It’s Christmas, a time of love and joy and caring and sharing and that. But there’s no Christmas without a Scrooge figure for everyone to hate on, a sour-faced Yuletide refusenik who exists solely to burst the festive bubble for the rest of us.
Step forward (to no-one’s surprise whatsoever) Jose f*cking Mourinho.
As 2017 draws to its tepid conclusion, one thing that cannot be argued against is that football is an utterly disgusting business. Sopping wet with greed and cynicism, the ‘beautiful game’ is at times about as alluring as the grim, murky depths of a wheelie bin.
And if there’s one man who seems to be on a lifelong mission to suck all of the joy out of football, replacing it with childish petulance and a fog of misery, it’s Jose.
He’s been at it again in the shadow of United’s Carabao Cup (crazy drink, crazy tournament) defeat at Bristol City – on this week of all weeks, where peace and goodwill to all men is at the centre of our everything.
Was Mourinho able to accept that the Championship strugglers deserved to knock out his multi million-pound team in one of those cup upsets that occasionally remind us of why we love the game so much? No, of course not.
Instead he pissed all over City’s parade by repeatedly stating they were ‘lucky’. Mate, they’ve clambered up to third place in the Championship on a shoestring budget while you’re a very distant second in the EPL with a team that plays like West Brom every time you come up against your closest rivals.
Give them a little bit of praise instead of pulling the tedious manchild act that you’ve carefully honed for a couple of decades.
If that wasn’t enough, further pissing and moaning has emerged from Old Trafford, in the shape of a statement which uses statistical analysis to prove that United’s Christmas fixture schedule is tougher than those of their rivals, with fewer days off and more miles to travel (oh woe that you should spend an extra couple of hours on a state-of-the-art bus, you pack of pampered babies).
But hey, Jose – there’s nothing like getting your excuses in early and then when you slip up away at Everton on New Year’s Day, you can have something to back you up when you have your post-match bleat about it.
Jose Mourinho says Bristol City were "lucky" in their shock win over Manchester United… pic.twitter.com/SmjL8AckgT
— Goal UK (@GoalUK) December 21, 2017
Of course, it could be said that by making himself the centre of attention every time one of his teams falls to a defeat (which, to his credit, isn’t all that often), Mourinho takes the heat away from the players and allows them to recover and regroup before they play again.
But there’s an air of arrogant petulance about him that other managers don’t carry around with them all the time.
Mumbled monosyllabic responses in post-match interviews, walking out of press conferences after a couple of questions, or even going into one early and then leaving before any journalists have even turned up, as he did on Wednesday night.
It’s all thoroughly unlikeable and when all’s said and done and he eventually retires from management, the neutrals among us will look back at him with all the fondness of a lingering fart in a lift.
I don’t know what goes on inside the mind of Jose Mourinho but I get the feeling that he doesn’t actually like football all that much. Maybe he doesn’t like life that much.
Perhaps I’m just carrying some residual bile towards the man from that time he blatantly poked Tito Vilanova in the eye during an El Clasico scuffle at the Nou Camp in 2011.
But he doesn’t even anger me any more. I’m not pissed off by him these days – it’s all just boring now. He’s devoid of the ability to conduct himself with any kind of dignity.
And I’m not going to let football’s Scrooge ruin my Christmas – if he appears on my telly, I’ll reach into the remote control holster that I’ve asked Santa Claus for and hit the off switch, fuelled by the heady cocktail of pints of Baileys and pigs in blankets.
Merry Christmas everyone.