There is a certain genre of football article we get to read once every three years, but it rarely disappoints - The Inside Story Of The Jose Mourinho's Disastrous End-Game. (Heck, at Real Madrid it came in the form of a book called The Special One by journalist Diego Torres). The pieces usually consist of a series of anecdotes of Mourinho's behind-the-scenes behaviour, presumably coming from long-disgruntled employees.
The series of pieces that have followed forth from Mourinho's sacking at Manchester United haven't disappointed, with Paul Hirst's piece in The Times containing one particularly startling line.
Ryan Giggs had served the club alongside Louis Van Gaal, but wasn't kept around when Mourinho took over. According to the Times, Mourinho felt he couldn't trust Giggs, because, well, just read on.
Woodward was keen to keep Ryan Giggs on, but Mourinho vetoed the idea because he did not think the Welshman was a man he could trust because of his extra-marital affair with his brother’s wife.
Mourinho reportedly roiled against the media criticism led by the self-styled Class of '92, and was critical of United's communications department for allowing it to happen unchallenged.
Elsewhere, the ESPN version of the piece by Rob Dawson accentuated the atmosphere of fear and paranoia that bred around the manager at the club.
When a member of [Mourinho's] backroom unknowingly agreed to a blind date with a media personality, the meeting was swiftly moved from Manchester city centre to a rural Cheshire pub out of fear they would be spotted and Mourinho would find out. When the United employee sat down, his conversation starter was: "I could be sacked for being here."
There was no second date.
Finally, in Jason Burt's piece in the Telegraph, light is shone on a gag to David De Gea that went wrong.
At the end-of-season awards last May, De Gea – again – won player of the year but Mourinho responded by saying he should have won the “worst trainer” prize. Maybe it was a joke but it went down badly, and the fact is De Gea has appeared highly reluctant to commit himself to a new contract while Mourinho has remained as manager and despite the pair sharing the same agent, Jorge Mendes.
Roll on Christmas 2021.