Since Jose Mourinho arrived on the scene at Porto, many people were full of praise. More so when he joined the likes of Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid where he achieved success wherever he went. But has the Mourinho that everyone wanted to be the manager of their club disappeared? Has the Special One lost his touch?
Just 3 games into the new Premier League season, Manchester United look far from convincing challengers. They have at times looked mediocre under Mourinho. Last season, they finished second behind city rivals Manchester City, by a margin of 19 points. Mourinho has earned critics over the years but often silenced them by guiding his teams to major success.
In December 2015, months after winning the Premier League with Chelsea, Mourinho was sacked with 9 losses from his first 16 league games. Was this the turning point from the ruthless Mourinho of old we saw when he first entered the Premier League in 2004?
When he arrived in 2004, he took the league by storm leading his Chelsea team to 2 consecutive Premier League titles. He also became Chelsea's most successful manager winning 6 trophies in 3 years in his first spell at the club as well as boasting an undefeated Stamford Bridge record, which would ultimately be ended by Sunderland in his second spell in charge of the club.
Having won trophies at Porto, Chelsea & Inter Milan, Mourinho didn't enjoy his time with Real Madrid despite winning the Copa Del Rey and La Liga while in charge of the Galacticos. It was after the defeat to local rivals, Atletico Madrid, in the 2013 Copa Del Rey Final when Mourinho and Real Madrid decided to part company. Was Real Madrid a step to far for the "Special One"? He certainly didn't look comfortable there as he once did while in charge of his previous three clubs.
When Mourinho arrived at Manchester United, which was the worst kept secret in football, fans were in belief that the glory days of one of football's biggest clubs would be heading back their way. Which they hadn't seen since the days of Sir Alex Ferguson.
It certainly looked set to be as in his first season he won the Europa League & EFL Cup. But nothing ever materialised after that with fans calling for Mourinho to change his style of play and disappointed in seeing Mourinho's tactic of "Parking the Bus" which was made famous for his style of play for Chelsea.
Following on from Manchester United's defeat to Brighton, their were reports of a rift between him and Ed Woodward, which he later denied. He appears to have lost the dressing room with players such as Paul Pogba coming out after the game suggesting "they weren't in the right mind to play". Surely the Mourinho of old would have whipped his players for these comments? He has also failed to address the Riola - Scholes situation and Pogba - Barcelona situation. Which in previous years he would have been first to step in.
Manchester United have now lost 2 games from their opening 3 games a feet they haven't seen since their title winning season in 1992/93. With Zinedine Zidane lurking, open to taking charge, could we be seeing the end of Jose Mourinho at Manchester United? It certainly appears to be looking more likely given his recent post-match interviews suggesting he "deserves respect" and having short interviews uncharacteristically. Pundits have also started to suggest Mourinho has been putting on a front, suggesting he's not the same "Special One" he once was.
Has the "Special One" Disappeared? Will we see Zidane succeed Mourinho? What next for Mourinho?