Manchester United beat Watford 2-0 on Saturday.
It was a good performance, with goals from Juan Mata and Anthony Martial sealing all three points for the Red Devils.
I won’t deny that they looked good, but what came afterwards from Jose Mourinho was nothing short of laughable.
Talking of his team’s performance, Mourinho said:
“I think it s the kind of football that if, instead of being Mourinho’s team, if it is somebody else’s team, you would say ‘art’.
“But because it is my team you just say is very good, but that’s fine. It was very good.
“They play very well, the fans understood. They were behind them, they pushed them and the first half was amazing.”
Now, we know that Mourinho likes to play games in the press and say inflammatory things, but for me, this one took the biscuit.
United looked good. But was it ‘art’? By no means.
Anthony Martial Goal. ⚽️
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Assist. 🎯
Love the passion from Anthony & Jose Mourinho. 😍 pic.twitter.com/QTQLdMG2Pt
— Ramesh (@RameshK1902) February 11, 2017
I understand the Portuguese talking his side up, but the reality is that his expensively assembled side are lying in sixth – a full 12 points shy of league leaders Chelsea, and with no chance whatsoever of winning the Premier League this season.
Lest we forget, it’s that same Premier League that Mourinho said he was aiming to win this season.
If United are that good Jose, why aren’t you at least challenging for the title?
It was an especially strange comment for the simple reason that it would be in Mourinho’s best interests for people not to scrutinise his side too closely. They’re clearly a work in progress, with good days and bad days, but they’re not winning the league this season.
— FOX SPORTS Football (@FOXFOOTBALL) February 12, 2017
But by claiming that his side’s performance was ‘art’, he’s inviting criticism from people who will – quite rightly – look at United’s league position and see a disconnect with Mourinho’s comments and the reality of where they sit in the league.
And let’s not forget: it was only Watford.
I don’t mean any disrespect by that. Watford are a fine side in their own right, but if the sum total of Mourinho’s expectation is that United can do a job on Watford, then it shows that expectations at Old Trafford have taken a swift and dramatic decline.
In my view, it would have been far more prudent to tell the truth. To say that his side are a work in progress and that whilst the performance was good, he knows that they can play even better.
This would buy him time and show the fans that there’s more to come. Instead, it’s like United are the finished article, and if they’re finished and they’re sixth, it doesn’t bode well for the fans used to them winning the title every other year.
Antonio Conte has fired back at Jose Mourinho after his comments about Chelsea last night.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) February 12, 2017