Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has produced many memorable moments in European club football in the past 15 years. He first came to the limelight when he masterminded the defeat of Manchester United with his side Porto in 2004, winning the UEFA Champions League despite being the underdogs.
Perhaps the most iconic image of that season was that of Mourinho running along the sidelines of Old Trafford after having gotten the better of Sir Alex Ferguson. It reflected a new breed of younger managers- Guardiola, Conte, Klopp, and Allegri- who would eventually rise up the ladder to fill in the boots of the revered Scotsman.
Mourinho ended up taking on the Manchester United managerial position in 2016 raising possibilities of another era where the club could compete for both Europe and Premier League. However, things have not gone according to plan.
The only major trophy that Mourinho can boast of at Old Trafford is the Europa League a year ago. It was important as it guaranteed the Champions League action for which the club couldn't do much on the basis of its domestic league performance.
Mourinho is now hitting out at the Manchester United hierarchy for not giving him the players he wanted in the transfer window. He also does not believe that people should pay to watch the club's friendly as 101,254 people attended the match in which his team lost 1-4 to Liverpool.
Mourinho has always been the one who has revelled in being adversarial whether it be the opponent or his own club and even officials and players themselves. This attitude of working against the odds has produced great success at Porto and Inter Milan, the only two clubs where he has won the UEFA Champions League.
He has rather surprisingly failed to win the coveted trophy while being at the helm of Chelsea twice, Real Madrid and now Manchester United. It seems as if the galvanizing effect that he can produce works wonders for teams who do not have that much pressure on themselves in the first place.
Domestically he has won in Portugal, Italy, Spain and England. Usually, the second season is the one where the Mourinho effect is in full flight with at least one major silverware assured. The chain was, however, broken with the absence of trophies in the previous season.
Another trend that comes to the foreground is that of the Portuguese leaving a club after three seasons. Usually, Mourinho does that on his terms. With his diatribe against the club owners and fans in this early stage, one cannot help but feel that he is raging against the dying light of failure with next to no management nous left. These seem to reflect the start of the grim fall of a brilliant career.