I don’t like Jose Mourinho. Never did. I doubt I never will. I hope nothing gravely bad happens to him because I won’t shed a tear. I know he doesn’t care about this random person who has an aversion for him. Fair enough.
When the Champions League Round of 16 draws happened, I tipped Sevilla to knock out Manchester United. It was a combination of not wanting Manchester United to progress and factoring in some of the dire football United are currently playing.
In fact, I had also predicted Manchester United will end up at sixth position in the Premier League. I never anticipated them getting more than two points from their clashes with Chelsea and Liverpool. Seeing the results of their Crystal Palace game after 50 minutes, I believe it is a miracle they got nine points out of those three matches.
Watching the first leg match against Sevilla, on balance, the match could have gone either way but you felt David De Gea was more influential in ensuring the game ended Nil all.
Having watched Sevilla at The Emirates in the pre season cup, taking into consideration their recent form in European Cup competitions and the the fact they were undefeated twice against Liverpool this season, I thought Manchester United were in for roller coaster ride at Old Trafford and it proved to be so.
The nature of football is such that the better team or the pricier teams don’t always win. Moments determine football matches, qualifications to the next round or league points. Ask Mauricio Pochettino and Harry Kane and their deluded fans and they will attest to this.
Two moments in the Tottenham v Juventus match turned the tie and the home side had absolutely no answer.
Same with United v Sevilla. While I believe Sevilla were a technically better side in terms of ball retention and passes, United had the players to bully Sevilla and get a single goal that would have been enough to qualify for the quarter finals.
For almost 70 minutes, Sevilla offered minimal threat. You might have read about the 20 something shots over the two legs but I assure you these shots were mostly duds. Even the saves De Gea made in Seville were not superb goal scoring chances.
Sevilla had their first real threat when Ben Yedder came on. One pass and Eric Bailly got on the wrong side of him. BAM. GOAL. Uphill task.
Second goal. De Gea’s head was gone. Tries to punch the ball with the wrong hand. Tie over. Two moments of madness. While many non Manchester United football fans are delighted at Jose and his boy’s comeuppance and are happy to banter Manchester United till kingdom come, but you must admit there was nothing Jose could do about those two errors.
By my reckoning, United should have been two nil up by the time Ben Yedder got on the pitch. Fellaini great chance on 38 minutes. He must either do better with his shot or square to Lukaku who had pinned the Sevilla defender on the wrong side of the action. Fellaini squares the ball and it is a simple Lukaku tap in. One nil United. But Fellaini went for glory and missed. That is what I call the curse of the modern day footballer. Glory hunters the lot of them.
Same and shame on Lingard at 51 minutes. Although he works the goalkeeper and gets a save, a pull back/square to Alexis Sanchez on the penalty spot was the best option. Alexis has the whole goal to aim for. All he has to do is think the goalposts are like a piano for him to hit the right note. No. Lingard goes for glory and gets zero.
Many have queried Jose’s approach to this match and referenced Sevilla’s poor La Liga results. But the Spaniards appear to reserve some of their best performances for European Cup Competitions. They have won 3 Europa Cups in the last four years. The same competition United were not good enough to play in, in one of the last four years, knocked out in the Round of 16 two seasons ago and won because the usual suspects didn’t play in it last season.
In the last four seasons, United have failed to get out of their Champions League group once and played a quarterfinal once as well. So I don’t get where the English media’s wailing is coming from about the ‘Mighty’ United not getting the better of Sevilla.
In my opinion, Jose Mourinho didn’t want Sevilla to embarrass his side with their ball retention and passing and decided to play safe. His method worked for 90% of the two-legged contest only for his best-laid plan to be undone by Eric Bailly’s moment of madness.
Yes, the manager is responsible. He is also responsible for the victories which people lap up and then disown the losses. He is the same manager. His style worked in he victories but the football percentages and football god denied him this time. Take your collective over bloated egos and get a life.
With respect to his rant after the match. Statically he was right. But seeing as it was a raw moment for Manchester United fans after the defeat, maybe Jose should have realized there will be a huge blowback over those comments.
But this is Jose Mourinho. This is the man you hired and rejoiced over. This is his style. He didn’t want you talking too much about Eric Baily and David De Gea and you are not. HE WON. You are debating his arrogance. WIN WIN for Jose. You are accusing him of talking Manchester United down. ARE YOU MANCHESTER UNITED? Are the fans Manchester United?
Fans are lovely and sweet but I couldn’t eat a whole one if I tried. Sorry guys. You are fans. In his rant, Mourinho made it clear that Mr. Woodward, the Glazers are with him on his rant. They want the Manchester United Plc. board to open the wallet and spend money if you want Manchester United to compete with European elite and with Manchester City. SIMPLES.
Forget Pogba. That was as a commercial singing. Never a football one. Alexis Sanchez signing was a bloody nose to the ego of the financially over bearing neighbor.
Jose is right. United have done sweet FA in Europe in 7 years, why expect a miracle from his side? What difference does a QF exit to Bayern and a bottom spanking make? From now on, all those silly comments about Arsenal not going beyond the Round of 16 should stop. Jose has said it makes no difference.
I think United fans should get on their knees and wank Jose off for saving you a 10-2 aggregate loss to Bayern Munich.
He was right with his follow up rant as well. Louis Van Gaal’s squad came 5th and that is why he was sacked. They were not good enough. In fact, it is fair to say that on balance of performance this season, United should not be anywhere the 2nd position in the Premier League. But he won you 3 trophies last season. He is on course for another one this season and what appears to be a nailed on Champions League appearance for the 2nd successive season.
Finally, I have always wanted a manager to stand up and tell the pundits they are idiots. Arsene Wenger does this in a gentlemanly way and with lots of philosophical statements. But Jose is the first to tell the lot of them they are idiots. Well done Jose.
Jose also implied that fans who listen to them are idiots too. Hopefully this should help fans realize the damage pundits are doing to the game and make them more circumspect about who they listen to.
The more managers that call the idiotic pundits out, the happier I am.
Baba Grumpy works in financial services in the United Kingdom. He blogs mostly about football at http://babagrumpy.blogspot.co.uk. His Twitter handle is @BabaGrumpy