Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has lost touch with fans, reality and now he's on the brink of losing his job

It is the reason Old Trafford emptied when Lucas Moura humiliated boss Jose Mourinho by scoring Tottenham’s third goal after 84 minutes.

The Special One called the worst home defeat of his glittering career “a tactical and strategic triumph”.

Yes, for Spurs and their progressive coach Mauricio Pochettino.

Mourinho, spoiling for an argument at every turn now, is deluded if he thinks he retains the majority of Manchester United’s support.

It is impossible to measure how many people were left when referee Craig Pawson blew the final whistle, but it is tough to imagine there were any more than 10,000 — and 3,000 of them were from Spurs.

They were loving it, antagonising Mourinho by singing “You’re not special any more”.

Mourinho could have owned this place, taken control of it in the way he once did at Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and, to some extent, Real Madrid, when he was appointed manager in 2016.

Instead, he looks like he would be better off chilling out in his Belgravia townhouse.

He is under the cosh and came out fighting in his latest exchange with the media in the main stand half an hour after the final whistle.

It cannot be easy to explain away a defeat as toe-curling as this to all and sundry — first to Sky, then working his way down a long line of overseas broadcasters, then radio obligations, before his combustible confrontation with the written media.

In his pomp, when Mourinho was capable of winning every competition he entered with any club, he was able to dictate the agenda and we gratefully, gleefully, lapped it up.

Now that he is under pressure, the Special One thinks he should be cut a bit of slack for all that easy publicity he generated in the golden age.

Sorry, but it does not work like that — even for special cases.

When results take a downward turn, he cannot control any Tom, Dick or Harry with a laptop, a tablet, or a mobile and a social media account.

He is entitled to call out the media, bringing TV analysts into the mix as he explained away Monday’s 3-0 clobbering, because the criticism has been savage and unrelenting.

But Mourinho built this team and he blew it.

He could not evolve, from the pragmatic model that saw him win three trophies in his first season to match the modern-day demands to play silky-smooth football. The Special One, once the most engaging, most charismatic and most successful coach in football, has lost his way.

Mourinho, at 55, simply cannot handle it.

These days everybody loves a bit of Pep, a bit of Klopp and especially a bit of Poch.

When Mourinho walked off the pitch, looking up at the few remaining loyalists still on the Stretford End, it felt like he was just another United boss passing through.

Down in the dressing room, where United’s players were coming to terms with the significance of the defeat, Mourinho’s behaviour has becoming increasingly erratic.

In his heyday, when he outwitted Louis van Gaal to win the 2010 Champions League final with Inter Milan, Mourinho appeared to have mastered the art of management.

On Monday, when he over-reacted to the 3-2 defeat at Brighton by putting six players in the bomb squad, he was trying to be too clever.

If the remarkable decision to play Ander Herrera, 11st dripping wet, as a right-sided central defender had worked, it would have looked like a piece of tactical wizardry.

The reality is he axed defenders Ashley Young, Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof to bring in four to suit his fanciful new system. Nobody doubts the sentiment, the idea or the principles behind Mourinho’s decision to play a midfielder in a new position.

The problem is the message it sends out because, for example, Bailly — an orthodox central defender — did not even make the squad on Monday.

When United’s manager was asked about the injury to Phil Jones by Sky Sports’ Geoff Shreeves in the post-match injury, he scoffed incredulously.

When he was a winning boss, those moments were incidental because everyone was too caught up in the Mourinho glow to really give a damn.

He should have been made for Manchester United, finally settling on the world’s biggest football club after a stellar managerial career.

Instead, everybody wants to know how it came to this for a man who, as he was so keen to point out, has won three Premier League titles.

These days, it feels like he will never win another.

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