The Road Ahead


Much to the disappointment of every football fan who doesn’t follow Chelsea, the club has announced today that Jose Mourinho has been sacked, thus bringing to a (potential) end one of the few bright sparks about this otherwise dull and tedious season.

Given the general unrest over the fortunes of Manchester United under the increasingly unconvincing Louis van Gaal, and ignoring the constant stream of stories about support for the manager coming out of the club, a lot of fans have jumped on the lazy assumption that Mourinho will simply hare up the M6 and install himself at Old Trafford.

There are United fans who would welcome that, though how many I don’t know. I can only assume that all they see is the trophies Mourinho habitually brings at the beginning of his invariably short tenure: a short cut back to the days of Fergie.

I’m not in that number, not even for a guaranteed 2016/2017 repeat Treble. Mourinho is the line. He’s the switching off point. He’s the rat trap that closes on the neck of my allegiance to my club of 36 years. I’m making this public now, as a guarantee against back-sliding, but the day Jose Mourinho is installed as Manchester United manager is the day I shut the door on my memories, lock them up and deposit the key somewhere safe, not to be used again until the man has ceased to pollute my team.

There’s a lot of you out there who have taunted those of us who have criticised Mourinho, who’ve said that our opinions are only the result of jealousy. Here’s someone for whom that’s not the case. I’m nailing my colours to the mast: if Mourinho arrives, I go.

Where to? I already have FC United of Manchester, and my claiming of temporary Fox-dom for the rest of this season wasn’t more than half a joke. That’s a bridge we’ll cross when we come to it, but so far we can’t even see the river.

Alea jacta est. Asterix books do come in useful.

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