In the world of comedy, they say timing is everything, and pretty much everyone not of an Old Trafford persuasion was smirking at the timing of Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho’s comments at the weekend.
Mourinho accused Manchester City of lacking class in a response to his own appearances in a documentary series about the Premier League champions.
‘All or Nothing’ was released by streaming service Amazon last week amid much fanfare.
The fly-on-the-wall episodes focus on Pep Guardiola’s efforts in winning last season’s English title. But the United manager was angered by the number of times he appears, or is the subject of comments, in the series.
“You don’t need to be disrespectful to have a fantastic movie,” Mourinho said ahead of United clash at Brighton on Sunday.
“My reaction is if you are a rich club you can buy top players, you cannot buy class. That is my first reaction.”
This was a clear dig at City and his opinion that they have bought their way to the top (of course United never spend top bucks on players…).
Such bullish comments, especially coming from the coach of a club with such a rich history as United, really deserved better from his supporting cast.
In the first act on Sunday, City showed their class with a 6-1 demolition of Huddersfield Town, with a starring role for Sergio Aguero, who bagged his ninth Premier League hat-trick.
Then came the villains of the part. United were torn apart by a Brighton side, who looked hungrier, fitter and, well, classier.
One 3-2 loss later and Mourinho entered the stage reading from a different script.
“When I am critical with my players you just don’t accept it, so please do not ask me to go in this direction because it is not good for me,” Mourinho said.
“We were punished by the mistakes we made. For me that’s the story of the game. We made incredible mistakes in some crucial moments. Mistakes that killed us.”
So the moral of this tale? If you are going to talk about your class and your rivals’ lack of it, you should be able to back that up on the pitch.
As for Mourinho and United being classier than City off the field, that too is a journey into the realms of fantasy. Mourinho can be described as many things, but classy? Mourinho: A man who once eye-gouged Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova after a humiliating defeat when he was Real Madrid manager. Mourinho: A man who constantly singles out his own players for blame while all other top coaches would protect and encourage them. Mourinho: A man who lambasted and allegedly verbally insulted a female physio while at Chelsea in a case that went to court. People in glass houses should not throw stones, because you end up with broken windows, and in this case, some egg on your face.
It looks like another melodrama of a season for United fans, and if these results don’t improve, it may become a short for Mourinho in the dug-out.
So as usual ‘The Outspoken One’ is in an unwanted class all of his own, and as usual it’s all of his own doing.
Stay classy, Jose.