To be blunt, they’re doomed, and it’s entirely the fault of Jose Mourinho. It’s got nothing to do with the Glazers or Ed Woodward or any of that other smokescreen nonsense – it’s all down to the fact that Mourinho is a busted flush who used to be the boss of everything but has only had one truly great season out of the past six and has wasted obscene amounts of cash on duff players in the process.
And don’t give me that ‘net spend’ s**t – he’s brought in £382m worth of players into Old Trafford in two years and the £80m which he’s recouped was for players who he didn’t deem worthy of his grand project.
But it’s important that the United fans who applauded Mourinho after the final whistle on Monday night continue to back their manager, even if it leads to the inevitable conclusion of Championship football – there’s a bunch of reasons why it could be the best thing imaginable for them and for Jose…
GREAT MANAGERS HAVE BEEN RELEGATED BEFORE
There’s no shame to be had from dropping out of the top flight – Brian Clough did it as he closed the book on his glorious managerial career. I’m not saying that a spectacular relegation would be Jose’s cue to walk away from football forever, but you wouldn’t bat an eyelid if he did.
Other top bosses to have survived the drop with their reputations intact include Harry Redknapp, Dave Bassett and erm, Iain Dowie. Then there was Alan Shearer, one of the most highly-respected figures in the game, whose only brief spell in management saw him relegate his beloved Newcastle.
Don’t forget Roy Race too – Melchester Rovers were relegated in 1981. It’s okay, Jose. It’s okay.
IT’S A FRESH SOURCE OF STAR PLAYERS
Let’s be blunt – Mourinho’s ability to judge a player at the so-called top end of the game has completely deserted him. Going down to the Championship will sharpen his recruitment skills – who needs to shop in the posh stores when there’s plenty of tasty goodies to be found down the fish market?
Obviously, there’ll be some player churn once relegation is confirmed, with the likes of Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku seeking a fresh start, but Sheffield United’s Billy Sharp is still a reliable goalscorer even at the age of 32, while Lee Camp has been turning a few heads at Birmingham if David De Gea decides he wants out. Heads filled with disbelief, but still…
IF THE CHAMPIONSHIP IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR BIELSA…
Football hipsters who know more about the game than half-wits like you and I swear blind that Marcelo Bielsa is the greatest thing since sliced corned beef – he sits on a bucket, forces his players at gunpoint to clean the terraces with a toothbrush, and he runs an illegal bingo club in the car park at noon on match days. Or so I heard on one of those 110-minute tactics podcasts, I wasn’t really paying attention.
Either way, Bielsa has acted as a guru for scores of top coaches for decades now, and if he thinks the Championship is the place to be, we must all surely snub the Premier League and get down and dirty with the likes of Wigan and Rotherham.
THE FURTHER YOU FALL, THE BETTER IT GETS
Hey Jose, why stop at the Championship? As your career and reputation unravels before our very eyes, set your sights of the sunlit uplands (downlands?) of League One? As a Sunderland fan, I have endured the trauma and psychodrama of watching my side plummet from the Premier League to League One in the space of just over a year.
You know what? I haven’t been happier in years, and it’s not even because we’re second in the table. We’ve assembled a lively team in the bargain basement and we’re getting to visit proper football grounds like those at AFC Wimbledon and Gillingham (with their delightful temporary stand).
The Premier League is a giant, soulless soap opera, and we’re all complicit in its perpetuation just by giving it the non-stop attention it craves. If it was a toddler, we’d have taken its sugary drink away and would be insisting that it has some ‘quiet time’.
Embrace relegation, Jose. Stop seeing failure as a failing. Carry on with your hysterical, ludicrous take on football management and lead Manchester United to a new plane of existence, one where everyone concerned can feel a lot more comfortable about themselves.
You ARE the special one.