Monday 16 September 2019

John Giles: I was extremely surprised with how Jose Mourinho dealt with Alberto Moreno last weekend

Liverpool's Alberto Moreno
Liverpool's Alberto Moreno

John Giles

JOSE Mourinho will have plenty on his mind after Manchester United’s Champions League win over Benfica last night.

Perhaps he’ll be thinking about Pep Guardiola and the fact that he got all his transfer targets while Mourinho got “four out of five”.

Perhaps that’s what’s at the root of the confusing stories in the news this week, the first created by his own interview on French television suggesting he might fancy a move to Paris and the second, a kite flown claiming he was ready to sign a new five-year deal.

Poles apart but an indicator of how strong a position he is in. He put it up to his employers by telling them he won’t be around forever and did it by batting an eyelid at PSG, the biggest spenders on the block.

Or maybe he is still fuming after making a bad call against Liverpool at the weekend when he picked Ashley Young as a blocker for Alberto Moreno when every other manager sees his dodgy defending as a target.

I was extremely surprised by that.

It wasn’t like Mourinho to judge Moreno as a threat rather than a weakness who should be attacked but his comments after the game about not having the bench to change it made a bit more sense in the context of money-bags PSG.

It makes complete sense that Mourinho would want to manage a club with limitless resources when it’s obvious from his “four out of five” remark that Old Trafford cannot deliver that.

This is the modern world of football management and while Mourinho devotes his energy to winning as well as most managers ever have, he always spends a lot of time dabbling in the dark arts behind the scenes.

In the here and now, he failed a test against Liverpool, the first title rival they’ve played in the league this season, and lost the kind of momentum that his team had gained over the start of the season.

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