I have been distinctly underwhelmed by the blanket coverage of the dismissal of Jose Mourinho last Tuesday morning.
The vast amount of the coverage has bought into the cult of the Special One. Given the resources of a national newspaper I would have expected and enjoyed reading the financial implications for the so-called world’s biggest football club; a historian chronicling a club that went from the tragedy of Munich to being the first English side to win the European Cup to the underachieving years of Wilf McGuiness, Dave Sexton, Tommy Docherty, Ron Atkinson when they even suffered one relegation to Alex Ferguson who but for an equaliser by Mark Robins at a league cup tie at Oxford United might have got his P45 too before launching a decade or more of titles and cups.
Sir Alex understood United, incorporating mavericks like Eric Cantona whilst bringing on a cadre of academy youngsters like David Beckham, Gary and Phil Neville, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes, who became one of Mourinho’s savagest critics. The custodian of the soul of the reds was Sir Bobby Charlton, rumoured never to have favoured the Mourinho appointment.
However now the club is in American ownership and not a club but a global brand that must deliver profit. Post-Fergie, there was the real risk of another period of non achievement whilst their noisy neighbours won everything. So the ultimate trophy winner was appointed. I would have like to seen a physchological profile of Mourinho and why do we never hear anything about his family, given we are told he is a family man never prepared to set up home in the North West but in residence at his suite in the Lowry Hotel?
Why did Ed Woodward offer him relatively recently a new extended contract when his behaviour and judgment were already causing concern? The Mourinho style of football, intensely pragmatic but never easy on the eye was not analysed either.
To sum up there were more gaps than provision of information.
And when will clubs learn that when ever a legend is as appointed as manager they rarely cut it? For all his pontifications as a pundit Newcastle were relegated under Alan Shearer.
Dalglish the second time at Liverpool, Ossie Ardiles at Spurs and now Olly Gunnar Solksjaer, who failed at Cardiff. I would be surprised if he is at the helm at the start of the next season and will the owners really pay out £35m for the services of Pochettino who has won precisely nothing in the game on top of the rumoured compensation of £15-18m for Mourinho?
No, I can foresee another decade or so when United tag not just behind Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool but the European giants too. Suddenly the global brand weakens as fans crave success.