First up, let’s make one thing clear: Mourinho’s tinfoil-hat ‘everyone’s out to get me’ paranoia is extremely wearisome.
That being said, is it possible to have a shred of sympathy for one of football’s least sympathetic characters given the FA’s ongoing quest to punish Mourinho for reacting somewhat swearily to a 3-2 win secured from 2-0 down in the very last moments of a game where his actual job might well have been on the line?
Whataboutery is always a prick’s trick because it is of course perfectly possible to care about and devote attention to two or even several things at once, but this weird puritanical pursuit of a man for some post-match Portuguese swears is surely a mental priority for the FA.
Does anyone actually care? Not performatively, or out of a perfectly understandable desire to make Jose suffer for being an absolute arse in so very many other ways, but genuinely, truly care that a Premier League football manager swore after a dramatic win. Surely not.
News that the FA will appeal an Independent Regulatory Commission ruling that pretty much said “Yeah, he swore but it’s hard to prove who to and how offensively so let’s all just get on with our lives” (I’m paraphrasing) was given in a typically haughty manner by the suits at HQ.
‘Having carefully considered the Written Reasons of the Independent Regulatory Commission relating to the case involving Jose Mourinho, The FA can confirm it is appealing the decision,’ harrumphed a statement.
If you’re not more offended by the capitalisation of the phrase ‘Written Reasons’ than any swear word in any language yet devised by man, then we cannot be friends.
It was a weird charge to bring, and an even weirder one to pursue after being slapped down.
The thing about swearing is that it is big and it is clever, and I for one am impressed that Portuguese apparently has sufficient nuance that what Jose supposedly said can be interpreted as anything from “Hell yeah” to “son of a whore”. Fair play, Portuguese.
Manchester United have been on the wrong end of this before, of course, with Wayne Rooney missing an FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City for the gloriously ungrammatical yet utterly heartfelt and somehow profoundly moving howl of “What fucking what” into a TV camera during a game against West Ham, weirdly enough after scoring to put United 3-2 up having been 2-0 down.
He got a two-game ban for that. Two games! Including an FA Cup semi-final! For saying fuck at a camera!
At this point the role-model argument usually rears its head. But anyone who needs Wayne Rooney or Jose Mourinho or any football figure to be a role model for them or their children is an idiot with bigger problems.
But you know the worst thing? Whatever happens now, Mourinho wins. Having pursued it the FA have already fuelled his victim complex, and any touchline ban will just be the chance for some classic Mourinho pantomime theatrics – which is all his swearing outburst ever was in the first place.
The FA’s ongoing attack of the vapours over a bit of swearing in a sport that has long since lost any claim on moral and ethical high-ground isn’t just wrong but wrongheaded. The fucking idiots.