While Jose Mourinho was fending off questions about his Paul Pogba spat at last Friday’s pre-match press conference, the European Ryder Cup team were heading out for their first morning in Paris as underdogs; a daunting pack of American golfing heavyweights awaiting them.

Fast-forward three days and the former seem to be on the precipice, the question being which one of them – if not both – will jump first before they’re pushed? Meanwhile, Thomas Bjorn’s men will be waking up with a well-earned hangover having dominated their opponents on all three days of action to claim the 2018 Ryder Cup.

The underlying thread: teamwork really does make the dream work.

Below par

Man Utd’s defeat to West Ham was a journalist’s dream – a culmination of weeks and weeks of perceived unrest in the Red Devil ranks transformed into a dire display which lacked creativity, drive, fight and – perhaps most significantly – cohesion. The headlines and post-match inquest practically wrote themselves, to the point where Mourinho, and indeed Utd’s press officer, pre-empted the awkwardness and pulled the plug on it early.

The party line remains that Pogba and Mourinho’s public – yet officially, ‘not true’ – fall-out is not the problem. But even if it’s not, the fact remains that the club is fragmented.

Maybe Mourinho is unfortunate collateral damage halfway down the chain of the club’s dislocation, and his relationship with the mercurial Frenchman is nothing more than a side-plot to the real problem.

But the upshot remains that Manchester is no longer United.

Driving forward together

On the other side of the English Channel, 12 solo competitors – individual rivals on any other day – joined together for just three days to combat a shared foe in one of the most eagerly anticipated events on the sporting calendar.

The sense of camaraderie, friendship, togetherness and support that emanated from each and every player took all 12 into the history books.

It was a display of teamwork that can only be achieved when the goal goes beyond financial gain or personal ego. Some performed better than others, but all deserved to lift the trophy proudly once the final putt had been sunk, and in doing so they not only became champions in a competitive context but became champions for their sport.

The social media reaction, and indeed some of the on-course celebrations, displayed happiness and pride, unbridled. As a player or fan, to revel in victory when the build-up, the philosophy and the dynamic was as wholesome as Team Europe’s, it was the ultimate feeling of contentment.

And as a result, Golf’s profile and prestige have peaked. Team Europe has showcased the sport as humorous, exciting, skilful, passionate and fun; while the likes of Francesco Molinari, Tommy Fleetwood, Ian Poulter, Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia have once again proved that teamwork in the hands of talented professionals, should and can overcome sole individual ability.

A fair way to go

Football can learn a lot from Team Europe’s Ryder Cup performance.

On the pitch, to find a ‘MoliWood’-esque partnership would inevitably reap rewards. In the boardroom, at the training ground and from a more commercial marketing perspective, clubs can surely deduct that harmony and positivity are more lucrative than one or two talented-but-unconnected personalities.

For Man Utd specifically, the jury is still out as to whether these personality clashes are most toxic in the changing room between manager and player, or whether the issue exists further up, out of the public eye.

But only once that hazard has been negotiated, can the club finally escape the post-Ferguson rough to find greener grass on the other side.