Jose Mourinho Should Have Kicked David Moyes And Manchester United While They Were Down

A few years ago, I was working for a nationally ranked college basketball program (small college-NCAA Division II) and we were playing in the conference tournament against one of our biggest rivals. Earlier in the season, we had twice beaten this team by margins of 20+ points. The rumor before the conference tournament was that another poor result would lead to the rival head coach being fired.

Fast forward to two minutes remaining in the game and we are up by almost 30 points. Normally (according to the unwritten rules of the sport) the winning coach would start to empty his bench to give some of his kids playing time (the ones who don’t normally play), but also to ‘save face’ for the opposition.

I turned to my head coach and asked if I should tell our guys to get ready to go into the game. I will never forget his image or the words he said. He sat down, leaned back in his seat, let the most sinister smile creep across his face and said “f**k him”.

We didn’t take our foot off the gas for the last two minutes of the game, ended up winning by 30+ points and the rival head coach was fired a few weeks later.

Perhaps Jose Mourinho should have taken a page from my former coach’s book by kicking David Moyes and Manchester United while they were down.

This is not because I believe that the Juan Mata transfer will eventually come back to hurt the Portuguese manager and Chelsea in the end. The London club is getting a record fee from Manchester United and Mourinho obviously has no use for Mata in his squad.

Some people are saying that Mata is being sold because he will bolster United’s chances of beating Chelsea’s title rivals over the remainder of the season. Another theory is Mourinho simply doesn’t rate Mata and he could care less who the Spaniard plays for.

Whatever the reason, selling Mata to Manchester United at this time has thrown David Moyes and his team a lifeline.

To this point, Moyes and Ed Woodward have been unable to do anything in two transfer windows (aside from the signing of Marouane Fellaini). Questions were starting to surface regarding Manchester United’s ability to attract top class players to the club. The list of players who were NOT coming to Old Trafford was starting to grow (i.e. Koke, Pogba, Fabregas).

By signing Mata, Moyes and Woodward have acquired a creative, attacking player; who is a Spanish international and a member of the 2013 PFA Team of the Year. This signing will give Manchester United’s recent transfer failings a huge boost. It will also boost the morale of some of the club’s most disheartened supporters.

Mata is also the kind of player that other top players want to play alongside. Not only is the 25-year-old unselfish, he’s able to deliver passes to teammates in near-perfect positions, while also being a world class deliverer on set-pieces. Mata was a very popular figure amongst his teammates at Chelsea, as well as on the Spanish national team. His arrival at Old Trafford should entice other top class European talents to join him in Manchester.

Is Juan Mata going to solve all of Manchester United’s problems? No.

But his signing has relieved some of the massive pressure that had been building up on the club during the first seven months since David Moyes’s appointment. Imagine the chaos that would have engulfed Manchester United following their League Cup defeat to Sunderland if there had been no Juan Mata transfer. The media would be crucifying everything about the defeat to Sunderland. Not to say that United’s manager and players have not escaped a media firestorm after their League Cup performance. But Mata’s imminent arrival has taken away some of those potential headlines.

Let me say this. As a United fan, I am very happy that Mourinho has decided to allow the Mata transfer to go through. The Chelsea manager is being magnanimous by letting the Spaniard go to a rival club that is going to play him every game during a World Cup year.

Of course, Mourinho feels comfortable that Manchester United is not going to be a threat to the title this year. He also knows that United could potentially damage the chances of the other clubs competing for the league lead. The result of selling Mata really won’t effect Chelsea’s season, so why not sell a player he sees no use for?

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one of the best players in the world, but the Swede didn’t fit in with Pep Guardiola’s philosophy at Barcelona. I’m not comparing Mata to Ibrahimovic. It’s just that sometimes talented players don’t fit in with a manager’s philosophy and are better served with other clubs.

But, stepping outside of my loyalty to Manchester United, why didn’t Mourinho take the opportunity to let more pressure pile up on David Moyes and his club? Why not sit back in his chair and say “f**k them”?

Just a thought.

But thanks, Jose. You truly are a ‘Special One’.

For the latest Red Devils coverage, read the Manchester United team page for more news, analysis and opinion.

16 thoughts on “Jose Mourinho Should Have Kicked David Moyes And Manchester United While They Were Down”

  1. Or, this could be a tactic by Mourinho to save David Moyes job for another year or two, so that United dont sack him and go hire a competent manager . . .

    I wouldnt put anything past Mourinho.

  2. Actually, it’s the more obvious. Mou doesn’t like Mata, like DM doesn’t like Kagawa (who will be sold in the Summer) and 37 pounds for Mata is way over-priced but it shows how desperate United are. There’s a lot of great MF’s but they are all competing now, very hard to buy in Jan. I suggest to DM to keep looking for defensive MF’s as both Fletcher and Carrick can input creative play but not when they’re tied to the back defending in front of the back four.

    1. Considering Chelsea paid 23m for Mata and he was their best player two seasons in a row 37m seems like a good price. At 25 Utd could still make money by selling him on when his contract is up or they could have a top player for the next 10 years. Add in the fee utd will get for Kagawa if he’s sold and your net cost for Mata drops to around 25m. I don’t care what team you support nobody can say he’s not worth 25m.

  3. Yeah, but Pep didn’t sell Ibrahimovic to Real Madrid he sold him to a team in another league with the only way of seeing him again was in the later stages of a European competition.

    1. Perhaps no club was desperate enough to pay 37M for Mata?

      Perhaps Jose Mourihno is not as cynical and ruthless as media and fans perceive him?

      Perhaps he is not interested in ‘kicking Moyes and Manchester United while they were down’?

      Perhaps he didn’t want to have Mata rot on the bench and gave him chance with United?

      Perhaps Roman Abramovich is a transformed man (or simply running out of money) so he is all into a self-sustainable and profitable business model for Chelsea FC?

        1. Perhaps it was Jose and his best friend SAF conspiring to bring Moyes to United. So later Mourihno can take over with low expectations and take all the credit for turnaround.

  4. This was a business move by Chelsea, that’s all. Jose didn’t prefer Mata, Chelsea do not see Man Utd as a challenger for the title and most importantly, Chelsea sold him for 37 million quid. I doubt there were subliminal motives when the preceding reasons are ample enough.

  5. Chelsea would never have sold Mata to any club they regarded as a direct rival. Right now Mourinho does not see United as a rival that will derail Chelsea’s title challenge but can actually help if United are able to take points off Arsenal and City both clubs they still have to play.

    United don’t play Chelsea again in the league. And if they meet in the Champions League Mata would be ineligible having played for Chelsea already.

    Mournho knows what he’s doing. It’s a strategy that helps Chelsea immensely. They also get money to spend on transfers. Salah was bought with the profit.

  6. How do you knwo this is not kicking them while they are down? He just made 37m pounds on a player he didn’t want and Moyes will also have problem putting that same player in his starting 11 as his best position is behind the striker(same position ROoney plays in) LOL.
    Jose will use part of that money to bid for Rooney or another striker come summer.

    1. Mata should play at RAM like he often did for Chelsea.

      But Moyes doesnt seem to know how to play without actual wide players. Hence he still uses Valencia and Young when he now could have an attacking trio behind the striker of Kagawa, Rooney and Mata. If RVP is fit thats a menacing front 4. But no, he needs Young and Valencia to play like second fullbacks.

      1. It will eventually be RVP up top with Mata, Rooney and janazaj all playing behind but It’s only going to be effective if the midfield is significantly upgraded.

        1. Rooney has already said he doesn’t like playing in midfield. Mata is not a moyes type wing player as he likes his wide players to track back too.

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