Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Who Will Last Longer, May or Mourinho? I Consult the History Books for Answers

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Who Will Last Longer, May or Mourinho? I Consult the History Books for Answers

Article excerpt

Who will go first, Mourinho or May? Both the football and political experts, who know everything and have ears and toes on the ground, have been telling us for ages that they are for the chop, going soon, no chance of surviving. Will it be this season, before Christmas? Next year? Tomorrow?

You could probably put a bet on it. And will the final nail in their coffins be writing in the sky, or in the Telegraph? Jose easily survived that banner flying behind an aeroplane during the Burnley-Man United game. It told the world, or those fans with their heads in the air, "Ed Woodward--a specialist in failure!" The wording was strange. There was a passing reference to an old gibe by Mourinho at Arsene Wenger, whom he once called a specialist in failure--but why would they have a go at Woodward, who is the chief executive, not the manager? Presumably because Jose has managed to keep most fans on side, so far, blaming everyone but himself. I suspect, in fact, that Jose paid for the banner.

Theresa May has had to put up with Boris rubbishing her in his Telegraph column, calling her stupid and her Brexit policies crap, though in slightly poncier, more archaic wording, trying to be amusing at the same time.

The moment will come, of course, and the chances are that even the experts will be caught out. I remember Don Revie resigning suddenly in 1977 when he appeared to be doing well as England manager. What a surprise that was, but then I am easily surprised. Turned out he was off to manage the UAE for a lot of money. Cloughy resigning at Derby County in 1973 was not such a shock, as he was always threatening.

His eventual split with his long-time partner Peter Taylor was more unexpected. Fergie packing it in was always on the cards, as he had told us once before he was going, and he was getting on.

Margaret Thatcher quitting in 1990, that was delicious. I remember watching her on TV while she was in France, coming out of somewhere or other, not knowing she had been damaged in the leadership poll. …

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