As I watched in awe, for a moment time stood still. After Manchester United’s disastrous home defeat against Tottenham, Jose Mourinho stood solemnly applauding the fans with a sadness in his eyes.
Honestly, there was a part of me that thought he was saying goodbye. Goodbye to the intense media scrutiny. Goodbye to the board who maybe didn’t support him in the transfer window as much as they could have done. Goodbye to all the stories tarnishing his character and career. And of course, in that small moment of time, goodbye to the fans who watched on wondering what was to come next.
I was wrong. Instead, Jose said he was humbled by the fans that stayed until the final whistle and he was simply showing them his appreciation.
For the right or perhaps wrong reasons at times, this isn’t a man who throws the towel in easily. Prior to his arrival at the club, he must have understood the magnitude of the position and the difficulty that would arise with it.
Finding the United way
In the mist of the post Sir Alex Ferguson era, United are seemingly trying to forge a new identity, while not forgetting the roots of the club and are still finding their feet. Following on from David Moyes and Louis van Gaal and turning things around was never going to be easy or gain everyone’s support instantaneously.
Some may have decided he wasn’t the special or the right one for club. Some may have lost their belief in him. But I think for anybody in the role it will have taken time to find and create some stability after the upheaval in the recent years.
Do I agree with Mourinho’s tactical choices or style of play? Not all the time. But do I think appointing another boss will magically transform the team into dominating the football world? No.
I think a lot of reds (myself included) have spent much of their lives watching us win titles for fun and have become a little entitled. The truth is though, no matter the calibre of your club, there will be times of struggle, as I’m sure the older generation of fans will remember.
Times have changed
This is a whole new game though. Manchester City are dominating, Salah is injecting new life into Liverpool. There’s no use in looking back at what once was. Patience is important. It is a real fight to the top now.
This is a new Manchester United, like it or not. Mourinho does not appear to be going anywhere. And neither should the fans support.
The bounce back against Burnley with a 2-0 away win, may prompt fans into having a more positive outlook, or it may not. Whichever it is, I don’t think another managerial change will make an instant difference or guarantee success, which is all the more reason to give it time and take it one game at a time. If change is necessary, then change will come.
Being a football fan has never been boring. In the meantime, it might not be pretty all the time, but it’s always worth it in the end.
You can follow Nicole on Twitter @UnitedSheStands