By Jonathan Blaustein
You know what made me happy, since the last time I wrote a column for 7amkickoff?
The fact that the two idiots in the above photo left Wembley sad, the day the Gunners defeated Manchester City in the FA Cup Semifinal.
You know what I hate most about this god-awful season of Arsenal football?
That it sucked the joy from my experience. For the first time in my six years of obsession, it hasn’t been any fun. Sure, I’ve continued to cheer, and feel the pain, but I was absolutely less-thrilled during the Man City FA Cup win than I would have been last year.
Or the year before.
Watching Arsenal this season has felt more of an obligation. Like going to visit a relative in the hospital, even though you know they’ll be out in a few days.
You do it because you’re supposed to, not because you want to.
This makes me angry, because if you’d told me 5 months ago that Arsenal would beat Manchester United in May, that Wenger would finally break the sad curse of Mourinho’s superiority, but that I’d be sedate about the whole thing?
I would have said, “Fuck off, future me. That’s impossible.”
Yet here we are.
Don’t get me wrong. It was definitely good to watch the win, in particular because it was well-deserved. Arsenal were clearly the better club on the day, as well as being the only team playing for the win.
It was better than watching maggots squirm around on floor of my wife’s car, which also happened on Sunday. Yes, I enjoyed the match far more than the maggots. But seriously, it should have felt as good as watching Barack Obama beat John McCain in 2008.
Instead, I got more joy out of Jose Mourinho’s post-match chat on NBC Sports. We’ve come to the point where watching that dickhead fib and lie was more thrilling than the game itself.
I’m not alone in my discomfort, as former Gunner Lee Dixon said it was the most amazing part of his day as well. And he got to watch the game in person!
I sat there, on my couch, ready for Jose to speak. I hit the pause button, and told my wife to come over.
Then I said, “Listen up, honey. Jose Mourinho, the world’s worst loser, is about to drop a list of excuses more in depth than the Affordable Care Act. Listen! I’d bet a million dollars he blames his squad, his lack of substitutes, and implies he would have won if he’d used his best guys.”
“Let’s see,” I continued, “if he says all the things we think he’ll say.”
And so he did.
These are actual Jose Mourinho quotes:
—“Players that don’t play one minute of football in the last 7 weeks…after 7 weeks of being out.”
This refers to Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, who’ve been first choice center backs at Man U for years, but apparently have been injured for a while. Since they played, after a long layoff, of course Mourinho implies they were out of shape.
—“Difficult for me to manage, because in the end, the players that I want to replace are in principle the players that start the game on Thursday…difficult to manage it.”
Here again, Jose is saying that he intentionally played lesser players, and couldn’t afford to bring in Pogba from the bench, lest he get too tired for the upcoming game against Celta Vigo. That’s also why he put on the kid that looked like Ivan Drago, late in the match, to prove the point that he was hamstrung.
—“Arsenal were not better than us, in my opinion. They win. Congratulations.”
Sneakily, this may be the best quote of all. The man who’s built an entire career on the reputation of WINNING has dismissed the result as not a big deal. Now winning doesn’t matter?
—“We have such a small squad in this moment.”
Mourinho runs the biggest club in England, and one of the three richest teams in the world. He spent so much money last summer, he could have funded an entire replacement police force for the city of Ferguson, Missouri. But his squad isn’t big enough to beat Arsenal?
—“Finally, I leave this stadium with Arsenal fans happy. Is the first time I see them smile. I see them enjoy.”
This one probably doesn’t need a translation. But just in case, it means “Fuck You Arsenal fans. You beat me once. Get over yourselves. I don’t want to hear anything until you’ve beaten me 13 times. Which will never happen.”
There was one rambling bit about the fact that the starters he did play from the Celta Vigo match, Herrera, Mata and Mkhitaryan, were therefore far too tired to be considered first choice level a few days later.
But then we got to the coup de grace. The quote that I was dying to hear, rather than assume he thought it.
—“You can tell me you didn’t play with your best interior players, or the players that are your first choice at the moment, but you cannot say we didn’t try to win the game.”
And… there it is. Jose Mourinho is so insecure, so incapable of handling true pressure, that he set up his team for the perfect excuse, if they lost. He always knew this was a possibility, so he gave himself the ultimate out.
We didn’t play our best players. This win doesn’t count. It’s the same reason he turned up at the 2015 Community Shield wearing a ratty T-shirt. That one didn’t count either, and as evidence, he didn’t dress like a proper manager.
Not to mention the fact that anyone with EYES watched United play for a draw on Sunday. Which is what Mourinho ALWAYS does in big matches. The one thing they did not do, was play for the win.
Remember kids, just because you say an alternative fact out loud, doesn’t make it true. That’s advice from me to you, by the way.
Free of charge.