He is the self-proclaimed 'Special One' but has Jose Mourinho lost his touch?
Mourinho dazzled when he first set foot inside Stamford Bridge in 2004 – famously saying: "I'm European champion and I think I'm a special one" after guiding Porto to a remarkable Champions League triumph just weeks earlier.
That name stuck as former Chelsea, Inter and Real Madrid boss Mourinho – the walking headline – re-wrote footballing heritage, establishing himself as a managerial juggernaut with trophies in England, Italy and Spain.
His success came with controversy. It was part of the baggage, which often captivated the English media in particular.
But fast forward to 2018 and Mourinho is no longer looking like the 'Special One' in a world engrossed with arch-nemesis Pep Guardiola and his Manchester City entertainers.
Already 16 points behind Premier League champions-elect City, the Champions League loomed as the next-best way to get one over their neighbours but that plan fell by the wayside – sensationally eliminated by Sevilla in the round of 16.
And that is when cracks started to appear – a defiant Mourinho quickly highlighting United's previous European failings in a bid to distance himself from Tuesday's shock exit at Old Trafford, where victories over Chelsea and Liverpool had previously boosted confidence and renewed belief.
Mourinho, linked with Paris Saint-Germain before signing a timely contract extension in January, was nonchalant in his reaction.
"I sat in this chair twice in the Champions League and I knocked out Manchester United at Old Trafford – with Porto and Real Madrid – so I don't think it's something new for the club," the Portuguese told reporters.
Then there was his epic 12-minute monologue in the build up to United's FA Cup quarter-final against Brighton and Hove Albion.
In front of a packed pre-game news conference, Mourinho came out swinging on Friday, reminding reporters and fans of United's Champions League failings… at length, while also pointing out City's recent Premier League success and the quality Guardiola inherited following his arrival in 2016.
United players were spared any criticism prior to Saturday's clash as Mourinho launched an impassioned defence of his tenure.
But Luke Shaw and Co. were in the firing line, even after United booked their spot in the semi-finals with a 2-0 victory.
Mourinho delivered a stinging criticism of Shaw after the out-of-favour left-back was hauled off at half-time, while the 55-year-old also accused his players of being scared, with their mentality questioned.
It is all a far cry from Mourinho's glowing endorsement of his squad at the start of the season, when he described the current United team – which delivered Europa League and EFL Cup silverware last term – as his favourite ever prior to August's 4-0 rout of West Ham.
But it does sound eerily similar to when Mourinho slammed the Chelsea squad before he was dismissed in 2015 – the Premier League and Champions League-winning manager claiming he felt "betrayed" following a 2-1 loss to eventual champions Leicester City.
That proved to be the end of Mourinho at Chelsea – who were 16th and only a point above the relegation zone at the time just seven months after winning the title – closing the curtain on a strained relationship between a manager and his squad.
Mourinho also experienced an unhappy demise at Madrid and with fans already divided over his nullifying style of football, which has negated the impact of marquee men Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez, the maligned manager's marriage with United could be heading for divorce.
|BREAKING NEWS: Manchester United and Ajax agree Daley Blind transfer|
|Familiarity with demands of Real Madrid an advantage – Lopetegui|
|Parmentier rallies to avoid Bucharest exit, Arruabarrena bows out in Gstaad|
|Steelers fail to sign Bell to long-term deal|
|Over 10 per cent of Croatia´s population welcomes World Cup heroes home|
|Thierry Henry quits pundit role to focus on coaching|
|France´s World Cup winners given heroes´ welcome in Paris|
|At the end we will see who is best - Ronaldo sidesteps Messi rivalry|
|Qatar? China? Ronaldo only has eyes for glory at Juventus|
|Proud Kane praises team-mates after Golden Boot win|
|The Open 2018 diary: Is that Tiger Woods? Harrington feels the Burn...|
|Porte targeting Vuelta after Tour de France anguish|
|Maradona madness, #WaistcoatWednesday, bruised Batshuayi - Alternative World Cup awards|
|It could be the best time - Martinez hints at Hazard Chelsea exit|
|England call up Billings as cover for injury doubt Roy|
|McIlroy on track for fitting major haul - Harrington|
|Froome plays down Thomas battle for Sky supremacy|
|Carnoustie record counts for little at The Open, says Fleetwood|
|I don´t see it - Napoli chief De Laurentiis plays down talk of Callejon-Suso swap|
|One or two changes required at Chelsea, says Sarri|
|Monaco confirm Golovin approach|
|Let´s keep making noise! - Serena dedicates Wimbledon run to fellow mothers|
|Full list of Open tee times|
|Fakhar inspires another big Pakistan ODI win|
|Spieth ´annoyed´ by re-watch of 13th hole|
|Kaka claims Ronaldo arrival will boost all Italian clubs|
|Spieth vows to be more artist than tactician in Open defence|
|Conte thanks Chelsea players, staff and fans|
|Rodgers: I´d love to play with the Packers to 40|
|Sevilla insist N´Zonzi will cost €40m|
|Hugill shows mystic powers with accurate World Cup predictions|
|World Cup 2018: FARE ready for post-tournament challenges in Russia|
|Woods grouped with Matsuyama and Knox at Open|
|Matthaus questions idea of French dynasty|
|Chandimal, Sri Lanka coach and manager banned for two Tests and four ODIs|
|Sassuolo demand at least €30m for Berardi|
|French media revels in ´crazy´ triumph|
|Mafi released on bail after alleged assault|
|Bierhoff must go! Berthold calls for Germany changes|
|Joshua to fight Povetkin in September|
|World Cup 2018: Goal-laden final adds to staggering World Cup stats|
|Runners and Ryders: Molinari impresses again as stars prepare for The Open|
|Macron to greet France team after Champs Elysees parade|
|Casillas and Suarez critical of VAR after World Cup final|
|TMO protocol clearly not working, says SANZAAR|
|Americans seek joy of six at Carnoustie, Rose out to end wretched run - The Open in Opta facts|
|Ronaldo arrives in Turin for Juventus medical|
|Stone: I had no idea what my score was!|
|The Open: A look back at Van de Velde´s Carnoustie calamity|
|Rakitic proud of ´brother´ Modric´s Golden Ball award|
|Serena can surpass Court, but Graf was the real target - Krajicek|
|Ronaldo moved to remain motivated - Kaka|
|Silva confident on Everton transfer targets|
|Golden Boot winner Kane aims to break August hoodoo|
|NFL training camp 2018: Contract holdouts and where they stand|
|Guardiola took me to another level - Alaba|
|Madrid selling Ronaldo a ´historic error´ - Calderon|
|MLS Review: LAFC, Atlanta held at home|
|Stones will watch re-runs of England´s World Cup matches|
|Ferdinand challenges Mourinho to unleash Pogba at United|
|Mbappe: I´m staying at PSG|
|Former NHL goalie Ray Emery found dead|
|Pirates secure five-game sweep of Brewers with walk-off win|
|WATCH: LeBron receives standing ovation at Lakers´ summer league game|
|Tony Romo wins celebrity-filled American Century Championship|
|McGregor praises Putin after attending World Cup final|
|Open-bound Kim claims maiden title with eight-shot triumph|
|Eagles running back Sproles plans to retire after next season|
|World Cup winner Rami retires from international football|
|Wimbledon champion Djokovic did not expect grand slam glory so soon|