Jose Mourinho’s 2018 could have gone much better than it did. And his 2019 is not off to a great start.
United have not lost since Mourinho’s dismissal, with caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer overseeing nine wins and draw once over that 10-game span.
The run has been partly due to resurgence of Paul Pogba, who Mourinho benched during his final days in charge, as the France midfielder has scored six goals and added five assists in those 10 games.
In the days since his sacking, Mourinho has been keeping busy, working as a guest analyst on beIN Sports, before now making his way to Russia where he seen was doing work for Kontinental Hockey League club Avangard Omsk.
It's time to try something new. pic.twitter.com/8AkPcdGxmr— KHL (@khl_eng) February 4, 2019
Hey, coach. pic.twitter.com/8Rjlf2BwUs— KHL (@khl_eng) February 4, 2019
Part of that work involved taking part in a ceremonial puck drop between in a KHL game Avangard and SKA Saint Petersburg – something that did not go as planned for Mourinho.
The former Chelsea boss had the red carpet rolled out for him for the event, as he came out to centre ice for the puck drop between the two team captains, Avangard’s Evgeny Medvedev and SKA’s Pavel Datsyuk, the former Detroit Red Wings star.
The drop itself went as planned and Moruinho began to walk off the ice. However, upon seeing Datsyuk reaching out for a handshake, Mourinho reached back to oblige, only for the carpet to roll up and the manager to take a rough spill to the ice.
Жозе Моуринью, бывший тренер «Челси», «Реал Мадрид» и «Манчестер Юнайтед», провел стартовое вбрасывание в хоккейном матче омского «Авангарда» с питерским СКА в «Балашиха-Арене». pic.twitter.com/pygctZeYFo— Телеканал 360° (@360tv) February 4, 2019
Jose Mourinho was a special guest at the SKA - Avangard game. Something went really wrong at the opening face-off. Pavel Datsyuk saved The Special One pic.twitter.com/I6SBRpobxi— Igor Eronko (@IgorEronko) February 4, 2019
Datsyuk skated over to offer his assistance, after which Mourinho, who seemed to be a good sport about it all, gave the Stanley Cup winner that delayed handshake and a hug.
While the experience may turn Mourinho off to a career as a hockey head coach, the former United boss may not be short of suitors in the near future.