If ever the thought that fans would be best leaving football to those who play and manage teams were to be made flesh, it would look rather like former Screws and Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan, who knows more about football than everyone else put together - except that he doesn’t. And confirmation of his actual knowledge came this morning when Manchester United summarily dismissed manager José Mourinho.
So there’ll be very little dancing in the streets of Setúbal this evening, then. Nor will there be much swaggering chez Morgan, despite the inevitable bluster and bravado. Because the news has left Morgan covered in rather more than confusion.
Even before The Special One rocked up at Old Trafford, Morgan was praising the idea. Was he the right fit for the club? “Mourinho’s the right fit for any club that wants to win big trophies”. Also, “Mourinho will be brilliant at Utd”. There was more.
Soon afterwards, that move came to pass. And Morgan was there to claim he was breaking the news. “BREAKING: Jose Mourinho to be new manager of Manchester United - official”. As for those rotten Chelsea people, “Chelsea players/fans will realise very quickly what a catastrophic mistake they made in hounding out Mourinho. He's a winner”.
And this one I particularly liked: “Mourinho will be brilliant at United. Anyone who thinks otherwise is a footballing neanderthal … Just wish he'd come to Arsenal”. Arsenal are above Man U in the PL table right now. So are Chelsea. But do go on. “Of all the Top6 teams, the one showing real swagger now is Manchester United. I wouldn't bet against Mourinho winning Premier League again”. He won’t be doing it with Man U.
But Morgan knew his football. “I'm a not-so-secret Mourinho fan. He's a winner”. And here’s another one I particularly liked: “Fergie handing the torch to Mourinho”. It’s looking right now as if Sir Alex didn’t so much hand it to him, as stick it up his arse.
Still, on carried Morgan in his praise of the increasingly Not So Special One. “Arsenal fans assured me Mourinho was a 'busted flush' & 'damaged goods' when I pleaded for us to sign him”. They may have been right, even after yet more wayward Morgan punditry: “Mourinho's done it again. This United team looks magnificent”. Not now they don’t.
Even this season, with storm clouds gathering over Old Trafford, the grovelling continued. “Mourinho's 100% right to sack Pogba as captain & drop him … He may be a World Cup winner but the Frenchman's gigantic blame-everyone-but-himself ego is writing cheques his Premier League performances simply aren't cashing”. And last month, the Morgan façade remained intact: “I love Mourinho”.
And now he’s out: the reality is that Mourinho looked increasingly out of step with the game played successfully today. None of the high-tempo football preached by managers like Jürgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola. And none of the incessant attack that was the trademark of Manchester United in the Ferguson days.
Ultimately, José Mourinho was out of time in more ways than one. So is Piers Morgan.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at