Jose Mourinho walked into his sit down post match presser in a jolly mood, with a glint in his eyes and with the posture of a man basking in the confidence that comes with a well executed mission. A man in control of the situation. It was bordering on pride. And as he took his seat, he probably expected the ladies and gentleman before him to task him with inquisitions as to how he had succeeded in coming away with the result he would have taken before kickoff. In his mind, it was no mean feat.
Yet, question after question sought to accuse him of the act and or omission of not doing his part to set up an enthralling spectacle worthy of the 900 million TV global audience that dedicated a couple of hours of their Saturday to witness British football’s showpiece fixture. And with every new inquiry into his ‘devilish’ antics came a furrowed brow that suggested he didn’t quite understand why nobody understood the beauty of what he had just accomplished. You’d imagine that he was fuzzed by the deliberate failure to take into account that Liverpool have only been beaten once at Anfield this calendar year. Or that Liverpool always raise their game for the visit of United to create a highly charged and abusive atmosphere. Having walked into the room with the air of accomplishment, Mourinho left the sit down presser muttering to himself in much the same way a teacher would leave the classroom having presided over a 40 minute lesson in which no student understood him.
So, how did it go in the other presser? Well, the Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp was spoilt for choice of poetry. According to him, Liverpool were moral victors on Saturday. They stuck to the principles of the club, to what his good, pure and just in football and defended the game from the axis of evil; first from the dark Lord of the Death Star but generally from the unrelenting power of the dark side of the force.
According to him, the “moral” difference between the clubs is that United’s display at the weekend is unacceptable at Liverpool. He said, “I’m sure if we played like this, you could not do this at Liverpool. Obviously for Man United it is OK. Quite some going with the poetry. All the while trying so hard to throw a blanket over the simple fact that of the two managers, only one left Anfield with what he wanted, and it wasn’t the German. Indeed, for the second season in a row, Klopp couldn’t stop Jose gaining what he wanted from the game. But Klopp doesn’t have to answer to that because, well, his team was the only one that tried.
But now that the Liverpool manager has let us know what is unacceptable at Liverpool but OK for Manchester United, I thought it fair to scribble a few things (in rejoinder) unacceptable at Manchester United but OK for Liverpool: At Manchester United, it’s unacceptable to win one game in eight matches in all competitions but this is OK at Liverpool. At Manchester United, it’s unacceptable to ship in 12 goals in 8 league games but this is OK at Liverpool. At Manchester United, it’s unacceptable to win nothing—silverware of any kind— for a period of five years but this is seemingly OK at Liverpool. At Manchester United, it’s unacceptable to go 27 years without a league title but this is OK at Liverpool.
”There’s lots of poets in football, but poets don’t win titles.” —-Jose Mourinho after winning the Europa League Final in Stockholm, May 2017.