Ahh, Jose. Where did it all go wrong?
One minute you’re revolutionising English football, the next you’re treating Old Trafford like a disgruntled regular at Wetherspoons who’s just been told the pork scratchings are out of stock.
Life comes at you fast.
It wasn’t always like this.
From 2010 to 2013 there wasn’t a manager in world football who could match the goalscoring feats of Jose Mourinho.
This story starts in Spain.
The Bottle-Throwing One was fresh off the back of winning the treble with Inter Milan when he arrived at Real Madrid in 2010.
An extraordinary first La Liga season saw Madrid score 102 goals- 40 of which came from the boot of Cristiano Ronaldo- but still conspire to finish as runners-up to Barcelona.
Mourinho made light work of any potentially awkward scenarios that arose due to Madrid’s strength in depth, particularly up front and in the no.10 role.
Both Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain reached double figures while while Kaka and Mesut Ozil scored seven and six goals apiece.
Even Emmanuel Adebayor got in on the act, netting five times during a six-month loan spell from Man City that we’re still 90% sure didn’t happen.
That exemplary management of personalities will come as something of a shock to Luke Shaw, Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford.
Mourinho didn’t go wild in the summer.
A settled centre-back pairing of Sergio Ramos and Pepe- imagine that, United fans- meant he could integrate new signing Raphael Varane into life at Madrid gradually.
That consistency proved inspired as Madrid won La Liga, breaking the 100-point barrier for the first time in Spanish history and scoring 121 goals.
The only blemish was Ronaldo losing out to Lionel Messi in the race for La Liga’s top goalscorer despite scoring 46 goals.
Key attacking contributions came from Ozil, who was a creative tour de force with 17 assists, and Benzema and Higuain, who chipped in with a combined 43 league goals.
Again, squad management was impeccable.
Jose’s only major outlay in the summer of 2012 was the purchase of Luka Modric from Spurs.
He now had an attacking unit of Benzema, Ronaldo, Higuain and Alvaro Morata supplied by a midfield orchestra of Kaka, Ozil, Modric, Xabi Alonso and Angel Di Maria. Music to any football fan’s ears.
The goals once again flowed. The 100-goal barrier was broken on the final day of the season during a 4-2 win against Osasuna.
But, unlike the previous season, goals didn’t equal trophies. Barcelona were crowned La Liga champions, meaning the only piece of silverware Mourinho had to settle for was a Spanish Super Cup.
Mourinho had also transpired to fall out with several major characters in the dressing room, including Sergio Ramos and Iker Casillas.
That part of the story will be familiar to United fans and players alike. To fully break it down would require a book, rather than an article, and for all the parties involved to speak truthfully.
What we do know is that on 20 May 2013 it was announced Madrid and Mourinho would be going separate ways.
Three seasons, three trophies and 326 league goals. Isn’t it amazing what happens when you place Romelu Lukaku with Ronaldo and Marouane Fellaini with Ozil?
Bring the old Jose back before a bottle gets seriously hurt.
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