FOR all the pre-match posturing, Jose Mourinho once again showed that when the chips are down he’s the game’s biggest shithouse.
The Manchester United manager had been at pains all week to tell anyone who shoved a microphone in his face that today’s fixture was “just another game” for him, intimating that he wasn’t overly concerned about Liverpool leading to suggestions from some quarters that he’d break with tradition and actually try and play a bit.
Mourinho’s admirers will no doubt point out that Jose got the result he craved and maintained the gap between the two teams, but you wonder whether United fans, beneath all that bravado, are content with such pragmatism given the football that they were once venerated for?
Having spent over £300million in two seasons you’d expect a manager of Mourinho’s calibre to show at least a hint of ambition when faced with anything other than cannon fodder instead of parking the most expensive bus in European football.
Don’t get me wrong, Mourinho excels at making light work of any team that has less than 20 per cent of his budget, something that Liverpool could be much better at, but to cover up and refuse to engage against your biggest rivals?
As suggested by Jürgen Klopp post match, imagine if a Liverpool showed such cowardice, imagine the reaction he’d get?
Maybe Liverpool should take it as a compliment, but having only one of their last seven games going to into today, surely we were there for the taking? But despite all the headlines about this bold, new United, smashing all before them, Mourinho once again reverted to type.
Maybe it’s as straightforward and Liverpool, or rather Anfield, bugging him, maybe, as pointed out this week by Jonathan Liew Jose is still stung after being rebuffed for the Liverpool job back in 2004.
Liverpool have made a litany of poor decisions on and off the pitch over the last 15 years, swerving the Portuguese Pulis isn’t one of them.
But despite all that, the reason for today’s “performance” is far more straightforward, the man who has spent more money than any other in the entire history of football, does what he always does when he fears a team may lay a glove on his and regresses to route one.
Jose’s record, and his win-at-any-cost approach, speaks for itself, but ask any fan of Chelsea or Real Madrid whether he left their clubs in better shape in which he found them despite spending fortunes, ask them about legacy, what he left behind other than a hugely expensive mess? Dynastic he is not.
A quick look at how Antonio Conte reinvigorated a Chelsea team in tatters and turned them in to league champions is evidence of what happens when Mourinho’s effectiveness, as it did at Madrid and once before at Chelsea, begins to wear off.
You often find the true mark of a man in the opinion of others when loyalty is no longer obligatory, and while you’ll struggle to find a Chelsea or Madrid fan with a good word to say, compare that with a Barcelona or Bayern fan when asked about Guardiola, a man whose teams never deviated, never wavered and never cowed regardless of who they faced.
It’s not that Mourinho doesn’t want to play decent football to universal approval, but when up against it and the mask slips, he simply hasn’t the bottle.
Pics: David Rawcliffe-Propaganda Photo
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Lovely stuff Andy and spot on.
there was only one team wanted to win this game,lfc,.all the pundits wrong,all the mancs,there for the taking,hahahahahahhaha.whatch the excuses on you tube,lfc poor,sky.we were poor lfc poor.mutv .lfc poor,bein sport we were poor,lfc no luck in front of goal,god the media love the mancs,we play well.and that all i am conerned about,you do not win silver ware in oct,in may lets see were we are,lfc rule ok,from an old redman supporter.66,
Spending over 300m, surely they should be utterly dominating Liverpool even at Anfield? If Utd want to win the League they can’t afford draws – even at Anfield – because Pep won’t be playing for draws anywhere.
A defeat would have effectively killed Liverpool’s title chances so they naturally put extra effort in . The truth is they were not good enough again . Only 1 shot caused de Gea any difficulty and he saved it .
We were lacking several big players and got the point fairly comfortably if the truth be known .
Maybe next year ?
His trophies speak for themselves. Two last year in two finals we lost the year before. Sorry but this is bollocks.
Not bollocks at all. Spot on, mate.
Excellent writing, Andy.
Mourinho is and always has been a spoiler with a chequebook.
Gobshite of the highest order.
Agree completely Daddy Gibbo.
“Liverpool have made a litany of poor decisions on and off the pitch over the last 15 years, swerving the Portuguese Pulis isn’t one of them.”
Yea, winning league titles and multiple champions league titles is shit, isn’t it? And once again the money thing is thrown out completely disingenuously. Yes, Mourinho has spent a fortune, but it’s amazing how often when this argument is brought up it’s as if Porto never happened. It doesn’t exist. It goes against the narrative so let’s pretend that wasn’t him.
It’s okay to simultaneously dislike someone as a person, dislike their style of football, while respecting greatly their ability. You don’t manage the likes of Real Madrid, Inter and Manchester United unless you are special.
