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TV Wrap - Jose lets slip his vulnerable side with Richard Keys

The former United manager appeared on Bein Sports to talk about…himself.

Jose Mourinho appeared as a pundit on Bein Sports' coverage over the weekend, alongside Richard Keys and Andy Gray.
Jose Mourinho appeared as a pundit on Bein Sports' coverage over the weekend, alongside Richard Keys and Andy Gray.

WHEN GOOD AMERICANS die they go to Paris… and when good Premier League careers die they go to the headquarters of Banter Deracinated, Qatar.

Thus joining Richard Keys and Andy Gray in their Bein Sports studio-cum-gleaming cryonic chamber for old school British values this weekend was one Jose Mourinho.

Jose was gagged from talking about his exit from Manchester United, which, happily for him , provided him with a legal commitment to talking about himself.

If Qatar is hoping to soften its image around the world through Premier League football then Jose Mourinho is perhaps its worst medium, as he can be relied upon to promote nothing but himself.

He blithely defended his record, listing success at Real Madrid  (“when I came they had forgotten how to win”) and Inter Milan (“when I walk around London, Inter fans jump on my back”).

There were plenty of dreary and plainly wrong self-justifications relating to his not being sufficiently backed at United, which went largely unchallenged.

Keys instead spent 20 minutes gently pursuing the same line: Jose, you’re stale, you’re outdated, you’re yesterday’s man! You’re done I say! Done!

He did it in his oddly obsequious way, using euphemisms like ‘philosophy’ for the retrograde style that Mourinho used to strangle United’s season, putting criticisms in the mouths of others.

“Gary Neville said this week [that] never again should a manager be appointed at Manchester United who has a different philosophy to that which Manchester United fans have grown up watching”.

“He doesn’t know my philosophy”, snapped Jose in return. When asked to define it,  Jose went all Groucho Marx. “My philosophy…depends”.

As Mourinho looked in the rear-view mirror he found in the bald, stooped and egregiously sympathetic head of Andy Gray one of the great nodding dogs of British culture. At one point, with Keys gently pressing Mourinho on whether he is cut out for modern football, Jose asked him to define his terms.

Keys dangled it invitingly. ‘Modern football is…pass completion, movement of the ball, being entertaining when you can..’ It was Keys most direct question yet, and there was silence as Mourinho weighed up an answer.

Then Gray butted in to say that Keys had left one characteristic out: ‘winning’, tossing Mourinho a get out of jail card.

Keys and Gray’s friendship seems impervious to virtually everything, but even it must be tested by Gray snatching such bad television from Mourinho’s briefly slack, idle jaw.

Jose then began raging against his portrayal in the media; his purported negativity a “lie told a thousand times”. He claimed that Antonio Conte’s title-winners at Chelsea played in the same style as his, but this was never mentioned as “it was Antonio, not Mourinho”.

It was at this point that Keys saw his opportunity.

“Do you feel we treat you differently, Jose?”

 There came the tragedy that Mourinho has wrapped himself in.

“I think, yes. Because you don’t know me well as a person. I’m not the kind of person [with whom] you fall in love when I appear in the screen in so-called working moments – press conferences, post-match interviews.

“I understand I’m not the best-looking guy, and that for some reason I don’t belong to what I used to call ‘the tribe’.

“I don’t belong to the football tribe. I love football, football is my life, but I don’t belong to the tribe. I don’t waste time in the tribe. I don’t waste time in creating an image, in creating a position of privilege.

I have the prestige I have only – only – because of my work and my results. Nobody gave me nothing. Nowadays is much easier than when I started. When I started, there was no top manager without a big career as a player. I broke all of the walls.

“I was one of the first to go from zero to what I became alone.

“Nobody gave me anything”.

 Mourinho has mythologised his own rise, and now he is coming to terms with the problems inherent in doing this: he has reached his own narrative end, and can’t move forward.

Hence he has hardened into the dogma that has blighted his last two jobs; he has long since moved beyond the pragmatism of “my philosophy…depends”.

His irony is that the ‘tribe’ is populated with newer, more modern versions of him: none of the managers of Liverpool, Spurs, Chelsea and Arsenal had particularly impressive playing careers, either. They are only there because of Mourinho’s crusade…and they don’t even have the decency to be successful.

Jose assured us all he will continue to work in management, but he is only delaying the inevitable.

Soon he will pass into that antechamber between retirement and irrelevance called television….and he will be fantastic once again.

Sky sources

A truly great moment on Sky’s otherwise pointless broadcast of Huddersfield Town vs Manchester City as reporter Patrick Davidson believes he has spied future Huddersfield manager Jan Siewert in the crowd….only for it to turn out to be Random Bloke. 

Random Bloke is not thought to be in the running for the job. 

 A total pro 

Credit to SuperSport‘s Julia Stewart for managing to keep her cool during this bonkers interview with Pitso Mosimane, manager of South African side Mamelodi Sundowns. Mosimane is easily distracted, interrupting his post-match interview to berate opponents Wydad Casablanca after a poisonous CAF Champions League tie. 

 

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About the author:

Gavin Cooney

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