Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is currently in the worst possible shape heading into his third and arguably most crucial season at the club.
Fans are consistently baffled by his comments, the media are on his back and there’s an apparent revolution happening amongst his players and even his staff.
The pressure is certainly on for the Portuguese manager to deliver the Premier League title this season or risk losing his job after what happened in the last campaign.
United ended in second place but were a whooping 19 points behind fierce rivals and champions Manchester City; this in a season Mourinho is known for always winning the league in his history.
Either way, it’s not all as bad as it seems for the former Real Madrid manager who could argue he’s got everyone just right where he wants them to be.
Jose is not only a master tactician but master manipulator too. Following the Red Devils being battered 4-1 by Liverpool in a pre-season tour, the media’s focus was on him and not his team.
It’s exactly what he wanted- he went back to his tried and tested recipe of saying something bizarre to distract the fans and media from a terrible result.
He’s done it consistently throughout his career and more than plenty at Manchester United which is why he can appear almost insane.
Following the club’s surprise win against Real Madrid, Mourinho was in a completely different mood, complimenting his players and giving the media just what they want in terms of quotes.
It was almost like a button was pressed and it was for good reason. When his team loses, he says something outrageous so the focus is on him and when they win, he keeps it simple so the team get credit.
There’s a reason why the players are publicly insisting the mood within the United camp itself is as pleasant as ever- because it truly is and he isn’t to the players what he is to the media.
Ander Herrera and Lee Grant both spoke about what a positive atmosphere there is while Luke Shaw and Andreas Pereira discussed how their relationships with Jose didn’t break down last season but were actually improved.
There’s a narrative the 55 year old consistently uses and the media as well as the fans constantly fall for it rather than focus on what truly matters.