Porto was luck just like ranieri at leicester he has spent over a billion pound ffs i have always said you can put a monkey on the moon if you spend enough people get blinkered with mourinho i thatnk god we never gave him the job in 04 i would have more respect for him if he had win all these trophies on a budget as it stands i think any manager who has spent what he has would have won the same am maybe had the balls to try and play football
Win at all costs? Fair enough, DG – you made your bed, you lie in it. There’s pragmatism and there’s pragmatism and there’s Mourinho.
Just another reason as to why Liverpool have and always been that bit “better” than Manchester United…
you guys are just bitter dats why we wanted him cos I’m sure u guys will prefer a moyes dat says “united shud be playing at the level u are playing”
Jose: I complete season 3 trophies.
klop: no (asia) trophy so far. ……. Jose wins.
Pep and Mourinho are now both in the Premier League in their second seasons at their respective clubs.
Last week City went to the champions and beat them whilst playing them off the park. They didn’t care who Chelsea were or what they were capable of, they just used their own quality and self-belief to offset any potential Chelsea threat.
Today Utd came here and spent 93 minutes locked in their bedroom refusing to come out until the scary monster had gone.
That’s the difference between the two managers. Guardiola builds teams which swallow their opponents whole. Mourinho would gouge out a pensioner’s eyes to get a 0-0 draw against any opponent he regards as dangerous.
They just weren’t interested today. A team of cowed players who didn’t fancy it.
Bang on the money with this post Andy lad but Moronio’s real effort this week is to repeatedly claim that he loves the atmosphere at Anfield, ie I’m not intimidated by it….Honest, yeah, really, really not intimidated by it…..Honest, believe me….please…The Sh*thouse!. Also, Lukaku should start wearing a ponytail and develop a Geordie accent for when he plays us.
The “Portuguese Pulis” … that’s right, I remember when Tony won the Champions League with Stoke, the year after Mourinho won it with Porto.
As a Utd fan, I can’t stand this approach to football. Obviously if we keep winning trophies I won’t be complaining but if I had to choose between Guardiola’s style or Mourinho’s, I’d choose Pep’s. I understand that you need to adapt to your opponent’s strengths so I guess it makes sense to sit back and soak up LFC’s offence. But then, with the millions of pounds of attacking power we have on the field, why can’t we pull off a counter-attack goal? Even still, I find the Pulis-style of play stunts the growth of attacking players and ultimately causes them to lose their inspiration. The predatory attackers that Man Utd have need to taste blood or they’ll wilt away and frustration will set in. Of course this result comes in today ironically while City smash the only other team we’ve drawn with so far this year. Unless injury problems slow them down does City have it this year?
This article is poor. It reads like Jose sets his teams up like this every week-when clearly he doesn’t. Let’s be honest we would all love Klopp to have a bigger repertoire of match tactics that included being able to park the bus when you have to. Am a massive fan of Klopp and te needs more time we are going in the right direction. But it’s dull to slag off united just coz their united.
The guy is a knob and I’m a Liverpool fan. His team was 7 points ahead coming into this game against their biggest rivals away from home and he got a point. Those at Anfield now and in recent years should be taking note, this is how you mount challenges for league titles, you collect points wherever possible by any means in every game. Until you start winning several leagues in a row, nobody gives a shit how you do it. Mentality has to change. We play one way against everybody only time will tell if that’s going to be enough.
Have to mostly agree. Nice to see the defense play the way they should for once. I can’t tell what this game needed, because again we had a million chances. Salah must start scoring with one or two efforts, his conversion rate is a joke. Love that he’s getting in positions, but FFS how does he miss that sitter today?
He got bailed out by his brilliant goalkeeper. When Matip connected, it was a goal for all money. Even when De Gea got the touch I was sure it would still make its way in. It is one thing to get a foot to it, another to get a foot to it and deliberately steer it away.
We created enough to win that game, brilliant save, bad miss by Salah on the follow up and a good shout for a pen on Coutinho, plus some final balls that should have been better. Lukaku’s chance aside they didn’t get near our goal.
Embarrassing post. It’s not ‘challenging for title’s when City are winning every game. They won’t keep up if they play for draws!
Mourinho doesn’t give a SHIT about Anfield, Liverpool, it’s fans or you Andy. He cares about getting a point or nicking 3 if he can manage like he did when he broke our hearts in 2013/14.
We did not win the game because our attackers were fuck all in terms of finishing their chances like they are supposed to in the so-called big games. These asswipes get paid millions and still fucking can’t do their jobs right. What the fuck are they training on the grounds? Nivea poses?
WTF really happened? Did Mourinho not come to play? Or did Jurgen have no answer against parked buses or whatever other excuses he has for not breaking down these types of defenses?
So yeah keep blaming Mourinho for not winning. It’s because of him we can’t score the sitters too.
Say what you like about Mourinho but he walked away with a point to add to the Scums’s tally over the season. It will matter, to them at least.
