By Nicholas Ojo-Awo
It is generally accepted in football circles and corridors that the best coaches can only remain at the top for a decade with exceptions to a few examples like Alex Ferguson (whose era of dominance Jose Mourinho was brought in to replicate).
For me, it was always a marriage of convenience between Manchester United and Mourinho. A couple of directors were against his appointment notably Sir Alex himself as well as some of the older established names.
It is common knowledge that Mourinho comes with his personal baggage and it is a huge luggage that would weigh down none but the biggest of clubs.
In the end though, his pedigree as a league winning coach prevailed and he secured the dream job he had been after since Ferguson retired from the United dug out.
Mourinho was brought to do what Van Gaal and others couldn’t do; keep pace with the resurgent teams from London and hush the rising decibels of the noisy neighbors across town.
Huge splashes in the transfer market coincided with a bright start to the season, with United matching Man City with three wins in three games played as the Manchester teams were staying true to early season predictions of being the front runners when the season ends in May.
A meeting of the two Manchester teams back in September has since taken the wheels of the Mourinho-United project.
Three straight loses was halted with a couple of wins in the Europa league but once again, the Premier League has returned to show that Mourinho is at a total loss for what the current requirements of succeeding in the league are.
His use of Marouane Fellaini whose gangly frame and mop up hair is suited to long balls and extreme physicality with little or no flair which continuously earns the ire of fans at the Theatre of Dreams.
Mourinho first banished Schwinstiger from the squad and now has him back, another that had been on the fringes of ostracisation is the former Dortmund player of the year, Mkhitaryan while the attacking quartet of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney has only the youngster as a bright spark with the captain spending more and more time on the benches.
The boring match against Liverpool where a pretty big bus was parked brought about a goalless draw that was quickly followed with the four-nil drubbing at his old home, Stamford Bridge.
While these clashes with other top teams and title contenders may be excusable or argued, the humiliating 3-1 loss to Watford and the sending off and eventual goalless draw at Burnley pretty much sums up what Mourinho’s Man Utd team has become.
The lingering aftertaste is usually compounded by the bizarre reasons that Mourinho always gives in the post-match conferences that generally has one wondering how long before all the goodwill built up by United over the years is eroded away.
Excuses which range from commitment of the players, fixture scheduling, match referees and even a complete conspiracy by the FA.
Everyone and everything but himself have been alleged in the past and in the present including ball boys.
The self-acclaimed Special One and yes in all honesty used to be pretty special, has a long season ahead if he is to turn things around for he is beginning to be discovered as a one trick pony, presenting his team in like manner against the big teams and being caught out by the same technique while playing against supposedly weaker teams.
Add the skirmishes that are springing up in and around the club and it’s clear that a pattern has been established, Mourinho has had his glory coaching days in the sun, the special decade has passed and the decline has commenced.
With two FA charges in one week, Mourinho is like a drowning man, and he will only take those around him down as he did with Chelsea last season before he was cut loose.
Can United afford to finish outside the Champions League or even worse outside the European places completely?
Food for thought: Chelsea are eleven points better than they were at this point last season when they had Mourinho and as maligned as Van Gaal was he still had earned United five more points this time last season and he did it without one of the best players from the Bundesliga (Mkhitaryan), the French Ligue Un (Ibrahimovic) and the world’s most expensive footballer (Paul Pogba).