Neil Humphreys: Don't bring back whiny Jose
United boss Mourinho refused to shake hands with Stoke manager Hughes at the final whistle
Oh, Jose Mourinho, you were doing so well.
The old likeability was making a comeback.
The cheesy jokes and the cheeky smile, the twinkling eyes and the playful banter, they were all present and correct.
The Manchester United manager seemed to be ticking a checklist of the qualities that made him such a media and mainstream darling when he first arrived in England in 2004.
And his recent charity appearance at Loftus Road really was something else. Turning up at Queens Park Rangers last week to play in a fundraiser for the victims of the Grenfell Tower Fire was the classiest of acts.
Mourinho was magnanimous, compassionate and kind. He brought genuine joy to tens of thousands of locals who'd been through so much despair.
When he's like this, no other manager comes close. His greying, distinguished good looks and affable personality bless him with bucket-loads of charisma.
Men fawn over him. Women fancy him and football rivals secretly wish he was sitting in their dugout. He's the most charming of men.
Yesterday, he was at his most churlish.
The other Mourinho returned, the exasperating Mourinho who sulks like a school kid because the other kids are saying mean things.
He refused to shake Mark Hughes' hand after United's draw at Stoke City. Hughes laughed off the incident.
Mourinho called the incident "stupid", before adding that "talking about stupid things is for stupid people", resorting to kindergarten language.
When Mourinho slips into the tired, pantomime villain routine, it's hard to reconcile the two images of the same man.
At the Loftus Road charity match, he was funny and uplifting. At Stoke, he was dispiriting.
“I prefer not to answer question about handshakes. It’s a bad question. It makes it look like it’s my fault but that’s not right.”Jose Mourinho, on why he refused to shake hands with Stoke manager Mark Hughes after the game
Hughes allegedly swore at him. The Stoke boss also supposedly insulted Mourinho's football sensibilities with a negative game plan. (First, Stoke weren't negative. And second, Mourinho being unhappy with others for parking the bus is like Arsene Wenger being unhappy with others for not spending enough money.)
The Portuguese manager claimed that "one team tried to win, one team tried to get the point," which was a disingenuous remark - and a boring one to boot.
A month into the season and Mourinho has reverted to type, ignoring handshakes and lamenting the so-called cynicism of his rivals.
In such moments, he displays his debilitating ability to suck any kind of joy from a football match.
Real Madrid and Chelsea followers acknowledge that Mourinho's pettiness eventually exhausted the goodwill that their successful clubs had enjoyed under his stewardship.
It would be a genuine shame if he followed the same, wearying path at United, considering the attractive squad that he has cleverly assembled.
Liverpool suffered a 5-0 humiliation at Manchester City, but Juergen Klopp didn't engage in puerile antics with Pep Guardiola.
He expressed his frustration over Sadio Mane's red card, but was equally candid in acknowledging the Reds' defensive problems.
Of course, Klopp's coaching record hardly compares to Mourinho's trophy-laden resume, which is often used as justification for his behaviour.
He's just playing mind games. He's a machiavellian master. He manipulates officials, journalists and players alike to serve his agenda, like he's playing a huge Jedi mind trick on us all.
And it must be working, right? Like dumbstruck stormtroopers, we're following Mourinho's orders. We're talking about him again, rather than United's glaring deficiencies at centre back and Phil Jones' skittish tendency to flail around like an octopus on roller-skates.
Rather than focus on key changes in personnel - hinting at the possibility that Mourinho might be prioritising the Champions League clash against Basel - it's all about a lost handshake and some rude words.
Maybe it's the Mourinho way, the only way he feels sure of success. Avoid handshakes. Pick fights. Play both the bully and the bullied. Build a wall around Old Trafford and create a siege mentality.
Building walls and creating siege mentalities are common power plays right now, but the unpopular approach is draining.
Mourinho gives the impression that he'd rather be feared than loved, but there's no reason he can't be both.
For a month, he topped the table and looked happy in his work again. His loveable antics at last week's charity match were honestly endearing.
But one dodgy result brought back the whiny one.
Presumably, Mourinho expected a reaction beyond a collective eye roll of indifference. The whiny routine no longer works.
If he wants a special season, he's got to bring back the special one.