They say you never lose feelings for your first love. The same could be said for Jose Mourinho as he continues his one-man mission to get under the skin of Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte.
The two have been going head-to-head, on their own personal collision course at various levels ever since the Blues demolished Mourinho’s men at Stamford Bridge on their route to winning the Premier League title.
As weeks have passed the insults become more personal and if we’re being honest, pathetic.
From the moment Mourinho left Chelsea in 2015 he has been desperate to paper over the cracks and cover up the mistakes he made during his second stint at Stamford Bridge.
His personal battle with Conte is his own way to get back at the club that sacked him twice. Everyone in the Premier League knows just how proud a man Mourinho is, so having sackings on his CV will irk him, let alone having two from the same club.
Conte, for the most part, has not been interested in confrontation, but it has got the better of him. However, all it does show that it will only ever be Chelsea for Mourinho when it comes to the Premier League.
At Manchester United, he is a man with a job to do. Clearly aiming to harness just a fraction of the success achieved under Sir Alex Ferguson, but he will never repeat what he managed in his first stint at Chelsea, as much as he’d like to override those memories.
Since leaving the Bridge Mourinho has been very keen to point out how he played a part in Chelsea’s rise in English football, which he has every right to, as he’s correct.
From the moment he arrived at Chelsea he installed a philosophy, an ‘us against the world’ mentality. He developed a squad that would go on to win Premier Leagues and European cups beyond his time. He left behind a legacy.
With that in mind, it is worth remembering that Chelsea were also his platform. As great as his achievements with Porto were, who knows what sort of career he would go on to achieve if he didn’t make the move to Stamford Bridge.
There’s an age-old saying that you should never go back, but because of his arrogance matched with his confidence, Mourinho came back and despite the success, it ended in a similar vein.
For the first time this season, the media are seemingly aware of Mourinho’s tricks as he tries to divert attention from his team who are once again falling short in the Premier League title race.
Who else does Mourinho have to poke fun at? He’s done his time with Arsene Wenger and he knows all too well that Pep Guardiola would not rise to it as he strolls towards his first Premier League title with Manchester City.
For Mourinho, it’s another season without a title. This was meant to be his trophy. His second season is always cited as the trophy-winning one and that is not going to happen.
After a huge summer of spending at Old Trafford, Manchester City are waltzing towards the title. Yet nobody is talking about United’s shortcomings? All because he is involved in a personal battle with Conte.