Jose Mourinho seems to be suffering his earliest case of third-season syndrome and Manchester United fans are in meltdown after a shambolic pre-season tour.
JOSE MOURINHO has currently got a face like the back end of bad luck.
I don’t know about not lasting the season, I’m starting to think the Manchester United manager won’t last until the START of the season! The bookies have slashed his odds and Mr Grumpypants is now 6-1 favourite to be the first Premier League boss to get the axe.
It comes after a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of bitter rivals Liverpool on a disastrous American tour where he had fall-outs with players and bigwigs at the club.
The problem is everything Mourinho has moaned about in pre-season has happened to others – and they are not complaining.
He knew the World Cup would be on and while he has been hit hard with star players coming back late, Tottenham and Manchester City have been hit harder but Pep Guardiola and Mauricio Pochettino are just getting on with it.
He sulked when Anthony Martial flew home from the States after the birth of his son and said: “Martial has the baby and after the baby is born – beautiful baby, full of health, thank God – he should be here and he is not here.”
Nathaniel Clyne did the same but Jurgen Klopp’s reaction speaks volumes about the difference in the two men and their management styles. The delighted German quipped: “We have exchanged messages and I’ve seen a picture – a little Clyney! The baby will keep him busy for a few days and then he will start training again, all good. There are more important things in life than football and babies are definitely one of them.”
Mourinho was also all ‘woe is me’ that his favourite Nemanja Matic will miss the start of the season after surgery – Klopp loves Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and he is out for the ENTIRE 2018-19 campaign.
Against the Reds before a ball was kicked he sullenly commented ‘It is Liverpool first team vs Manchester United kids’.
While Klopp’s side certainly had more established stars present only Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, Virgil van Dyke and Fabinho are likely starters when the Kop welcomes West Ham on the opening day – hardly a first XI.
Rafa Camacho, Kamil Grabara, Nat Phillips, Curtis Jones, Caoimhin Kelleher and Pedro Chirivella are not the names that immediately spring to mind when you think of Liverpool, plus the likes of Sheyi Ojo, Ben Woodburn, Lazar Markovic, Marko Grujic, Joe Gomez, Dominic Solanke and Ragnar Klavan are all fringe players.
Yet talk to Jose and Manchester United – supposedly the biggest and richest club in the world – could not hope to compete. And his argument completely fell apart when you worked out the average age of his side was 26 compared to Liverpool’s 25. Ouch!
It is also telling that after the game Klopp was full of praise for his youngsters saying things like ‘Nat Phillips, my God – what a pre-season he has played!’ and ‘Pedro Chirivella in the No 6, a fantastic football player’.
In contrast Mourinho threw his lot under the bus. He snarled: “This is not our team – we started the game with almost half of the players who are not even going to belong to our squad on August 9. They will not be here.” Way to instil confidence Jose!
Both sides saw new signings make their debuts but while £52m Fred was anonymous, bargain £13m Xherdan Shaqiri set up one for Daniel Sturridge and scored a sensational overhead kick.
But the biggest head-scratcher was when Jose said: “The atmosphere is good but if I was them I wouldn’t come. I wouldn’t spend my money to see these teams.”
This was remember, in America, home of club owners the Glazers and 101,000 fans turned out in Michigan to watch this game – it was commercially a big deal in what is big business.
Jose is an intelligent man, you don’t manage the teams he has managed and won what he has won, without some brain power. But for reasons known only to him, he is acting like his stairs don’t go right up to the top floor.
Publically criticising Ed Woodward for a lack of transfers is rich seeing as the chief executive has bunged him close to £350m in the past two years. So far this summer United have signed Fred from Shakhtar, Diogo Dalot from Porto for £19m as well as £1.5m keeper Lee Grant.
The fact £80m-rated Willian or Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, £65m Harry Maguire, £50m Ivan Perisic or £40m Toby Alderweireld are not already through the Old Trafford door is telling. And since when did United go after Everton targets like Yerry Mina?
All other top six sides barring Tottenham have strengthened this summer. Jorginho is a superb signing for Chelsea and the Maurizio Sarri era has started well. Likewise the new man at Arsenal Unai Emery has brought in the likes of Lucas Torreira, Sokratis and Bernd Leno who will all make the Gunners much stronger. There is a sense of a new dawn and fresh hope around both clubs.
Liverpool are loving their new acquisitions with Shaqiri, Fabinho and Naby Keita already impressing and Alisson set for his debut this weekend, while Riyad Mahrez makes champions City even stronger if that is possible.
Mourinho needs to stop acting like the cheese has fallen off his cracker and start getting a tune out of squad that boasts one of the world’s Top 3 GKs in David De Gea; Paul Pogba – the most expensive midfielder in the universe who has just been instrumental in winning France the World Cup and includes attacking riches like Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Rashford, Alexis Sanchez, Juan Mata, Martial and Jesse Lingard.
If he doesn’t the whispers Pogba wants out and has his heart set on a return to Juventus will only get louder. Martial may just decide to strike until he gets a move and Gareth Bale will be thanking his lucky stars he is not once again being linked to a massive money move.
The self-styled Special One lasted three seasons at Stamford Bridge in both his two stints before being sacked and he engineered a spat with the press over an accused lack of respect and promptly left after his third season at Real Madrid. This is what he does.
He has already cancelled a media meeting and is in war mode with the world this week and everything is pointing to it being third time unlucky again for the 55-year-old.
While supporters of other clubs are eagerly awaiting the start of the season, the Red Devils faithful are chuntering away unhappy and disjointed – a reflection of their team.
Mourinho now has more chance of plaiting fog than getting those disillusioned fans onside and there’s only one way this will end – him out the door.
AND finally Neymar’s credibility vanished like a fart in a fan factory at this summer’s World Cup,
So much so the arrogant little Brazilian has had to publicly apologise for his diving to try and minimise the damage to his brand.
He did it in a snazzy and no doubt very lucrative sponsor’s advert with Gillette. If he is the best a man can get, gay men worldwide will be thankful Neymar’s straight!