Despite it only being pre-season, Jose Mourinho has already witnessed the highs and lows of what it takes to be the Manchester United manager.
Everything seemed rosy in his opening weeks. Three out of four of his first choice transfer targets were brought to the club with the fourth as good as done.
Luke Shaw returned to full fitness after a long-term absence and the side cruised to a 2-0 friendly win at Wigan, with a host of seasoned internationals mixing it with some talented youngsters all looking to make an impression.
Less than two weeks later, that fourth transfer is still yet to make it over the line, with the price being driven up every hour by the selling club unwilling to play ball.
As if this hasn’t been stressful enough, Mourinho’s side were put to the sword by a rampant Borussia Dortmund – with the tour of China ending in turmoil due to bad weather, shocking playing surface, terrible hospitality and a cancelled friendly.
10,000 miles for one defeat and a bunch of corporate mumbo-jumbo. Talk about shoddy.
If Roy Keane had been present, I am sure he’d have something to say.
What Mourinho needs now is to regroup. This may seem silly having only been at the club for a matter of weeks, but returning to home soil and drawing a line under this sponsor-driven fiasco that was the tour of China is a must.
Whilst a bad pre-season is no excuse for a poor start to a Premier League campaign, it is certainly a factor.
Players need to build match fitness and a new manager needs to learn about his players.
Modern day top-flight football is all about going to corners or the earth and building a rapport with those fans who stay up until 4am to watch your matches.
It is about keeping investors, sponsors and important delegates happy. However somewhere amidst all of the kafuffle, some football needs to be played.
If I were Mourinho, I would be as furious as I am frustrated with the past two weeks.
The Chinese supporters didn’t get to see the best of Manchester United, and somebody somewhere is at fault.
Who knows, in two weeks’ time United might be unveiling Paul Pogba, having lifted the Community Shield after beating reigning champions Leicester, on the back of friendly wins against Galatasaray and Everton.
On the other hand, Mourinho might be pulling his hair out looking for a Pogba replacement as he opted to join Real Madrid, still unsure of his best XI.
The next two weeks are crucial for Jose, even if it is only pre-season.