When the trademarked Special One was at Chelsea, I was an advocate of him. No doubt he brought something interesting to the table that other foreign managers simply don’t. Wenger, Benitez and the rest are generally as dull as dishwater. And as much as we already had cause to dislike him for his hop, skip and a jump down the Old Trafford touchline after being robbed by his lucky Porto side, there was always that respect factor for a man that was achieving trophy hauls in what appeared to be a new manner. His players worshipped him openly, and more often than not rewarded him with pots of silver. He surely could manage any team on earth and be successful..?
Fast forward several years…
Jose is now lauding it at Real Madrid, the other Biggest Club in the World. He has taken their once famous football philosophy, shoved it firmly in a skip, and has implemented the famous tactics he has successfully employed at Chelsea and Inter. Physical strength, coupled with rigid tactics, can defeat any opponent put in his side’s way. That is except the modern day Barcelona.
His teams’ actions, but more worryingly his own at the Community Shield of Spain in yet another El Classico, leaves an incredibly bitter taste in the mouth. Mourinho’s own attempt to take advantage of the melee that occurred in front of his dugout to go over to a Barca coach and gouge him in the right eye, well, I simply have never seen this happen in our game before. A manager, the leader, showing his troops exactly what they should be doing to their opponent. It disrespects football and frankly makes him look like a mental.
The relevance of writing about this of course comes from one of the stranger assumptions in English football, that is that Mourinho will indeed be the next United manager after Fergie hangs up his chewing gum riddled boots. People think several reasons point to this: That Jose ‘loves’ England; that Sir Alex and Mourinho are best, wine-quaffing buddies; that United would only want the most successful manager they could obtain; That United learned a generation of pain worth of a lesson after the end of the Busby era, employing men not fit to stand in the great warhorse’s shadow. It’s so simple! It can only be the Special One for the world’s Special Club?
When Mourinho was given his cards by Abramovich I would’ve taken him as our next manager in a heart beat. Football is a seductive business and trophies are a fan’s aphrodisiac. Jose knew how to win. We all want a bit of that. But what I’ve witnessed in the last few years of the man stinks. He’s still managed to maintain his levels of success, taking that Inter team to Champions of Europe. Well, who would have guessed? But the way they and he did it, playing that brand of Anti-Football, it simply turns me off. It’s like seeing that absolutely gorgeous woman from afar, only to get close to her and smell her stinking, rotten breath. There’s still going be loads of lads that will look past this and be happy with her, but us at United? We wouldn’t be able to get that stench out of our nostrils!
Does this make me and United fans who agree seem pompous? Maybe. But the fact remains. I don’t want to spend thousands of £s of my own money every season to follow a team that makes me want to fall asleep as soon as the first whistle is blown. Success is often taken as something that must be achieved at all cost. In many ways that is correct. But United, like Madrid, have a tradition. Porto, Chelsea and Inter are by no means small clubs. But they were teams starved of the biggest trophies, desperate to get up that ladder at any cost. Jose preys on this. He delivers the gold and you pay him the booty he demands. He is the modern day pirate. As he did with both Porto and Inter “Here is your European Cup trophy, now I’m off to the next ship of fools.”
Mourinho will always be a man of success. He will always find a way and these are not traits of a bad manager. But I question the man. I question his integrity. Would we be happy for Sir Alex to go over and gouge at the eye of Villa-Boas? Of course not. It’s disgusting. There are many bad things happening in football and indeed the world at the minute, but as far as an isolated incident goes, with a manager on the touchline, it even makes Arsene Wenger mounting the Old Trafford dugout seem 100% sane and normal. It’s an act against the will of football. It’s sneaky and incendiary. It’s something that you may never see in top flight football again.
So I implore David Gill and his cronie bosses from across the pond to think hard about the Sir Alex exit strategy. The heart of Manchester United is what we’re considering here. We want success, of course we do, but do we need a man who now presents himself as an enemy against the Beautiful Game?
Ex-United player Gerard Pique said after the match the other night: “Someone has to take action, Mourinho is destroying Spanish football. It is going too far. This will end very badly.”
The man is totally right. Mourinho doesn’t care how Spanish football is viewed. He doesn’t even care if he is caught on video, reaching round a man’s face to claw his fingers into his eyeball. For Jose its just another act of war.
A certain Mancunian God once wrote a song called ‘Barbarism Begins At Home’. Lets hope our home, Old Trafford, avoids such an unlucky fate. If Mourinho wants to make football his slave and make it implode in chaos, let us not give him the Theatre of Dreams as his stage to do it.
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