Jose Mourinho has been through the wars recently, and Manchester United have yet to play a competitive game.
The Portuguese’s odds on being the next Premier League manager to leave his post have tumbled, amid rumblings of rows with senior squad members like Anthony Martial, his comments on youth players, and a failure to secure investment in the transfer market.
Now in his third season at the helm, Mourinho’s United tenure appears to be following the trend of his stints at Chelsea, where after a season or two, his relationship with the club deteriorated.
One of his star players has leapt to his defence though.
Romelu Lukaku was signed last summer for £75m, and the Belgian spoke highly of the man who brought him to Old Trafford.
“People need to understand that we play this game not to lose it, we play this game to win,” the striker told Business Insider.
“When you lose, you get angry. When he is upset, he’s the type of person that you can really see it. But that should be embraced because he is a manger and a coach that wants to win.
“If you can’t deal with that, don’t ask him questions because he shouldn’t hide his personality to give a good public image.”
Per Lukaku, that persona doesn’t extend to how Mourinho is away from the game. While a spiky character, he does have loyalist players from different clubs down the years that are quick to heap praise on him as a man.
“It is nice to play for him. I get to see a total different image of him where he’s really cool,” Lukaku added.
“We make jokes. He sends me good advice, or funny videos, some stuff like that. So he’s really a family guy. That’s how I know him.”
Given Belgium’s progression to the third place playoff at the World Cup, it’s unlikely that Lukaku will feature in United’s season opener against Leicester in a week’s time.