Man dis-United

Published: Tuesday, 28 August 2018

It’s over Jose. It’s time to go. You’re kidding yourself now. You’ve lost your players, the club is a mess and if you think the support of a couple of hundred fans at The Stretford End is public backing?  You’re wrong. 

As the ‘glum one’ stood in front of those fans applauding I honestly thought he was saying ‘thanks, and goodbye’. Perhaps he was. Perhaps he was expecting the axe to fall Monday night? Unless something changes dramatically and quickly it will. It’s only a matter of ‘when’. 

I didn’t see the brave, bold, adventurous performance that Mourinho talked about. I didn’t see a team that deserved a two-goal half time lead. I listened to my beINSPORTS colleague Andy Gray make the very accurate assessment that a half-time draw was about right. Yes, Lukaku missed a sitter and a very good chance to bury a header, but Spurs should’ve had a pen - Jones pushed Moura over. It was a pen! 

Anyway, by the end United weren’t just beaten, they were mesmerised by Spurs and their only answer was the familiar Plan B - drop it on Fellaini’s head. 

I told you last week that Mourinho had lost his players. They don’t skip about a playing surface as Spurs did - or City and Liverpool do - they look like they’ve got divers boots on. There’s no life in them. It’s Manchester United - but not as we knew it. Nothing like it. 

And as Mourinho left the arena, pausing to applaud that handful of fans - later claiming that he had the backing of ‘the best judges’ - perhaps he hadn’t noticed that Old Trafford was half empty before the final whistle. I’ve never seen anything like it. United fans leaving before the final whistle? No-one would walk out of that stadium before ‘Fergie-time’ because they knew impossible was nothing on so many occasions down the years. 

I don’t entirely blame Ed Woodward for this mess. I would’ve gone for Mourinho when he did. I thought it was the perfect match - a hungry and frustrated Mourinho in the job he’d always coveted, but he doesn’t ever learn from previous mistakes. We’ve been here so often in his career. Not only has he upset just about everybody already at the club, Woodward can’t now persuade other big name targets to sign for United. I told you last week - top players no longer want to play for Mourinho. It’s not fun. I ask again - who wants to go to work and not have fun? 

Woodward will already have spoken to the representatives of possible replacements - and although Andy Gray left me speechless when he threw Roberto Martinez’s name in the ring - a conversation off-air left me convinced that ‘lines of communication’ have been opened. I’m sorry - it’s not my fault! 

I understand why some believe Martinez should get a mention - but I don’t believe he would satisfy United punters. No, it’s got to be Zidane - a proven ‘big-club’ operator and a three time winning coach of the CL - yes - three times Jose. Three. Respect. Respect. Respect. 

How good were Wolves against City? Brilliant. And they deserved their point for having a go. Surely the rest can see now that City can be vulnerable if you ask them questions? 

Liverpool are showing title form. Two dogged results in the same week - in matches they might have drawn or even lost last season - were impressive. It’s how titles are won. 

We’ve dealt with Spurs. And thank goodness Chelsea got the result they deserved at Newcastle. I read the Newcastle Chronicle have announced they won’t run quotes from me or Andy anymore. That’s good. I don’t recall asking you to. Can we make it a lifetime ban guys? If you were to quote me try this ‘the way Benitez sent his team out was a disgrace. Wolves, newly promoted, had a go at a much better team than Chelsea and were rewarded for doing so. Benitez is playing politics. It will re-bound on him’. There we are - I’m not going to bother adding anything else. 

Burnley’s dilemma will end this week. I can’t see them getting past Olympiakos so once they’re out of the Europa League they can get back to doing what they did well last season. 

I was impressed with Fulham - and the £27m man Benitez didn’t fancy at Newcastle. Mitrovic was a handful and gets better every time I see him. 

Everton should’ve won, but they know that. What on earth was Leighton Baines thinking when he gave away that pen? Well played Bournemouth though for another stunning comeback. 

And top marks to Watford. As you know, I thought they might struggle this season, but there’s no sign of that so far. They’ve been terrific. Good luck to them. 

It’s good to see Emery off the mark at Arsenal whilst Pellegrini says ‘don’t panic’ West Ham. He’s right - it’s too soon, but The Hammers need a win this weekend or it will be time to panic. As Everton found out last season - spending a lot of money doesn’t guarantee success. I still think it will be a long hard season in East London again.