JOSE FOR ENGLAND? OH, THE HYPOCRISY

By Grahame Fendle
In News
Dec 10th, 2007

I’ve not been able to keep up with football news much in recent weeks; I’ve had to be content with snippets from NewsNow and the occasionally dip into the CFCnet forums, so it was with some alarm that I read there seems to be a groundswell of support for Jose Mourinho to take over the vacant England manager’s slot. Really? Seriously? In those immortal words; I don’t bloody believe it!

As if that weren’t bad enough in itself, I note with some interest that The Sun, Britain’s favourite newspaper, is leading the charge for Jose to be appointed for what is clearly one of the most thankless tasks in international football. It even went as far as projecting a massive image of Jose on to the Soho Square building, just in case the blue-blazered old duffers at the FA needed a clue.

Personally, I find it amazing that even The Sun has the temerity to go to such extremes in backing a manager whose previous team turned in, by their own words, performances that were described as turgid. Sometimes you just couldn’t make it up. Have these people no shame at all? Of course they don’t, otherwise they’d be embarrassed by what is a clear hatred of all things Chelsea throughout the Fourth Estate.

However, what I find most intriguing is the clear stupidity of the hundreds of football fans queuing up to back Jose Mourinho on any one of the radio phone-ins we tune in to every day. Are these the same people who complained constantly about the style of football played by Chelsea? The very same people who claim that actually it does matter how you win, not just that you do? Of course it is, there are enough of them on this site who moaned about the way Chelsea played under Jose. They’re still doing it now.

I can see it now. Three games into Jose’s tenure and England have won all three games, or maybe drawn one along the way. People won’t be happy, and The Sun won’t be happy, because although England will be getting the results they think they deserve – all off the back of a World Cup win in 1966 of course – they won’t be doing it in the style that people really want to see. Fundamentally there’s a point being missed here: what the hell is wrong with the England international team’s defence? Nothing that I can see, nothing at all in fact. The one thing the England team is not short of is decent defenders, and it hasn’t been for a very long time. So, just so I’m clear on this: The Sun says that over half the football supporters in this country want Jose as the new England manager? Why? Oh wait, I know, because he’s a winner.

History repeats itself, we know this. The CFCnet forums are a living testimony to the fact that although people like to see a winning team, they don’t like to see a team winning without having the fans reaching for the man-size tissues when they make a mess after Frank Lampard spanks one in from 30 yards. They don’t like close games either. What they want is to see teams batter opposition by a handful of goals to nil. Under Jose, England will never do that. Not ever. It’s completely and utterly not the Mourinho way. The fans will enjoy the wins for a while, then the “I wish we played a bit more like Brazil/Italy/France” comments will start to appear on internet forums and blogs, and The Sun will be playing its part in all this; the campaigns for entertaining football will be across the back pages, with the same 66% of people backing the campaign who voted lemming-like for Jose in the first place.

My advice to the FA is simple: take a few hours to look around CFCnet and you’ll realise what a mistake signing Jose Mourinho would be. You have been warned.

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