Jose Mourinho may have afforded himself a wry smile following Manchester United’s surprise 2-1 Champions League defeat to Istanbul Başakşehir on Wednesday.
The now-Tottenham boss had an up-and-down spell during his time in charge of United, winning two trophies in his two-and-a-half years at Old Trafford before being sacked following a poor run of form.
Nevertheless, he has regularly spoken with pride about what he achieved at the club – and he has no doubt been watching with interest to see how his successor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been getting on.
It is fair to say that the Norwegian manager has also himself had a mixed bag of success at United, with last season’s third-place finish and the occasional big Champions League win tainted by a lack of consistency and regular toothless performances.
But following their loss to Başakşehir, Mourinho may point to the record books to claim he has the upper hand over Solskjaer.
Wednesday’s defeat means Solskjaer has nearly lost as many games as Mourinho did in his entire tenure as United boss – with Solskjaer now having been defeated in 25 games in charge and Mourinho suffering 28 losses.
However, the big difference is that Solskjaer has taken charge of 101 matches, while Mourinho was fired after 144 games in the hot-seat.
It is not yet clear how many more matches Solskjaer will be afforded if United’s poor recent form continues, but Mourinho’s record certainly looks more impressive on paper despite the criticism he received while in charge.
Some believe that a poor result against Everton this weekend will see Solskjaer being given his marching orders, with former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino seemingly ready to step in at any moment.
Mourinho once said that one of his greatest achievements was finishing second with United in the 2017-18 campaign.
It is not yet clear whether Solskjaer will ever match that as his days at Old Trafford begin to look numbered.
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