It would be wrong of me to comment on whether tonight Spurs deserved to beat Manchester United. This is on the simple grounds that I couldn’t be arsed to watch it. I am not a United supporter (to put it mildly) and I am not a Spurs supporter. I couldn’t watch it as a neutral either because I find it better when you want one team to win and not one team to lose, which would have been the case tonight. Spurs beat United 3-0. I might have left it at that. Until I saw Jose Mourinho’s post match interview.
As ever, in Mourinho’s eyes, it was all about him. More often than not, he gazed into the middle distance and rarely at the interviewer. He muttered some disinterested platitudes and then said this: “By the strategic point of view we didn’t lose, from the tactics point of view we didn’t lose. But we lost the game.” Oh yes. It was all about him all right.
His comment was not cryptic. He was meaning exactly this: “I got the tactics right so it’s not my fault. Blame the players.” This was not the manager accepting any kind of responsibility for getting a sound dicking from Spurs: this was an egomaniacal poseur shifting the responsibility onto everyone else.
He must surely know he is a busted flush. His backward, boring, stifling tactics come from a different era, certainly a different era from the likes of Guardiola, Klopp and Pochettino. Their teams play exhilarating passionate football whereas Mourinho’s United employ the biggest bus in the world, parked just outside their penalty area. Grimly functional efficient football. At Manchester United.
This must be awful for United fans to endure, but never mind. They were spoiled for years first by the brilliance of Sir Matt Busby and later by Sir Alex Ferguson. Finishing in the top four on a regular basis would hardly represent fallow years for most clubs, but for United fans, spoilt by winning, these must be grim times.
I must admit I have never bought into the “Jose Mourinho’s great entertainment and good for the game” bollocks. It would be absurd to doubt his brilliance but equally so his gnarly narcissism whose life seems to be one long selfie.
I could not give a toss whether Mourinho is getting “sacked in the morning”, as joyous Spurs fans apparently sang during the game. But I am tired of his shtick. The manager as superstar is an anathema to folk like me who in a curiously old fashioned way always regarded the players as the real stars. I suppose this just goes to show, yet again, how out of touch I am with modern football. Long may I stay that way.