Sir Alex Ferguson made a grave error in 2013 when he overlooked Jose Mourinho as United manager but the club has belatedly made amends.
The game is afoot for United.
Three years after the ill-informed Glazer family delegated Sir Alex to anoint his successor, the club has atoned for those mistakes.
Instead of appointing a manager with a second-tier title on his CV, they have turned to an eight time league winner and two time Champions League winner.
Ferguson said upon Eric Cantona's arrival at the club that he was a United player - Mourinho is a Manchester United manager. In 2013, Mourinho was the only available manager who was an arguable upgrade on Sir Alex.
It might seem churlish to compare the two men's careers, given Ferguson's longevity over the itinerant Mourinho, but the Portuguese lost to Ferguson's United side on just two occasions with three clubs. Mourinho's imperious first Chelsea team raised the bar in England and posed a challenge Sir Alex was prepared to rise to. Mourinho's arrival in England improved Ferguson as a manager and United as a club.
As one Red said:"United are mad appointing Mourinho.
"A petty, confrontational egomaniac who is unnecessarily negative in big games."
It might be hard for Ferguson to stomach, but Mourinho is more like that than he's prepared to admit. Tribally, he is pefect.
Mourinho reduced Pep Guardiola to lame profanities in a press conference and his record against our old nemesis Arsene Wenger is as one-sided as Marcus Rashford against Martin Demichelis.
Like us, he loathes Liverpool and he masterminded their Premier League downfall in 2014. Mourinho feeds off hatred: United have done likewise for years.
An unofficial club mantra is 'Hated Adored Never Ignored'.
It should be Mourinho's mantra as well, times have changed and while Mourinho might be streaked with darkness, so too was Ferguson.
When asked about Mourinho eye gouging an opposition coach in 2012, Sir Bobby Charlton replied: "A United manager would never do that"
Perhaps not, but Ryan Giggs recent alleged transgressions ensured the moral high ground his cheerleaders stood on quickly eroded.
Moyes, a manager whose arrival was greeted with slogan 'cut from the same cloth', seemed to be chosen on account of his nationality and friendship with the club's hierarchy.
In Giggs, United could not countenance someone less qualified and with inferior managerial experience than Warren Joyce.
There are misgivings about Mourinho post-Real.
Those three years were such a strain that even an egotist like him was prepared to return to Chelsea, where he alienated a title-winning squad and a former Chelsea employee, physio Eva Carneiro, is seeking damages from him for unfair dismissal.
Hated Adored Never Ignored indeed.
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