Tag Archives: man u

Jose Mourinho SOLD XI

In recent years, a lot has been made of Arsene Wenger’s “nearly signings”. I have always defended him by highlighting that anyone who has managed at a top club for the 20+ years he has, would have been near to signing nearly every single top player out there.

If, for example, a manager did not know about a teenage Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo or Neymar, and not attempt to sign them, then they are clearly not doing their job properly.

Every manager, whether it be Sir Alex Ferguson, Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti, or more, would have had many players that they were interested, that they were interested in, talking too, who signed for someone else.

It is a pointless discussion and media outlets printing an XI Arsene Wenger nearly signed are doing so just for the hits, the click bait, the advertising revenue.

What I have found interesting this week, however, is trying to builg and Jose Mourinho Sold XI. Now these players are not the likes of Robin van Persie, Gareth Bale of Cristiano Ronaldo – players who their managers did not want to lose – but players who Mourinho deemed not good enough, or no longer good enough, and actively looked to remove them from the club.

I wonder how this XI would perform:

Petr Cech

Jose Mourinho had a tough decision to make between Petr Cech and Thibaut Courtois. Ultimately, neither were going to be happy playing second fiddle, and in the end, Mourinho opted for youth.

Cech is both a Chelsea and a Premier League legend, with more Premier League clean sheets than any other ‘keeper, the 35-year-old won 15 trophies in 11 years at Stamford Bridge. He has won the FA Cup at Arsenal.

Juan Cuadrado

One of a long list of players who Mourinho signed and then did not fancy, the Columbian wing-back joined Chelsea for £23.3 million in February 2015.

6 months later, Cuadrado signed a season-long loan deal with Juventus for €1.5 million – whom he stayed with for 2 years, winning back to back Seria A titles.

Leonardo Bonucci

Widely considered one of the best defenders of his generation in world football, Leonardo Bonucci didn’t make a single appearance under Mourinho at Inter Milan, and was sold to Bari, with Inter receiving just £3.4 million.

A year later, Bonucci joined Juventus for more than £13 million, for whom he made over 300 appearances in 7 years, winning 6 Serie A titles and 6 other major trophies.

After 2 Champions League runners-up medals, the 75 capped Italian joined AC Milan on a five-year contract for €42 million in 2017.

David Luiz

Mourinho allowed David Luiz to join Paris Saint-Germain in 2014 for a £50m fee just a month before a horror show in Brazil’s 7-1 defeat to Germany in the World Cup semi-final, seemingly justifying the then Chelsea manager’s decision.

Two years later, the Brazilian international rejoined Chelsea.

He  has flourished since returning to the club under different management, though, and is now dubbed an Antonio Conte masterstroke following Chelsea’s Premier League title win in May.

Filipe Luís

A typical Mourinho transfer deal, Luis was signed in July 2014 for a fee of £15.8 million from Atletico Madrid.

Mourinho seemed to not fancy the player almost straight away, giving him just 9 league starts in his first season, before selling him back to Atletico in 2015 for the same as what they signed him for.


Going way back to Mourinho’s debut season at Chelsea, and the serial winner made the decision to sell Tiago to Lyon for a reported €10.1 million. It was a decision that Mourinho later described as a “big mistake”, and more than a decade on, still with Diego Simeone’s expertly drilled Atletico Madrid squad.

The now-36-year-old was key when Atletico won La Liga, as well as reaching 2 Champions League finals.

3 league titles at Lyon and Atletico to go with his one at Chelsea, the defensive midfielder has 6 honours to his name since Mourinho sold him.

Kevin de Bruyne

The Belgian was signed by Chelsea under AVB in January 2012, and played just three league games in two years at Stamford Bridge. Following a highly impressive loan spell at Werder Bremen, Mourinho sold De Bruyne to Wolfsburg in 2014 for £18 million. De Bruyne lit up the Bundesliga, with 16 goals and 20 assists, being named the Bundesliga Player of the Year.

Manchester City snapped him up for £55 million, just 12 months after Jose had let him go, and he has continued his rich vein of form in the Premier League. He scored 16 goals in his first season at the Etihad and topped the Premier League assist charts in his second.

The best player in the Premier League at the moment

Juan Mata

Juan Mata was a fan’s favourite at Stamford Bridge. Brave, skilful, hard-working. He twice won the Chelsea player of the year award, and was regarded by many as key to Chelsea’s hopes of prizing the title away from Manchester.

So, Mourinho decided to go and sell him. To a Manchester club. Mourinho indirectly blamed UEFAs Financial Fair Play rules for the sale, claiming that to bolster his squad with players that he actually wanted, he had to sell some top talent.

Ironic that two years after deciding he was not good enough, Mata would once again become a key play for Mourinho for Manchester United

Mohamed Salah

Chelsea announced that a deal had been agreed with Basel to bring Salah to London for a fee reported to be in the region of £11 million in January 2014.

6 league starts and a year later, Mourinho loaned him out to Fiorentina. The summer of 2015 saw the Egyptian join Roma on loan.

Whilst Salah was in fact sold under Antonio Conte’s stewardship, Roma were able to purchase him due to a clause inserted into his loan deal with a view to a permanent during Jose Mourinho’s managerial reign.

Arjen Robben

Without doubt one of the greatest players to have been sold by Jose Mourinho, Arjen Robben is an exceptional footballer.

Injuries have thwarted some of the impact that he ought to have had on football, but he still has a remarkable goal scoring record for a winger and is simply unstoppable on his day.

Mourinho signed Robben for Chelsea in 2004, but sold him to Real Madrid for £24 million after three years. After two years in the Spanish capital, the Dutchman headed to Bayern Munich, where he has won 13 trophies and remains to this day.

