No FA Cup TV spotlight for Jose as BBC opts for Merseyside derby

Andy Dillon by Andy Dillon / 05 January 2018, 16:18

IT’S THE silence that will hurt Jose Mourinho more than anything.

Using your interactive TVs, go back and pick a random episode of ‘Supernanny’ and see how the stern, bespectacled Jo Frost tamed unruly children time and time again.

Instead of meeting their tantrums with equal volume, it was off to a cool down zone; shut them off, turn off the noise tap and just sit back and wait.

Eventually, a tear-stained tot would appear clutching a teddy and say sorry for screaming the place down and saying hurtful things.

It’s a bit much to expect the world’s most brattish coach to change his ways after being sent to the quiet corner, but tonight a significant event is taking place that may just mark the beginning of the end for him as the acid-tongued master.

For the first time in 13 years and 58 consecutive matches, TV has chosen NOT to televise Manchester United in the FA Cup.

This evening they are at home to Championship Derby County but there will be no immediate access to our living rooms via the cameras for Mourinho to air his paranoia.

Instead, BBC will be showing what will likely be Liverpool reserves versus Everton reserves.

Mourinho is playing second fiddle, he is not centre stage. Nobody will really be listening to him.

That alone should be confirmation of what a lot of people are saying about Mourinho’s team this season – that it is grey and functional.

Meanwhile, across town Pep Guardiola and Manchester City have grabbed the limelight – not only with their spectacular results but with their sorcery on the pitch, their bedazzling football and colourful players.

To make it even worse for the man who craves attention as the bad boy of football, his team, which was once the singularly dominating football club in Manchester is being forced to play their match tonight to accommodate rivals Manchester City.

The police say they can’t cope with both of the town’s teams being at home at the same time on the same day – so it’s United who must shift. Ouch.

City’s all-Premier League tie against Burnley is hardly gripping and both teams will no doubt field weakened sides.

But it’s move over Mourinho and make way.

Down the years, Mourinho has provided football with spectacular quips, quotes and verbal sniper attacks on his rivals as an unsubtle way to try to unsettle them.

Sadly it works quite a lot when men who should know better bite on his jibes and end up on the losing side of the war of words, even if not on the pitch.

Some of those attacks are breathtaking to witness. The famous ‘specialist in failure’ and ‘voyeur’ soundbites aimed at Arsene Wenger gave us all a ringside view of a cockfight.

Mourinho’s personality makes him great fodder for journalists when he opens up about his shaved ‘war’ haircuts, shopping with his missus and how he lobbed acorns at his players during training to keep the fun going.

He can be immensely appealing and superb company in a press conference. But like every unruly kid, he has a tendency to go too far sometimes when he has had too much sugar.

Ripping into Paul Scholes this week, a Manchester United legend who played the game with modesty and distinction is too much.

Choosing to belittle the former Manchester United midfielder by claiming he is jealous of his successor Paul Pogba’s money is way out of line.

It was the case when he accused referee Anders Frisk of colluding with Barcelona boss Frank Rijkaard at half time during a Champions League match.

Mourinho measures everything in terms of silver, whether that be trophies or currency.

Scholes and most British people do not, especially when it comes to sporting distinction. There is an undercurrent that players and managers need dignity as well as success.

The underlying sense is that after four and a half years back in England, first managing Chelsea (again) and now Manchester United, this country is getting a bit bored with Mourinho’s gripes.

And that pulling the plug on his game tonight is the first real sign of that.


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