IMO, LFC played well as a team, good but not great by any means and for once the defense did not bear the brunt of criticism as they did their job, nothing spectacular but what was supposed to be routine stuff.
However our attack has now taken on the mantle of being the subject of criticism for not being able to put away training ground chances. Too wasteful, especially Salah.
Klopp’s substitutions are my only real criticism of the game otherwise we played well and huffed and puffed again against a United side that could have been beaten, but managed to keep themselves in the game because of their world class goalkeeper.
Now that there are no more “Mourinhos” to park buses or play negative football we should be trashing Maribor and Spurs next weekend, and the rest until we meet United again.
Asswipes, ?? Really big fan then I guess….nah probably not
Sure John you must be the super fan around here I suppose.
Defense was much better, I still believe our midfield is the real problem, Hendo Can and Wanjaldum don’t go together as 2 would be enough in front of a holding midfielder. Hendo is the right man for the job but Can treats the game as a stroll and takes too long to get going in a game, and I can’t quite work out out what Wanaldum’s role is or what he brings to the party. For me this fella is another Lucas cos he never ever had a defined role in the team and flattered to deceive.
As for Morinho, yes Andy all that you say is correct in terms of his ambition when playing at Anfield, but let’s get it straight, right here and right now we need JK to be more pragmatic in games cos if he was we would defo have another 6 points on the board from maintaining winning positions against Watford Newcastle and maybe Burnley. If he did his job in this way we would be on 19. So like I say let’s be totally candid and transparent.
One last thing, whatever people think of Mourinho, in the past before taking the MU job, he holds LFC in the hirers regard and wiuld have walked to Anfield if offered the LFC job, of that I am certain
What a bitter match review. Yes Utd came not to play, but the attack on Mourinho is way over the top. Let’s be a little more gracious please, yes shame we didn’t get the win but this is a bitter child like rant against someone you don’t like. Not a match review at all. Oh and don’t tell me you wouldn’t
have swapped a guaranteed title with Mourinho for some of the shite we’ve had in charge since 2004? You might say so but you’d only be kidding yourself. Grow up.
I think the finger has to be pointed at LFC.
It’s LFCs problem, not José’s, that they cannot score.
I agree that the way he’s set up his team is embarrasing, the fact is though, that José has identified caution, as the best way to get a result at Anfield. It seems he isn’t wrong. To me it’s equally embarrasing that De Gea only gets tested once. 90 min, 19 shots, 1 decent finish. 1, that is not good enough, no matter how negatively the opposition sets up.
The start to this season has been an shocking indictment of LFCs, supposedly electric frontline. Salah should be in double digits, he has missed a mindboggling number of huge chances. In his defence, he sets up most of them himself, and has an uncanny ability to find himself in space.
The split-second before I read this piece I thought about Britain’s most expensive bus. Here you wrote it.
But to answer with Albert Camus:
Having the choice between a night with a beautiful girl and a conversation with Albert Einstein, I’d go for the girl straight away – for the first night. After I’d prefer the conversation with Einstein.
Deep down, many of you would be prefer a Mou for one season to let the wait finish and then hire Klopp. ;)
But I still believe Klopp is able to deliver. Just takes more time, if you build up players rather than buy a team.
Bit of a stretch that analogy. Mourinho and his style of football definitely aren’t anything like sleeping with a beautiful woman.
Not sure I’d go for the conversation with Einstein myself either ;)
What are you talking about Sayer Kraut?
The title of this article says Mourinho shows his true colors once again.
Yet Klopp didn’t learn and couldn’t breakdown the parked bus or whatever else you want to call United’s approach….again.
What are the chances of us playing united at home directly after the international break two seasons in a row? Actually, it is pretty easy to work out, ~ 1/100. Plays perfectly into Mourinho’s strategy of pretending like a the game never happened. If we get the same draw next year who is up for a protest at premier league headquarters?
Game went flat in the second half as our brightest players tired, but not as flat as the crowd. Honestly, attacking the kop when we have been the better team all day and with 10 minutes left 0-0 against united. If you can’t get up for that what is the point? It was like everyone bar the Liverpool players had settled for 0-0 on 70.
This is an unfortunate point of view from the author and from TAW.
Why is Liverpool the authority on how to play football? Mouhrino and Man United (as much as I hate the fuckers) have the tactical nouse that TAW always refers to – and we do not! If we had been half as intelligent as United then for sure we’d have more points than them. Even when we are in a winning position we throw it all away because we lack intelligence. United were justified in their game plan today because they didn’t need to win as they’ve won 6 of their last 7 EPL games – while we literally threw points away in all competitions! They are better than us in all facets of the game – business wise, size of ground, transfer policy, squad depth, in-game intelligence, approach in how titles are won…..
