It’s been United’s worst start to the season for decades, and yet nobody is really surprised. Jose Mourinho has been busy blaming everyone and everything except himself for the results so far. But is his behaviour actually doing more damage to the club than the results and performances on the pitch?
His latest comments after the derby defeat to City prompted pundit Chris Sutton to call him a big baby. Whilst I’m no particular fan of Sutton, he has a point and he’s not the first to have made it. How many times have we heard the likes of Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand label Jose’s behaviour as embarrassing? As a club, United should expect better.
Look, painful as it is to say so, it’s obvious that on the pitch, United are way behind the likes of City and the Scousers at the moment. The “product” that they are delivering is inferior, and any new fan looking for a team to support, or aspiring young player wondering who to sign for, would be forgiven for looking elsewhere.
Yet despite serving up crap on the pitch, United are still the richest club in the world. For all his failings in the transfer market, Ed Woodward has managed to create a brand that beats all others even though the team doesn’t. So while we can’t hope to beat our rivals in terms of the quality of football we offer right now, we can still outbid them. And that gives us a chance to still attract the best talent that we need to turn this situation around.
But can this situation continue if our manager continues acting like such a dick?
You have to wonder whether all these big global brands will want to be associated with United if they become known as sore losers, fronted by an embarrassing crybaby. I wouldn’t. If I were them, I’d consider investing my sponsorship dollars (or yen) elsewhere. I’d want to be associated with a club that plays attractive football and conducts themselves with a bit more class.
And if that does become the case, our revenues will drop and we won’t even have the financial advantage any more. That means the long road to getting back ahead of our rivals will become that much longer and more difficult.
For me, this is just one more reason why Mourinho is, and always has been, the wrong man for the job. It’s been groundhog day at every club he’s been at other than Porto. He’ll come in, win a league, fall out with everyone, make everyone fall out with each other, blame it all on something else and then leave with his big payoff in his pocket.
There was no reason to believe that we’d ever see any other scenario at United. The only difference is we got a Europa League instead of a league title.
The consensus is that he’ll be sacked at the end of the season if he doesn’t get a Champions League place. That’s fair enough, there is no reason why he should have preferential treatment over Van Gaal. The only question is, will the damage he’s doing to the club’s reputation have become irreparable by then?