A wise old man told me one time
Happiness is a frame of mind
When you go to measuring my success
Don’t count my money count my happiness
Those lyrics from the Ken Dodd hit called ‘Happiness’ will be sung by Jose Mourinho today. Especially the last line. He has his money and he’ll be happy with that. He’s got the sack from Manchester United that he so craved and he will receive a huge pay off. Mission accomplished. I expect that he’s smiling now. £24 million pounds for failing would make the unhappiest man happy.
I would suggest this turn of events should make everyone connected with the club happy. The players will be smiling from ear to ear. Paul Pogba posted a tweet with that look on his face and the words “Caption this!” He soon took down the tweet but his expression says it all and he will have known the message had got out there. Pogba has been on the receiving end of criticism from various quarters, including United supporters. Some of it fair. Much of it not.
I ask you. Would you perform your best at work if your boss verbally abused you, criticised you in public, bullied you or simply ignored you?
Those gifted United players will perform now that the problem has left the building. There must be a palpable sense of relief at the training ground and in the dressing room. A cloud of gloom has lifted.
Mourinho was not the only problem at Old Trafford, of course. Everyone knows that. “The club is rotten from top to bottom” said sports writer and author Patrick Barclay. He has a point.
You have a situation whereby the American owners use the club as if it were a free cash withdrawal machine. They have Ed Woodward doing their dirty work for them. I’ve forgotten more about football than Mr. Ed will ever know. The fact is that the club is still paying off the first replacement for Alex Ferguson. They have five months left of settling the contract for David Moyes. Now they have to pay off the remaining years of Mourinho’s contract. Some people say that Ed Woodward may not be a football man but that he is a good businessman. That doesn’t look like great business to me.
Surely one of the most famous football clubs in the world will now appoint a middle man, a so called director of football, who can work better with a new coach or team manager.
In the short term they have sought to put smiles on the faces of supporters with the caretaker appointment of former player Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Mike Phelan, for so long assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson, joins as first-team coach alongside Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna. If the double act of Solskjaer and Phelan is not the suggestion of the last successful manager of Manchester United, my name is Santa Claus.
It’s hard to imagine baby faced Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will immediately gain the respect of some big names. But all he has to do is play them in their correct positions and tell them to go out and play enjoyable and entertaining football. They can do that. They will do that. Cardiff City are likely to be the first victims of a rejuvenated squad.
The demise of Jose Mourinho is not so much a case of player power winning the day. It’s simply an intolerable situation being brought to an end. Better late than never.
It’s time the owners of Manchester United concerned themselves as much with performances on the pitch as on the stock market. Manchester United supporters are used to watching entertaining football. Football that puts a smile on your face. Now is the time for the club to press the reset button.
Or, as Ken Dodd said:-
Let’s forgive and forget
Turn our tears of regret
Once more to tears of happiness