Friday 23 March 2018

Comment - Rush to judgement on Jose and Pep is just ridiculous

Pep Guardiola (right) and Jose Mourinho
Pep Guardiola (right) and Jose Mourinho
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Jose Mourinho’s return to Stamford Bridge was always likely to be one of the more eye-catching events of this Premier League season - and the occasion will be remembered for all the wrong reasons if you have Manchester United loyalties.

Chelsea’s 4-0 win against Mourinho’s disheveled United side sparked the predictable knee-jerk social media response, yet that is not a sensible way to draw conclusions just nine games into the season.

Here is our guide to last weekend, which focuses on the madness of quick-fire judgments.


If you wanted any evidence that the modern era of football fans pass their judgements on the game on a weekly/daily basis, the torrent of abuse flowing in the direction of Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola on social media channels on Sunday confirmed it.

The arrivals of serial winners Guardiola and Mourinho on the Manchester football landscape last summer felt like game changers for the Premier League, yet just nine games into their reigns as Manchester City and Manchester United manager, many football visionaries concluded their time is up.

How ridiculous…how utterly ridiculous.

This is a debate about the two most successful managers in modern football, the ground-breakers who have changed the rules of what constitutes success in 20th century football.

One who built the greatest team the game has seen at Barcelona and the other winning major trophies in four countries with his blend of arrogant brilliance. They are coaching legends who deserve respect rather than scorn after a few indifferent results.

Yet two months into their first season with new employers, some clowns on Twitter and other social media platforms are suggesting their time should be up.

This is the ultimate example of how armchair football supporters operate in 2016. One bad defeat is a crisis, one great win is enough for them to ink a trophy parade into their diaries for mid-May.

It’s madness, but welcome to the world of Premier League football in an age when the lunatics have been given a platform to express their views.

My tweet suggesting United should reserve judgement on Mourinho after their horrible 4-0 defeat at Chelsea on Sunday sparked a huge response, with these just some of the deluded messages that flowed my way:

A Twitter account has already been set-up calling for protests against Mourinho and his removal as United manager, with the huge response to its creation suggesting that viewpoint has plenty of support.

Meanwhile, Guardiola also finds himself under-fire at City, after a five-game winless run that has sparked the now familiar suggestion that a crisis is gripping the club.

A 1-1 home draw against Southampton merely served to confirm that his philosophy will take time to filter through at City, with his side’s presence at the top of the Premier League standings confirming that the Spanish tactician does not need to strike the panic button just yet.

Mourinho and Guardiola have been something of a letdown in the first few weeks of this season, but the reason they got the jobs at United and City was because both squads were in need of a massive overhaul and that was always likely to take some time.

Both have started that process after a summer of massive spending and should only be judged after one full season in their current posts.

In an era when too many fans want to hire and fire managers on the back of single results, that patience is unlikely to be forthcoming.

So to all those social media hawks and trolls calling for instant change at United and City, please consider this advice: calm down lads, it’s only October.


Nine Premier League games should not be enough to judge Sunderland manager David Moyes, but the Scot is starting from a very different base than Mourinho and Guardiola.

Back-to-back and high profile failures at Manchester United and Real Sociedad have destroyed the theory that Moyes was the best of the ‘homegrown’ managers in British football and after failing to win a game in his latest post after a horrible start to the season, the gloom is refusing to lift after his side’s 1-0 defeat at West Ham on Saturday.

There is something drastically wrong at Sunderland, with manager after manager committing woeful transfer calamities and failing to fire the burners at a club that has been getting it wrong for far too long.

Few would be surprised to see deposed former England manager Sam Allardyce return to Sunderland in the coming weeks, with Moyes' credibility reaching a low point that he will struggle to bounce back from.


It can only be hoped that the Republic of Ireland management duo of Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane caught some of the Bournemouth v Tottenham game on Saturday.

Bizarrely, Reading’s Stephen Quinn and Hull’s David Meyler appear to be ahead of Arter in O’Neill’s Ireland pecking order, yet the Bournemouth maestro is turning in man-of-the-match displays on a weekly basis against top Premier League opposition.

His latest all-action display in the 0-0 draw against Spurs won him more praise and his confirmation after the game that he wants to start for Ireland in their World Cup qualifier against Austria next month should not fall on deaf ears.

Arter is unquestionably Ireland’s in-form player right now and it would be crime if O’Neill did not name him in the starting line-up for his date in Vienna.


Petr Cech (Arsenal)

Christian Fuchs (Leicester)

Gary Cahill (Chelsea)

Winston Reid (West Ham)

Harry Arter (Bournemouth)

Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool)

Adam Lallana (Liverpool)

N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)

Adama Traore (Middlesborugh)

Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

Shinji Okazaki (Leicester)

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