning moments and Paul Pogba has been reinstated as the heartbeat of the side.
This is the United the fans know and love. These are the players they want to see wreaking havoc. This is the Mourinho who we’ve loved to hate but can’t help respecting.
He even had time for a post-match pop at the FA following their frankly petty appeal that is fast becoming a vendetta.
More of this Jose.
More attacking vigour, more momentous comebacks, more idiosyncratic pirate faces.
- Have Chelsea fans already forgotten who their greatest manager of all time is?
- What would Man United look like under Zinedine Zidane?
- A forensic deep dive into the incredible moment Jose Mourinho was completely triggered
WATCH: LOVE OF THE GAME – EPISODE 2