September 22, 2020

Return of the prodigal son

October 18, 2018
Jose Mourinho

Since becoming Manchester United manager, former Chelsea favourite son, Jose Mourinho has returned home to the Bridge twice, in the premiership.

On both occasions, he lost the matches. The first one was Mourinho’s most humiliating return to Stamford Bridge. It had come after Mourinho angered Chelsea fans by saying United fans were the best he has ever worked with.

Chelsea fans fell out of love with their first love and went for then manager, Antonio Conte, on the rebound. Conte seized this opportunity to attack Mourinho, verbally, of course, at any chance he got.

The game was tense and Mourinho, quite unusually, went into the game with his heart instead of his head. His formation was wrong, his tactics were out of place, no wonder, he lost the game 4-0. He was humiliated and he voiced it out, especially Conte’s “crazy” celebrations.

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Mourinho’s second homecoming was a bit more respectable. Manchester United defended well but lost 1-0 to an unstoppable header from Morata.

Now, Conte’s obsession with Mourinho ensured that he took his eyes off more important issues, this got him the sack. Mauricio Sarri is in charge at the Bridge and surprisingly, he doesn’t seem to have any past clashes with Mourinho, must be one of the very few top managers.

The game on Saturday will be played without unnecessary bad blood and it will be won or lost based mainly on tactics and players’ performance.

Chelsea are riding high at the moment, Sarri has got them playing good football and they are second in the league behind Manchester City only on goal difference. United on the other hand have already lost three times this season with just eight games played. There is crisis in the dressing room, crisis between manager and board, all just one big mess that you won’t expect from a great club of Manchester United’s stature.

However, United fans can take courage from the excellent comeback against Newcastle and hope if they can keep Eden Hazard quiet on Saturday, maybe they can get something out of the game.

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The truth is Newcastle should not have been leading Man U 2-0 at home in the first instance, the truth is Chelsea are thousands of miles ahead of Newcastle and they present a different kind of threat to Mourinho’s continued stay at Old Trafford. Wouldn’t be ironic if Mourinho is sacked after suffering a humiliating defeat at Stamford Bridge?

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