Romelu Lukaku

Like Mata, Romelu Lukaku has found himself playing for Jose Mourinho after the Portuguese manager had decided he was not good enough.

Sold to Everton for £28 million in 2014 after loan spells for the club and WBA. Mourinho decided that a player who was not good enough in 2014 was worth £90m in 2017, as he signed the forward to lead Manchester United’s forward line.

Substitutes: Victor Valdes, Ryan Bertrand, Robert Huth, Rafael van der Vaart, Andre Schurle, Daniel Sturridge, Zlatan Ibrahimovic



How the mighty Man U have fallen


I usually do not blog too much about other clubs, unless I am mocking them in a sarcastic manner. But this blog is a little bit different, as whilst it is about Man U, it is also relatable to Arsenal.

Last night Liverpool hosted Man U in what has to be one of the dullest Premier League games of all time. Littered with pointless fouls – there were 5 in the first 4 minutes – the game never got going. It was supposedly going to be watched by a billion people around the globe, an advert for the Premier League. It would have sent a billion people to sleep.

ISIS will be forcing its captives to watch re-runs of the game with toothpicks keeping their eyelids open as it’s latest form of torture. Having to re-watch the game over and over again will have people screaming to be burnt alive or drowned in a cage.

It is the media response to the game that has surprised me.untitled

BBC Sport’s Chief Football writer, Phil McNulty, described the game as ‘vintage Jose Mourinho’. That he was ushering in a new Man Utd way. Others, on TV, radio and in the written press, have gone out of their way to praise Mourinho’s tactics, describing it, amongst as other things, as a master class from Mourinho.

Whilst Gary Neville said the game gave him doubts over Man U’s title credentials this season he was apparently encouraged.

They nullified Liverpool, grinding out a 0-0 draw. Playing ultra defensive, breaking up the play at every opportunity. Mourinho and Man U set themselves up to not lose the game, rather than win. Hardly any touches in the opponents box, limited position, a single shot on target and their 1st corner in the 82nd minute.

Now had this been David Moyes’ Sunderland, Tony Pullis’ West Brom, or any Sam Allardyce side in the last 20 years, I would fully understand the praise. A lowly side, battling out for a draw against a title challenger.

But this was not a bottom 3 side fighting for their life, it was Man U, the most successful team in English football history.

Victory last night for Man U by 2 goals would have seen them actually leap frog their great rivals in the league. They would have been 4th in the league, 3 points off top. Not bad for a side in apparent turmoil.

A 0-0 draw has left them in 7th place. 3 points behind Liverpool, 5 points behind the league leaders. Rather than getting praise for an underwhelming performance, their should be criticism for Jose Mourinho who last night conceded the title. By not going for the win, he showed that he does not believe Man U are title contenders. He is not even aiming for top 4. He was happy with a draw.

What yesterday showed is why Man U are playing on a Monday night on a Champions League week. They were awful. And this shows how Man U have fallen.

In 2012/13 they were Champions for the 5th time in 7 years. They had not finished outside the top 2 in 8 seasons. The last time they finished below 3rd was in 1991. And here they were, putting 10 men behind the ball, hoofing the ball forward, not interested in scoring, happy for a draw that kept them 7th.

25 years of not being out of the top 3, they have now failed to break into the top 3 in the last 3 seasons. The way they set up, the way they played Monday, it does not look like they will make top 3 this season. And yet we should be celebrating Mourinho?

After their title win in 2012/13, Fergie left Man U, and since then things have gone to pot. And this is where the Arsenal stuff comes in.

Firstly in came David Moyes. The British manager given a chance. He spent a summer trying to sign central midfielders, got turned down by everyone, and ended up with Marouane Fellaini from his old club, Everton. And that was it.

Including the January signing of Juan Mata, Moyes spent £68m, was sacked in April, Giggs shagged his brothers misses and they finished 7th.

Next up was Louis van Gaal. The managerial genius who once substituted his goal keeper before a penalty shoot out. He spent the good part of £250m on players, and his only game changing tactic was to hoof it up to David Moyes’ Fellaini in the last 10 minutes in the hope he headed one in. 4th and 5th and an FA Cup finish. Not a disaster, but not the success Man U fans desire, expect, and have gotten used to.

He was soon out the door when Jose Mourinho came in.

Mourinho has spent £150m over the summer. Including a world record transfer fee on Paul Pogba, who has since gone missing. His key players have been Moyes’ Fellaini and Moyes’ Mata. The result of his investment and genius has left Man U in 7th place, celebrating a 0-0 draw against Liverpool as if they have just beaten Barcelona in a Champions League Final.

Four summers since Fergie left, nearly half a billion spent by 3 managers and for what? To fail to break into the top 4 in all but one season. To play like Stoke City under Pullis or Bolton under Allardyce. 10 men behind the ball. Hoofing it to Zlatan Ibrahimovic who has no pace to run onto it. And the manager being labelled a genius for overseeing the dull game.

How the mighty have fallen.

There is a stark warning for Arsenal in what is happening at Man U. Both for fans and the board alike.

In van Gaal and Mourinho, they got in two manager who, on paper, were at the top of their game. They have given them all the resources they need to be successful. Both have spent the f**king money. And it has got them very little. A single FA Cup in 4 years and playing for a 0-0 draw away from home against a rival.

The time is coming when Arsene Wenger will leave Arsenal. But him leaving, and the new manager spending £100m+ a season will not guarantee success. It will not automatically make Arsenal champions. It will not even guarantee us top 3.

Man U have gone from perennial title challengers to mid table battlers in the space of 3 years. Only Leicester’s fall from grace has been grander in recent years. And spent £500m for the privilege.

The fact the media are going so OTT praising them for a dull 0-0 draw shows just how far Man U have fallen.