Jose Mourinho has an interesting way of attracting attention. It works, there’s no doubt about that, but it leaves a distinctly bad taste in the mouth.
This weekend, he’s been going on about a decision that went in Manchester United’s favour at Old Trafford. I’m sure he has the benefit of detailed video footage and high-quality replays of the incident, so he’s qualified to make such statements.
“The circumstances are difficult for us with the new football rules that we have to face.
It is not possible to have a penalty against Manchester United.”
Apart from being factually incorrect, here’s another reason we should question Mourinho’s judgement on this matter – video evidence itself.
Here’s the incident – and despite the low quality, I urge you to look at it closely, several times.
There are two decisions you have to make:
- does O’Shea touch the ball (first replay)?
- does Lee Dong-Gook turn his body to run into O’Shea at the last moment or does he go for the ball (second replay)?
My view is that O’Shea touches the ball, and that Dong-Gook makes no attempt to go for the ball and instead moves across O’Shea to get between him and the ball, falling over him in the process.
It’s also sad to see intelligent writers fall foul to such blanket biases – like the myths of Arsenal’s beautiful football (please, give me a break) or Lampard’s deflected goals (around 5 percent of his goals for Chelsea are deflected), the myth of referees favouring Manchester United comes from United’s previous decade of dominance.
There’s no conspiracy – and while it suits Mourinho’s purpose, it would do him well to review that incident, see where the ref was standing, and decide whether there was any case to be made.
Accusing the refs of being biased towards Manchester United – freedom of speech or not – is slanderous to both Manchester United and the referees. Jose Mourinho doesn’t care about that though.
There’s another myth that I want to tackle today – one that presumes that footballers, referees and managers are intelligent and wise people who have no biases, prejudices or bad habits. That’s bullshit.
Ronaldo is willing to bend the rules. Rooney can’t control his tongue (let’s get the anti-United bashing out of the way, shall we?). And Jose Mourinho can’t stop complaining. He’s complaining about Liverpool’s goal, he has a history of complaining about referees (I’m sure he realises that they have a difficult job to do and that the current rules don’t help them much, nor do the players) and he has made this season all about the purported advantages Manchester United has.
It’s shameful only if you think that Mourinho is a better person than this. He’s not. He’s a good manager who has improved tremendously this season, but he’s also a man who chooses to manipulate the truth instead of seeking it out and accepting.
Bottom line – that was no penalty.
I’m sure you might disagree, so here it is again.
Now it’s your turn.