It has been a really long time. So much so that you actually feared if it was ever going to come back. But yesterday’s tactical masterclass over Chelsea proved that Jose Mourinho is still good. Very good. And you could bet that Roman Abramovich was also watching as Jose Mourinho shows Chelsea that he is still ‘The Special One’.
Mourinho has had a rough couple of years. He won the league with Chelsea within two years of his return to England which prompted many to say that he might be greatest manager in the Premier League era after Sir Alex.
But things went downhill from the next season as his title winning Chelsea team self destructed in spectacular fashion. He was sacked mid way through the campaign as many people claimed that he was simply no longer as good as he thinks he is.
Jose Mourinho went on a mini sabbatical as he waited for the right opportunity to come back. And he did just that with the job that he always wanted from the beginning.
Jose’s arrival at Old Trafford was met with much fanfare as people expected him to brush off his last six months with Chelsea. His start could not have been any better as United won the Community Shield in his first match. Jose also won his first match in the Premier League soon followed by another win on his Old Trafford win.
Jose also bought in some superstar players such as Zlatan and Pogba. Things were rosy for Mourinho and the United faithful and some pundits named United their early title favorites.
But things changed after their loss in the Manchester derby at home. Jose’s team started dropping points and slipped down the table pretty quickly. His magic seemed to have dissipated as he struggled to inspire his team like the way he used to in the past.
But over the last few months there have been signs of improvement for Jose and the United fans. They are playing better because they seem to have finally found their best eleven. Pogba has been disappointing with his finishing but his team play has gradually improved.
The likes of Smalling and Blind have been pretty good while Mikhitaryan has started to have much more of an influence on the games. While Ibrahimovic has been sensational this year, Rashford and Mata have also chipped in with a few goals.
And yesterday’s win over Chelsea was the best that they had played all season. Kante was over powered and out muscled by Paul Pogba in the midfield. Herrera had his best match in a United shirt as he man marked Eden Hazard out of the match.
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Diego Costa barely had a kick of the ball as he was well marshaled by the United defense. Conte looked bereft of ideas as Jose Mourinho wore a smug look through out the match. He knew that he was winning.
As the final whistle blew, Mourinho soaked in the applause as the United fans cheered him on with much gusto. He pointed to the United crest on his chest as he wore a look of deep satisfaction. The Premier League needed United to win in order to make the title race more interesting. United needed the win to keep their top four chances alive. And Jose needed the win to prove to everyone as well as to himself that he is still ‘The Special One’.