Jose Mourinho’s appointment at Manchester United was supposed to spark the revival of two entities whose reputations had taken a hit.
Mourinho still had scars from his final season at Chelsea, where he was sacked just four months into the 2015-16 season after falling out with some of his staff and players.
Meanwhile, David Moyes and Louis van Gaal’s failed tenures at Old Trafford left Man United in desperate need of some stability.
It’s been nearly six months since Mourinho was hired and there are no signs that either the Portuguese or the Red Devils will come out of this looking good.
Mourinho’s handling of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Henrikh Mkhitaryan has left many questioning his man-management skills, while United, eighth in the Premier League and third in their Europa League group, are some way beneath the quality required to compete for trophies.
Thursday’s 2-1 defeat to Fenerbahce in Europe was another disappointing result in a season that has included losses to Manchester City and Watford.
You only need to look at Mourinho’s four summer signings to get an idea of United’s struggles.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is struggling for goals; Paul Pogba hasn’t met expectations; Mkhitaryan can’t even get a game and Eric Bailly is injured until December.
Mourinho inherited a squad that included some poor players, including Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo.
It’s for that reason that, according to the Daily Mail, he has been “surprised” by the scale of the task at United.
It’s clear that the squad needs a complete overhaul. United spent nearly £160 million in the summer but perhaps Mourinho’s biggest error so far was not shifting the likes of Blind and Rojo.
Rio Ferdinand doesn’t think that the United boss knows his best XI, but that’s not entirely his fault. Mourinho has been let down by poor performances from Ibrahimovic, Pogba, Anthony Martial, Chris Smalling, Luke Shaw and others.
And who thought managing Manchester United would be easy?