Please do not sit on your pedestal and downplay the Mourinho way. I would have loved to see him at Liverpool. At least we would challenged for the title because he is a serial winner. I wonder how that dynasty is working for you over the last twenty years of not winning the league? Please do tell me how you like the Liverpool dynasty you speak off……
He’s a very good, very effective manager. That said he took over a better team than Jurgen inherited, has spent more money on it and both have netted the same number of points since JM arrived at Utd (stat on the telly yesterday)
My point isn’t that JM is shite, more that people who think Jurgen doesn’t know what he’s doing might need to reevaluate.
Amazing how the last 4/5 games in any managers career dictate whether they are a genius or a donkey.
@Paddy You’re right that he took over a team that was slightly better than LFC.
To your point, if you look at the Chelsea team that he left behind, Conte who came in, had to identify the needs and still do a job, just like Mourinho and Jurgen to bring their respective teams up to speed and get them playing to their highest levels or potential.
However both Mourinho and Conte have turned over things in a much shorter period of time due to backing from their club owners and them taking a pragmatic approach rather than an idealistic one.
So I don’t think it’s the last 4/5 matches as you state, but about looking at how these past few transfer windows, and the business done on and off the field being handled by Jurgen and the club staff responsible for this.
Jurgen’s second time facing Mourinho with United. Is it a surprise that Mourinho would set up his players this way? I would think not.
Is it a surprise that Jurgen has not realized that teams, even big teams, will try to stifle LFC’s attacking football then? I was hoping that he would have altered a few things to figure this out and send a message to teams who park buses against us.
Dortmund was a different time, different situation, so was Ferguson’s 5 years, etc. Patience is needed, but also adapting to different approaches needs to happen on and off the field.
I want Klopp to succeed at LFC at the highest levels because I think he is a very good manager, but I have a feeling Klopp’s lack of pragmatism over the course of his time at the helm, will be his undoing at the club, not his last few matches.
Since his last title winning season at Chelsea Jose has adopted this tactic repeatedly in big away games. His record since then against Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal, Liverpool, Man City away from home is played 8, drawn 4, lost 4. His sides have scored 1 goal in those 8 games. Masterclass?
So its not a tactic specially devised to nullify Liverpool. Its what he does every time away from home in big games. And averaging half a point per game is hardly a masterclass.
Agree, but it has helped him towards winning titles more than often.
Oh and the goal they scored was in a 2-1 defeat to tottenham. All 4 draws have been 0-0.
Imagine looking forward to the big games and having that served up over and over.
Who cares about Jose and the Scum?
Focus on LFC not scoring, defending or winning titles, that’s more important.
I’m focusing on this game and the points raised in this podcast. The narrative that this tactic has long been successful for Jose is nonsense as John Gibbons said early on.
Jose is one of the most successful managers in history of this game.
Whether you or anyone else thinks his tactics have not been successful is open for debate but I recall there was a nearly 10 year stint in which he won a trophy every season. This on top of other seasons he has won titles with the clubs he has managed.
Even during this time he employed his Park the bus tactics. For the seasons it didn’t work there were other issues that included his tactics being found out and was addressed.
Athletico Madrid beating his Chelsea team in the CL was a masterclass of how defeat his parked bus.
The failure of Can, Matip and Salah to convert their opportunities is not Klopp’s failure to adapt his tactics. The same people saying that would undoubtably be the same people losing their minds had he thrown caution to the wind later on and taken players out of the midfield and brought on attackers (as Jose himself said he had hoped for) only to be caught out and lose the game.
While the missed opportunities of late are certainly hugely frustrating, I personally wasn’t at all angry after yesterday’s game. Arsenal and Spurs and even United have tough runs of games coming uo and I don’t see any reason why Liverpool shouldn’t be sitting within top 4 and having progressed from their CL group come Christmas. Thats all I was hooung for in this season in and would represent progress. There are still obvious flaws within the squad but Klopps belief in evolution rather than revolution was apparent from the moment he took the job.
Agree with you on most of what you said except the bit about the belief in evolution.
Not having a proper answer against the same opponent and manager who played the same way last season isn’t evolution to me.
Belief in something that in today’s footballing landscape is considered as a luxury is more idealistic IMO than being pragmatic.
In any case I just hope you are right about all the points you’ve made as I really wish for Jurgen to learn from his mistakes and succeed with LFC at the highest levels.
Anything less will see all his hard work wasted by the next manager and/or owner.
You need to re-read Gherkin’s first sentence as it is the answer to your second and fourth paragraphs.
Last season’s 0-0 was dour and we didn’t break them down, this season’s expected goal model suggested a likely outcome of a 2-0 win for Liverpool. Last season Mourinho deserved his point, this season he didn’t – he got lucky.
On your other point regarding him as a top class manager – yes he is but since Porto (and that’s now a long time ago) he has always had the advantage of winning titles with a lot of, if not the most, money behind him. Would he have done better than Rafa if he had come here in 2004? We shall never know and we can debate that one forever.