That Pep Guardiola is riding high in the Premier League with Manchester City is a source of pride for the Spanish media.
It’s not just the Catalan media who cover Manchester City’s triumphs, and Guardiola is again seen as the hero knight trying to make sure his good triumphs over the evil of Jose Mourinho.
That’s been the narrative for a long time, and that Manchester City are doing so well this season only helps the Guardiola praise, which in turns only helps pile more pressure on the Spanish media’s favourite baddie.
But regardless of what happens up the road at the Etihad with Pep, Mourinho has brought an awful lot of it on himself. A career spent making enemies means there’s always those ready to slam Jose, and by extension Manchester United.
So the Sevilla debacle was taken with more glee than it would otherwise have been, and given a day to channel their contempt for Mourinho into columns, the Spanish media hasn’t disappointed.
First up, we’ll take Marca, because they’re quite kind in comparison to others. With a headline saying ‘Game Over, Mou’, the Spanish newspaper explain Jose is getting it in the neck in England.
From their own pen it’s stated Manchester United are in a ‘black hole’ and that the FA Cup isn’t enough ‘booty’ considering the money spent.
Marca, who we think still secretly keep a flame burning for the former Real Madrid manager, make a point of explaining Mourinho went into Sevilla’s dressing room after the match and congratulated each player and wished them luck for the future.
Just like Sir Alex Ferguson did with Mourinho’s Porto side.
Anyway, that’s enough Spanish niceness, Mundo Deportivo have taken aim at Mourinho and fired.
Catalan leaning, they’re firmly on the Guardiola side of the Manchester divide.
The Spanish media clearly want their Spanish audience to know Mourinho’s star is fading for fans and media in England. It’s as if the English turning against Mourinho takes everything a step further.
Mourinho is ‘increasingly questioned in Manchester’ say Mundo Deportivo, and they even question his Europe League triumph.
Stating Manchester United were lucky to get past Celta Vigo last season, it’s added: ‘That day the coin fell on the right side, so Mourinho could hide his faults with a layer of paint.’
Whilst it’s not thought the manager’s job is in danger, the Catalan newspaper says: ‘The decline, however, is a reality. Despite the innate talent the squad has, Mourinho opted for muscle and speed, as if football was athletics.
‘With the FA Cup as the only incentive, United have three months to manage the emotions and start thinking about the coming season. But the first step is to accept defeat. Or failure. To say that it is only a disappointment is a pious lie. And Mourinho knows it.’
Another Catalan newspaper, Sport, have perhaps gone in the heaviest.
They have a double page spread savaging the manager, going with the headline ‘The umpteenth failure of Mourinho’.
‘The double of Ben Yedder has demolished the house of cards that Mourinho has built by squandering nothing more and nothing less than €405m on signings in his two years at the head of the ‘red devils’. Sevilla certified the umpteenth failure of a Mourinho who has lived for 18 years a legend that was built in the press rooms, but that is not supported by any football argument. The only value the Portuguese coach is known for is his verbal incontinence.’
‘And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of a season to forget. For some time now, the ‘red devils’ have been fired from the Premier League. Those of Mourinho are 16 points away from Manchester City who, to make matters worse, could be proclaimed champion against their city rivals, which would be a full-blown humiliation. Of the same calibre as elimination in the quarterfinals of the EFL Cup, at the hands of Bristol City, the team that plays in the Championship. In other words, removed by a second division side.’
Sport then dismiss Mourinho’s time at Real Madrid as a failure, before finishing off with ‘His resounding failure at United, after having invested €405m, is only the latest of a coaching career in which he has far exceeded the €1bn in signings.’
And that’s just one column.
A second, by a different journalist, also has a serious pop: ‘Mourinho seems exhausted, near the end of his days, not only as coach of Manchester United, but also as leader of any other great club in Europe.’
It’s explained Mourinho had no answer after the match, couldn’t blame the officials, didn’t go for the opposition, but instead ‘made a timid demand for more signings’.
And then: ‘He has turned the Theatre of Dreams into the Theatre of Nightmares. His raucous game, obsessed with putting the bus before smaller teams despite having the potential attack of players like Alexis, Pogba, Rashford, Lukaku, Martial and company, unworthy of a club accustomed to success, which now looks with envy at the blue area of Manchester, where Guardiola gives football lessons.’
To ram it home, try this: ‘We are facing the beginning of the end of the f****** master of press conferences.’
A third column points out that a Spanish TV station has now dubbed Mourinho ‘The Special Failure’, and goes over the manager being rude to the Spanish media after a journalist dared to ask if just winning the FA Cup should be considered a failure.
A fourth column, again by a different journalist, is titled ‘The miseries of Mourinho’ and goes on to say: ‘Sevilla discovered on Tuesday all the miseries of Mourinho, a coach who has not evolved over time, who has been anchored in the past with his anti-football that leads nowhere.
‘It’s a matter of concept, of wanting or not wanting to play football, and Mou does not want to. That’s how it goes.’
Jose Mourinho, the man who told Manchester United: You’re not really all that.
Expectation management takes preference over actual club management.
— Sport Witness (@Sport_Witness) March 14, 2018