Even in a world gone mad, you can still always depend on Jose Mourinho to deflect blame onto his players.
One weekend into the new Premier League campaign and it was Matt Doherty's fault for not having had a proper pre-season before Tottenham's loss to Everton. As if Mourinho had never observed Doherty moving in a session before Sunday.
At some point it must be safe to ask how he keeps getting these gigs. Hanging a player out to dry is one thing, but nothing compared to how he can treat them in private.
In Gunning For Greatness, Mesut Ozil's autobiography, the German recounted a half-time team talk when Mourinho, into his final bitter season with Real Madrid, eviscerated him over a missed tackle.
An extract reads: "Mourinho stands on tiptoes, thrusts his arms down by his sides, purses his lips and minces around the dressing room. 'That's how you tackle. Ooh, I mustn't get hurt. And absolutely mustn't get dirty', he shouts while repeating his Ozil tackle parody."
One wonders how a man who studied at the feet of a fatherly figure such as Bobby Robson could believe in this style of management.
Perhaps as he moves into his third act of management, he is keeping up with trends better than most.
While he can deliver his message and carries an authority around the training field, he is a one-man meme factory. All the eye rolls and affected shrugs, springing off the bench to confront assistant referees over the latest injustice drives social media content.
PR, and social media engagement, has never been more important to clubs.
In February 2019, Manchester United were about to be knocked out of the Champions League, had a severe lack of fit strikers and had ominous fixtures against Chelsea and Liverpool ahead for interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
And yet during a conference call with investors following the release of the club's latest financial results, managing director Richard Arnold was upbeat, stating: "Our app has been the No.1-downloaded football club app, and the No.1 across the stores. We are getting monthly growth in all key areas, well above industry benchmarks.
"Being one of the most engaged digital properties in the world means the world is our oyster."
Fans reacted with scorn. It didn't throw off the project though, and in January, veteran soccer writer Neil Ashton, of The Sun and Daily Mail, left his career and hosting Sky Sports' Sunday Supplement for almost eight years to become a PR adviser for Manchester United.
That's the world of professional sport. The wheel turns. A narrative is required and Mourinho and others will always keep clubs well stocked in drama.
Last Sunday in Ballycastle couldn't be any more removed from that scene. Because of Covid restrictions, print journalists ended up by the side of the pitch for the Antrim county final, all wearing face masks.
There is a lot to learn from an experience like this. To stand in behind a gifted hurler such as Liam Watson and watch him cut a sideline is a gift. To see the spittle of a player flying out of their helmet as they sledge an opponent over a missed catch that dribbles over the line? You are right there in the game.
It was also an education to see the Dunloy management team on our sideline. Led by manager Greg O'Kane and supported by the team's strength and conditioning coach Eoin McNicholl, you gained an insight into the nature of the instructions they were delivering.
The first thoughts were that there was absolutely no bad language. How many times have we heard expletives from a manager at all levels? Even some of the most high-profile managers have been badly caught out by the position of microphones on match day.
What O'Kane and McNicholl were delivering was information. O'Kane asked Gabriel McTaggart to drop 20 yards deeper to assist in dropping ball. McNicholl urged the players to push up on opponents for Loughgiel goalkeeper Chrissy O'Connell's puckouts.
The culture is one of respect. It has to be. O'Kane cannot 'swoop' in a transfer market to import a James McNaughton from Loughgiel or a Domhnall Nugent from St John's, so he works with what he has by improving, cajoling and encouraging.
Look, let's not kid ourselves. Behind the scenes there would be plenty of hard yards and difficult conversations. Players would be challenged. It's not going to be all Jurgen Klopp hugs and scented candles in dressing rooms.
But there can be no doubt the intelligence of the modern player and nature of management have changed beyond recognition. In Bernard Brogan's recently-released autobiography The Hill, he recounts how different groups break off at half-time to discuss how they have performed and what requires a change.
Just outside their circle would lurk either manager Jim Gavin or one of his selectors, keeping an ear cocked to make sure they are reaching the same conclusions. They might interject with the occasional statistic to steer the conversation, but in that moment it is all very light-touch.
It may be a bit abstract for some, but this is the way it has evolved. As much as the game has changed, coaching now is unrecognisable from the 'bang the table' era.
Well, the announcement on attendances at sporting events down south wasn't as bad as they have been, but we are still a long way off from where they could be.
In yesterday's 'Living with Covid' plan from the Irish government, there was some relaxation of a ridiculous rule that nobody could attend sporting fixtures in the Republic. While GAA figures had been expecting an increase from 200 to crowds of 500, instead they put everyone out the gates.
That never looked sensible, and even the increase at this point looks insufficient. Under the new guidance, up to 100 spectators will be allowed at outdoor sporting events and 50 at indoor events. With stadia of a larger capacity than 5,000, the figure will be 200.
Next weekend features dozens of county finals taking place all over the island. They will all be hosted in each county's main stadium, all of which are comfortably over 5,000 capacity. To think that just 200 will be permitted in does not make sense.
But there is a lot of this marriage of convenience between Fianna Fail and Fine Gael that does not make sense. The latest announcement claims that what happens around Christmas time has not been discussed. We are 100 days from Christmas this very day.
The entire choreography has the unmistakable feel of each party trying to leave the other to sustain all the negative coverage.
It doesn't wash that only 200 people - and 400 in Northern Ireland - can fit comfortably into the huge stadia the GAA have up and down the island. With correct stewarding and areas roped or taped off, there is room for a couple of thousand spectators at least with certain conditions over wearing face masks, well observed at the Antrim, Tyrone and Derry hurling finals last weekend.
We thought that only lockdown was getting us down. Looking back now, it seems that novelty got us past it. It's how it impacts now and in the future that can really be harmful.