August is not yet over and Manchester United have already had to reaffirm their support for Jose Mourinho as manager.
The outcry which has followed the club’s miserable 3-2 defeat at Brighton and Hove Albion is a sign of an already fraught atmosphere among supporters, the majority of which no longer believe in Mourinho’s ability to take this team forward.
He will not be sacked any time soon, but you struggle to see him hanging around for much longer either.
And so the question which naturally emerges is this: who should replace the 55-year-old? Let us take a closer look at the two main candidates: Zinedine Zidane and Mauricio Pochettino.
No manager in the world has a higher stock than Zidane, who left Real Madrid – his first managerial job – in May having won three Champions League titles, on top of winning La Liga in 2017.
His sheer presence – that inexplicable verve, a kind of je ne sais qui – would be enough to galvanise a group of currently dejected players. Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial, two frustrated figures, would respond enthusiastically to seeing Zidane walk through the door.
This is a man with a unique football brain. He is one of the true greats, a kind of modern god of the beautiful game. Zizou is an anagram for finesse, beauty, success, achievement. He can be best described as guide with a golden touch.
United, however, need more than that. They need a manager who can offer a long term vision, a clear style and a particular path they can follow. Zidane, for all his panache, does not seem equipped to undertake the overhaul in both style and temperament on a long term basis in the Premier League, a different beast to La Liga.
Many supporters see Pochettino as an ideal candidate to manage United. Sir Alex Ferguson, back in 2012, recognised the Argentine as a force to be reckoned with when he was managing Southampton.
With patience, skill, tactical nuance and an insatiable appetite for precision and perfection, he has changed Tottenham Hotspur from a laughing stock into a proper team. That is a massive achievement in itself.
There is a process unfolding at Spurs, improving and solidifying each season. They are entering a new era as a club and Pochettino is at the heart of that. The chances of him leaving that behind are, unfortunately, very slim indeed.