If the ending came earlier than usual for Jose Mourinho, the manner of it was all too familiar.
Dressing-room apathy and growing disillusionment at his tactics cost Mourinho his latest job in the English Premier League, with Tottenham firing the Portuguese coach on Monday after 17 months at the London club.
That’s Mourinho’s shortest spell at a club since he broke into the big time as a slick and self-confident coach of Porto at the start of the century.
Unusually for a man who has been a serial winner of trophies ever since, Mourinho leaves north London without having captured any silverware — also a first since those days at Porto.
That could have changed on Sunday, when Tottenham plays Manchester City in the English League Cup final at Wembley Stadium.
Mourinho won’t now get that chance.
“Jose and his coaching staff have been with us through some of our most challenging times as a club,” Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy said in a statement announcing the departure of Mourinho, whose contract was due to run until the end of the 2022-23 season.
“Jose is a true professional who showed enormous resilience during the pandemic. On a personal level I have enjoyed working with him and regret that things have not worked out as we both had envisaged.”