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Sympathy for the Red Devils?

OPINION: Man United’s current strife could’ve been avoided – any bum could have told them that Jose Mourinho always turns toxic in the end

21 December, 2018 — By Richard Osley

Jose Mourinho

MANCHESTER United got bitten by a snake they invited into their own house, under their own free will.

So, for all of us who watched football for the best part of decades feeling like we were all under the thumb of United, it’s hard to feel much sympathy for their latest struggle to find a post-Ferguson success.

These guys used to kick sand in all our faces – now they are almost 20 points off the top of the league.

Wonderfully, United’s current strife could’ve been avoided, as any bum could have told them that Mourinho always turns toxic in the end.

His sour approach always reveals itself in the end. That’s happened virtually everywhere he gone, and yet despite this, United hired him, searching for a quick fix for a supposedly proven winner rather than carefully considering what was best for their club. This is a club of empires, not a place for a one-liner merchant whose success has been hung around spending big in the transfer market and riling the opposition with prattling press conferences.

The irony of his failure at Manchester United, of course, is that the very means which made him a success at Chelsea – money – is what left him struggling to keep pace with Manchester City and Liverpool. Brazen as ever, he made sharp comments about how the two league leaders had spent millions on new players. Such an assessment is true, but it’s more amusing than poignant when ribbitted from Mourinho’s mouth. The basic rule that the team that spends the most wins the league, as had been the case with Roman Abramovich’s team, had come back to haunt him. The mystery of the last few days, however, has been the insistence in the media that Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino will be the next permanent manager up there.

It’s the season of goodwill and regardless of this week’s Milk Cup antics, saying something fair for once about Spurs can be permitted: why on Earth would Pochettino want to leave an upwardly mobile team heading to a new stadium with patently better players than United? Admittedly he hasn’t won anything, but trying to get Alexis Sanchez off the piano and scoring goals doesn’t sound like much fun right now.

• WHENEVER people dared to suggest Arsene Wenger was hanging on too long and a freshen-up at Arsenal might be a positive step, fans were told to be careful about what they wished for and to “look at United”. But as we get to Christmas, a defeat at Southampton does not change the fact that the Gunners are moving in the right direction. Unai Emery will at some stage need to reconstruct the defence – something Wenger arguably failed to ever properly do once his inherited back four had retired – but he is removing the lethargy and pepping things up. Brighter times are ahead.


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