Mediawatch: An apology
So it turns out James Scowcroft is some kind of soothsayer.
So sorry for your loss, Duncan x https://t.co/inFkeAVZqC
— The Square Ball (@TheSquareBall) December 18, 2018
Update update update
The Daily Record have acted quickly to update Duncan Castles’ piece on Monday about Jose Mourinho’s compensation package. Sort of. Ish.
Opening paragraph: ‘Manchester United face a bill in the region of £24million after the English Premier League club elected to replace Jose Mourinho as manager before the end of the winter transfer window.’
That’ll do, right.
Second paragraph: ‘While the compensation package due to the 55-year-old will fall by 25 percent should Mourinho fail to secure qualification for next season’s Champions League…’
We think he might have failed, fellas. Though don’t ever tell Duncan that.
How soon is now?
Jamie Jackson, The Guardian, December 17, under the headline ‘José Mourinho safe for now amid business as usual at Manchester United’ writes: ‘José Mourinho is safe from the sack for the immediate future, with it being business as usual for the Manchester United manager, despite the insipid 3-1 defeat by Liverpool.’
Jamie Jackson, The Guardian, December 18: ‘José Mourinho has been sacked as Manchester United manager following Sunday’s defeat at Liverpool, ending a tenure that began in May 2016.‘
‘For now’ has never sounded so ominous.
Love and understanding
‘Manchester United stance on Jose Mourinho future revealed’ was the headline on the unreliably informed Manchester Evening News on Monday afternoon.
Samuel Luckhurst ‘revealed’: ‘Manchester United have no intention of sacking Jose Mourinho in the wake of their fifth Premier League defeat of the season at Liverpool.
‘United’s 3-1 loss at Anfield has left them 11 points adrift of fourth place and a whopping 19 points off leaders Liverpool 17 games into the league campaign. However, the MEN understands it is ‘business as usual’ and no managerial change is imminent.’
And Mediawatch understands you were given a bum steer.
Which makes us a little bit suspicious when Luckhurst variously writes on Tuesday that…
* ‘The MEN understands United have an existing list of targets and if one is available in January they could potentially make a move for them.’
* ‘The MEN understands that United were concerned that Mourinho’s ego was jeopardising the harmony at the club.’
* ‘The MEN understands United have partly decided to delay naming a permanent manager until the end of the season so they can oversee a long-term structure.’
Let’s hope the MEN understands they needed a new source.
The wonderful thing about this sacking, of course, is that nobody saw it coming. Though perhaps they should have done after Charlie Wyett’s bombastic Sun back page on Tuesday morning in which he wrote that ‘JOSE MOURINHO faces the Champions League trio of terror as pressure grows on the Manchester United boss’.
The trio of terror? We think we might have seen that on VHS. No wonder they sacked him.
One man who was adamant that that Manchester United would not swap horses mid-stream was the Daily Mirror’s Chief Sports Writer Andy Dunn, who writes on Tuesday morning:
‘On the third anniversary of his second departure from Chelsea, the whispers emanating from Old Trafford were that Jose Mourinho’s position is under ‘no immediate threat’.
‘Of course it isn’t.
‘They would not have a clue who to appoint as a successor.
‘They felt enabled to sack Louis van Gaal while Manchester United players were still celebrating an FA Cup Final triumph because a stellar name was available to take over.
‘To recruit a new manager now would require imagination, boldness and a sense of daring, because the blue-chip coaches are all happily ensconced in vibrant clubs.
‘Ed Woodward and the rest of the United suits have none of those qualities.’
Woodward is amending his CV as we speak.
Insight of the day
‘It was the club’s form in the Premier League that proved his undoing’ – MailOnline.
Worst headline of the day
‘Jose Mourinho’s Man Utd texts REVEALED: Special One’s heartfelt message to squad’ – Express website.
REVEALED in a 2014 book about his time at Chelsea.
When traffic trumps relevance
The six top headlines on the Liverpool Echo’s Liverpool FC page:
‘Liverpool news and transfers LIVE – Pulisic linked, Manchester United boss Mourinho sacked, Klopp press conference’
‘Jurgen Klopp helps get Jose Mourinho sacked – for the THIRD time’
‘Jose Mourinho SACKED by Manchester United after defeat to Liverpool’
‘Jose Mourinho’s parting words to ‘mad dogs’ Liverpool before Manchester United sacking’
‘Anfield is Jose Mourinho’s graveyard again as Liverpool unity drives final nail in coffin’
’15 of the best tweets as Liverpool fans react to Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United sacking’
A reminder, should it be needed: Liverpool are top of the Premier League.