If history is anything to go by, José Mourinho won’t be the manager of Manchester United at the start of the 2019/20 Premier League season. Only once in his entire career has he been in charge at a club for a spell longer than three seasons, and that was back in 2007 when he lasted three years and three months as Chelsea boss. This is not a man who hangs around.
Now, it looks as if the clock is once again ticking for José, with him seemingly on a one-man mission to alienate every single footballer and staff member at United. The club’s pre-season marketing jaunt to the USA was notable only for his ashen demeanour and constant griping about everything under the sun, not least the youth players unfortunate enough to be accompanying him on tour.
If those aren’t the actions of a man laying the groundwork for a severance package, we don’t know what is.
To be fair though, this is nothing we haven’t seen before from the Portuguese. Who can forget that iconic meltdown during the death throes of his second spell at Stamford Bridge?
It was a classic of the Mourinho genre. You know how it goes: he lashes out either verbally or physically at anyone within eye-jabbing distance, whether it be a female physio, a diminutive attacking midfielder or an opposing assistant manager.
The only thing that remains to be seen is just how mental José chooses to go this time.
Would you be surprised to see him kung fu kick a child mascot expecting a pre-game handshake or hair-ruffle? Or stick Paul Pogba in nets as punishment for getting a new haircut the day before a match? A world of possibilities awaits us.
Anyway, it’s not as if he’d be a huge loss to United. In case you hadn’t noticed, under Mourinho they’ve been about as thrilling a watch as already-dry paint getting even drier.
He’s turned a team full of attacking talent into one of the dullest outfits in the league, all the while going about his business as if he’d been asked to dig his way out of a septic tank using nothing more than a plastic spoon and a jar of pickles.
United can do better than this, and one suspects it won’t be long before the majority of people involved with the club realise this – if they haven’t already.