So Mourinho was not actually sacked? Bizarre…

Editor F365

Welcome to international week
Just a few hours after two of the best three teams in the Premier League played 90 minutes of actual football, what is the top story on the football homepage of the MailOnline?

‘Well, that’s one way to forget your troubles! Bayern Munich players put Bundesliga woes aside as they toast Oktoberfest with WAGs.’

It’s pictures of women. Of course it is.


Axe suspended
Thankfully, the actual newspapers are still – just about – writing about football, with the Daily Mirror‘s back page claiming that ‘Jose Mourinho has been handed a stay of execution with Alexis Sanchez’s dramatic late winner at the weekend’.

The story is from David McDonnell and of course we trust him on all matters Manchester United after he wrote on Friday night that ‘senior United sources have told Mirror Football he has reached the point of no return, with the axe ready to fall whatever the ­outcome of Saturday’s match against Newcastle’.

Presumably what he meant to write was that the axe was ready to fall whatever the outcome of Saturday’s match against Newcastle, unless it was a 3-2 victory with a late winner from Alexis Sanchez. Gah, so, so close, David.

Our favourite line of Saturday’s back-page story was that ‘Michael Carrick could be put in temporary charge’. Well he could. If the story had actually been true.

By Monday, the suitably chastened McDonnell is writing that ‘those inside Manchester United were convinced Mourinho was already on his way, regardless of the outcome of Saturday’s 3-2 comeback win over Newcastle’.

Hmm. ‘Those inside Manchester United were convinced’ sounds a whole lot less solid than the claim that Mourinho was going to be sacked that he first attributed to ‘senior United sources’. Suddenly they are not so senior; they are simply ‘inside’ the club. And that club has a lot of people inside it.

In a companion opinion piece, McDonnell simply ignores the fact that he broke the biggest exclusive of the season so far and the events he so confidently reported have not actually come to pass. Which is ballsy.

He writes that the win ‘looks to have bought him time, as he works against the backdrop of increasing uncertainty over his future’.

Wonder who painted that backdrop.


That Monday morning back page from David McDonnell is headlined  ‘ATTACK, ATTACK, ATTACK SAVES MOURINHO AS HE’S URGED TO CHANGE HIS WAYS’.

The implication is clear: Manchester United have told him to change his tactics to keep his job.

The reality? He has been urged by Paul Ince. Paul bloody Ince.



What the hell did they expect?


The wonderful age of banter
Some of our older readers may remember when the Manchester Evening News was a newspaper.

Now? Now it is BANTER CENTRAL. And who among you could claim that is not progress? Who wants news when you can have truly epic bantz?

We imagine that most United fans were thinking ‘I thought he might miss that to be fair, and now I am mildly pleased that neither Liverpool nor City won but really, it’s got sod all to do with us because we are several points behind in eighth’. Or something along those lines.

We doubt that ‘all United fans’ were enjoying bantz about the ball landing in their garden in Didsbury like Sun man Neil Custis (for it is his hilarious tweet that lies within). Not least because the majority of United fans do not live in Didsbury; it’s just not big enough.

A reminder: This story is headlined ‘Manchester United transfer news and transfers LIVE’. It is none of those things. It is just shit.


Slam Dunk
We missed the miserabilism of Neil Ashton during the World Cup – when he was forced to reluctantly bang the England drum after earlier claiming the tournament would ‘pass England by’ – so it’s a welcome return in The Sun as he bemoans Gareth Southgate’s latest call-up.

‘GARETH SOUTHGATE seems to have overlooked England’s dreadful performances in the Nations League opener against Spain and the friendly with Switzerland when he picked his latest squad.

‘The latest call up, for Brighton defender Lewis Dunk, smacks of desperation after injury forced Burnley’s James Tarkwoski out of the squad on Sunday.

‘It is all well and good looking outside the top clubs for international footballers, but they usually get found out at the highest level.’

Couple of things, Neil.

* England did win 1-0 against Switzerland. Which means that a defence containing players from Burnley and Leicester kept a clean sheet.

* You may have heard of Harry Maguire, Neil. He plays for little Leicester and he was rather good in the World Cup.

* Who the hell else did you want Gareth Southgate to pick?

The top five Premier League clubs started a total of 14 English players this weekend. Of those 14 players, 12 are in Southgate’s latest squad. The only exceptions are the retired James Milner and the relatively untested Rob Holding. So where is the long list of options being ignored by Southgate?

It’s all well and good p***ing on a young man’s chips just for fun, but, well, it makes you look like a bit of a [REDACTED].


Recommended reading of the day
Daniel Storey on Marco Silva making long-term plans

Richard Jolly on Liverpool’s coming of age