One wonders what Jose Mourinho was thinking as Manchester United cruised to a 5-1 win against Cardiff City on Saturday.
The Portuguese coach was unable to inspire his players in the same way that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did in his first match in charge.
Man United looked a completely different team. They were full of running and were unstoppable going forwards.
Indeed, it looked like a performance straight out of Sir Alex Ferguson’s days in charge.
Wayne Rooney summed it up well with his thoughts at half-time, by which time the Red Devils had already scored three goals.
“I think the difference with Mourinho is he gets one goal up and likes to hang on to the result,” Rooney said on BT Sport.
“Now they are trying to go for it.”
Ferguson's message in his 2015 book
Mourinho had seemingly lost all ability to motivate his players and the case is eerily similar to one discussed by Ferguson in his 2015 book Leading.
During a passage about the importance of consistency, Ferguson wrote about players losing belief in a manager’s methods.
“There is a phrase in football about players ‘not playing for the manager’, which I have seen happen a thousand times,” Ferguson said.
“Once that happens, the manager is as good as dead, because he has failed in his major undertaking - which is to motivate the players to follow him.”
Rooney: The kitchen ladies weren't enjoying it
Rooney left Man United in 2017 but he kept in contact with those at the club.
And according to the 33-year-old, it wasn’t just the players who were unhappy under Mourinho’s reign.
“[It was] not just the players, but the whole football club,” he told BT Sport, per the Daily Mail.
“I’m sure Ed Woodward was the same, the staff, the kitchen ladies, the kit men weren't enjoying it. Ole's the person [to help] straight away and I know they're happy.”News Now - Sport News