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Mediawatch: How else can Mourinho be expected to work?

That hypocrite smokes two packs a day It is now four days since Jose Mourinho’s missive about “football heritage” and Manchester United, which itself came two days after United were knocked out of the Champions League by a team now 14 points off the top four in La Liga. In those four days, Mourinho’s chief lickspittle Duncan Castles has been composing the defence. On Tuesday, courtesy of his column for, the defence is mounted. It is, as you would expect, spectacularly one-eyed. ‘Manchester United are second in the Premier League, on course for their highest finish and points total in England’s top tier since Sir Alex Ferguson retired five years ago. In the 20 months since Jose Mourinho took charge of his first competitive fixture as manager United have won two major trophies.’ It’s wonderful to start on something we agree. Mourinho has achieved better results on the pitch as Manchester United manager than David Moyes and Louis van Gaal did. Whoop. ‘United’s thoroughly disappointing Champions League exit to Sevilla offered an opportunity to Mourinho’s critics to claim he should be sacked. When Mourinho sought to put United’s progress under his management into context, when the Portuguese delivered a detailed explanation of “the process” involved in restoring the club’s domestic and European fortunes, he was attacked again. ‘Should there be surprise that some of those advocating Mourinho’s dismissal prefer to critique the length of time he spoke for rather than the information and analysis contained in his words? Not really. It is just another angle of attack — if you cannot play the ball, play the man.’ Now this really is peak Castles. Mourinho’s 12-minute rant was described that way for reasons of brevity. It was a description, not an insult. Mourinho was also criticised for his ludicrous assessment that “football heritage” was an excuse for United’s Champions League exit to Sevilla, which is what most focused on. For Castles to accuse those who described a 12-minute rant as a “12-minute rant” of ‘playing the man not the ball’, namely using your own hardwired agenda on a subject to guide your opinion, might just be the most wonderful hypocrisy Mediawatch has witnessed. It almost makes you want to stand and applaud (for 12 minutes).   There’s more ‘A coach who won the Spanish title with a record number of goals, victories and points against a Barcelona team that some of his critics have argued is the game’s greatest ever is decried for a failure to entertain’ – Duncan Castles, This might be difficult for Castles to understand, but Mediawatch believes that Mourinho is being criticised for failing to entertain with Manchester United now rather than then because he is failing to entertain with Manchester United now rather than then. What on earth has the Spanish title (won six years ago, remember) got to do with Manchester United? And why would the supporters unhappy at the entertainment on offer use that title as a defence of Mourinho? But if Castles really does want to bring up Spain, let’s go with it. If Mourinho demonstrated in 2012 that he could win with attacking football in Spain against a Guardiola-managed Barcelona, that provides more ammunition for the criticism that he is failing to do it now at the richest club in the world? It rather lends credence to the claim that he has lost his lustre in the last six years. Which is what this all about.   And finally… At that point, Castles goes into a long (we didn’t time it Duncan, we’re playing the ball not the man) rant questioning how successful ‘Guardiola football’ really is, so Mediawatch opened a new tab and typed the words ‘Premier League table’ into Google. It seems to be going ok. But the final flourish of Castles’ column really is spectacular: ‘What has Mourinho been doing at Manchester United with a squad that is in need of a significant upgrade to put it on a level with the Champions League superpowers? What he always done: Tailored his approach to the opponent and the circumstances of the match. Different tactics, different systems, different methods for different games. ‘Pragmatic? Yes. But unless a football manager expected to win titles has superior resources to his opponents is there any other sensible way to work?’ Yes, and that’s the entire point Duncan. He produced a performance and style against Sevilla that was completely at odds with the requirements of the match, causing Manchester United’s exit from the competition. As for the ‘superior resources’ argument, Mediawatch must have stern words with the owners of Sevill, because they’ve been hiding their ‘superior resources’ to Manchester United from their balance sheets for all this time. And the issue in the Premier League – as Castles well knows but ignores – is not that Manchester United are not winning the title, but that they aren’t even competing. They’re one point further away from Arsenal than Manchester City. Arguing that a manager cannot be expected to win titles against the financial elite makes a lot more sense when a) he isn’t managing a member of said financial elite, and b) he wasn’t knocked out of European football’s most prodigious competition by a club with lower revenues than Bournemouth.   The murky side of news ‘Manchester United star Luke Shaw set for exit after bookmakers slash odds on summer move,’ reads the headline on The Sun’s football homepage, prominently placed. Mediawatch might have gone with ‘Manchester United star Luke Shaw set for exit after being repeatedly called out by his manager’, but still. ‘LUKE SHAW looks certain to leave Manchester United as bookies slash odds on him leaving next summer. ‘Sun Bets have him at 1/2 to leave before the start of next season and EVENS to be the first player Jose Mourinho gets off his books at Old Trafford during the next window.’ Sun Bets spokesman Tim Reynolds said: “It appears as though Luke Shaw can do nothing right in Jose Mourinho’s eyes. Shaw is still only 22 and he will want to kickstart his career in the summer after being starved of game time under Mourinho.” Woah there; this isn’t news. This is a bookmaker owned by The Sun trying to get readers to place bets on a market created by that bookmaker by dressing up the betting market as news. And it stinks. You’ll also forgive Mediawatch for taking the insight of the ‘Sun Bets spokesman’ Tim Reynolds with a pinch of salt, given that Reynolds is actually Sun Bets’ Head...


Published By: Fottball 365 - Tuesday, 20 March, 2018

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