Love him or loathe him Jose Mourinho is going to be missed

Andy Dillon by Andy Dillon / 21 December 2018, 12:45

Pantomime season is over - already.

The departure of Jose Mourinho from Manchester United is the final curtain call for one of our greatest villains, and dames for that matter.

And it robs English football of one of its greatest characters and the entertainment package as a whole will be worse for it.

More people do not support Manchester United than do. That’s a fact. There are more people out there who really don’t care about the tactics they play, the players they pick, the trophies they do or do not win.

So let’s not get carried away with fanciful ideas that we all hope to see a more united United now that the Spiky One has gone.

It’s not just the manager who was a disaster, the players played their part too in bringing down the biggest club in our country with an almighty crash.

And apart from Manchester United fans, who hasn’t enjoyed it?

A fundamental part of being a British sports fan is revelling in the fall of a giant. Our love of the underdog is what helped propel Leicester City to a 5,000/1 shot at winning the Premier League a couple of years back.

Watching Manchester United in a tailspin of late is good for the neutral and good for the game as a whole. This club is no more entitled to win trophy after trophy than any other from the summit of the Premier League down to pub level.

It’s actually quite refreshing to see such a mammoth corporate entity floundering, fighting and ultimately failing. It gives us all hope that modern football is not fixed to keep the big clubs on top of the pile.

The saddest part of it all is that with Mourinho gone - again - from the Premier League - we have lost its greatest showman.

 

Mourinho’s ability to draw boos whenever he walks onto the stage he treads upon is one of the major attractions of going to see Manchester United at any away ground.

The three-fingered salute to the baying mobs in reference to the number of his Premier League titles (more than any other current serving manager in the top flight) was pure theatre.

Labelling his most expensive player a ‘virus’ was shocking but at the same time spellbinding.

Digging out highly-paid superstars week in, week out when things didn’t go his way was like being ringside at a world title boxing match.

Sure, he pretty much wrecked morale in the dressing room, turned players against him, upset the board with his public criticism about signings. But so what?

Most of us do not watch football for great forward planning, compliance to FFP and everyone slapping each other on the back. We pay the money for a ticket to see drama, good football if we’re lucky and the unexpected if we’re really lucky.

For all his weaknesses at managing teams long term and maintaining a happy ship, Mourinho gave us all that.

To be able to turn the Chelsea fans who once adored him into a jeering rabble is some achievement in itself. It’s up there with winning the Europa League at any rate.

Mourinho’s gone and we’re left with nice-guy Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who will smile, toe the line, not make too much of a fuss and try to get those dreadfully underperforming players back on track.

Manchester United may even end up having a half decent season. Shame!

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Last man down

Neil Aspin
Neil Aspin
(Port Vale)
30th January
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