That Jose Mourinho cannot be ignored is a cinch! Call him what you will – the “Special One’, the ‘Chosen One’, the ‘Unemployed One’…
It used to be said that the two most popular brands in history were the late pop star, Michael Jackson; and the very famous non-alcoholic beverage, Coca Cola. Well, fellas, we can conveniently add a third – Jose Mourinho in that mix.
That Jose Mourinho cannot be ignored is a cinch! Call him what you will – the “Special One’, the ‘Chosen One’, the ‘Unemployed One’ (his self-imposed appellation after he got kicked in the butt by Chelsea), even before he became a Red Devil, the loquacious Portuguese always makes the news. Unfortunately, however, the news mar him!
At about this time in 2015, Jose was jobless after Chelsea pushed him through the exit door. Manchester United offered him ‘shelter’ from the cold streets of London shortly after. The Portuguese reigned at Old Trafford as ‘king’ for 3 years where things were far from fine and dandy. And now he’s been shoved out again at about the same time of the year. He’s out there in the cold again! How ‘cold’ can life be? Why should Jose spend another Xmas in the cold again? Or does he really love the freezing weather? Pity the ‘Unemployed One’.
Regrettably, the 56-year old cooked his own goose. In fact, he’s done that for ages. Wherever he went, he had baggage, and sometimes they appeared too heavy they impeded his movement; and subsequently became a burden.
Manchester United looked up to the ‘Special One’ for inspiration after the exit of Sir Alex Fergusson left a void in the fabric of the Old Trafford giant. The magnitude of which the likes of David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal couldn’t stitch. Nothing was working without a hitch.
But United apparently overlooked the fact that if Mourinho had still been ‘special’ at Chelsea, Roman Abramovich obviously wouldn’t have given him the whooping, where he lost his footing, and subsequently slipped off the Bridge.
In his first season at United, Jose appeared the new broom. He won the Europa League trophy. Albeit, the Red Devils ended the campaign in the 6th position in the EPL. Champions League football was, however, guaranteed following their exploits in Europe. Thus, the ‘ghosts’ of Moyes and Van Gaal were finally laid to rest. Jose was the man! And Bob’s your Uncle.
However, things went belly up following persistent outcry about United’s lackluster performances game after game. On and off the pitch, United were on a rocky road. The pride of English football had become as dull as ditchwater. Uninspiring and toothless.
Prior to the commencement of the 2018/2019 season, the Manchester United boss (now former) was all about the lack of depth in his squad – overtly rubbishing his defenders in particular, and his entire team in general. Outrageous! To every discerning mind, that was a mug’s game. But to Jose, it was perhaps, a mind game. In the end, it did more harm than good. Agreed, his bosses upstairs didn’t hand him a blank cheque, or blow open the treasury, but that was no excuse to play the giddy goat.
The truth of the matter was that Mourinho’s buys at Old Trafford didn’t quite cut the mustard – or perhaps were sickened by his tactics which is gradually becoming extinct in modern day football. It was therefore obvious that Ed Woodward and the other executives weren’t comfortable splashing the cash. United thus became a club with deep pockets but short arms.
Besides, Mourinho had an ax to grind with his players, staff and sometimes even match officials. Last season, following the heavy defeat his team suffered in the hands of city rivals Manchester City, the loud Portuguese lambasted the match referee, Michael Oliver for not awarding a penalty to his team for a perceived infringement on one of his players, Ander Herrera. He was livid to say the least. He was subsequently involved in a dressing room scuffle with the visiting team for ‘over-indulging’ in their celebrations. Quintessential Jose!
Following a 1-1 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers earlier this season, Paul Pogba, one of the perceived flies in Mourinho’s ointment, made a statement to the fact that the he wanted United to ‘attack, attack, attack’ especially at home matches. This infuriated Jose, and he subsequently stripped the French midfielder of the club’s captaincy. Mourinho would have none of that. It was either his way or the highway.
Mourinho had been superintending over a divided dressing room at Old Trafford for some time now. The disquiet in the dressing room had become so loud and apparent to the point of the cup spilling over. Manchester United has finally realized that Jose was an appointment that shouldn’t have been made in the first place.
Another issue to consider is the fact that, perhaps, Mourinho wasn’t really committed to the Old Trafford giant from the onset. The Portuguese spent about 895 days in a hotel in Manchester – The Lowry Hotel. At an average cost of £600 per night. He had been living in the hotel since July 6, 2016 shortly after accepting the job as United’s manager. A permanent place of abode in Manchester was never in his plans.
And what’s this thing about Jose and the number 6? Manchester United is currently in the 6th position in the Premier League table. They also finished in the 6th position last season. Jose moved into his hotel on the 6th of July 2016. He was spending an average of £600 every night in his suite. He probably had the sixth sense that United were not aware of. What a man!
Atuma writes from Lagos via [email protected]