United won’t see anything ‘Special’ in Mourinho now

Jose Mourinho has a few words with Barcelona captain Carlos Puyol
Jose Mourinho has a few words with Barcelona captain Carlos Puyol
Steve's baby daughter made amazing progress this week, or so his wife thought

STEVE CANAVAN: It was a lot of rattle over just a little roll

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One day Sir Alex Ferguson will leave Old Trafford, and until the madness of last week, Jose Mourinho was a warm favourite to replace him.

But the self-appointed ‘Special One’ is not looking so special right now and his antics ought to scare Manchester United away.

For all his trophies, he is not the right fit for a club who believe in stylish attacking football and a degree of dignity.

The wild conspiracy theories spouted by Mourinho after his Real Madrid side lost 2-0 to Barcelona in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final last week were groundless nonsense.

He invited us to believe that Barcelona’s success is all the product of a dastardly plot involving Uefa and, wait for it, UNICEF.

Just like the Reading ambulancemen were blamed by him for the extent of Chelsea keeper Petr Cech’s head injury a few years back.

Here is a man who sees demons everywhere – as in the chat between referee Anders Frisk and then Barca boss Frank Rijkaard when Chelsea played them.

If you believe there really was another Kennedy assassin on the grassy knoll in Dallas in 1963 and that Elvis is alive and living in Fareham, you might be inclined to think Mourinho is right.

All harmless fun?

I doubt those Berkshire ambulancemen or Frisk, who received death threats, would agree.

There is no doubt about Mourinho’s ability to win trophies, albeit with minimal entertainment value.

But would Manchester United really want the kind of media circus which this manager invites and even encourages?

It is hard to imagine that Sir Bobby Charlton – subject of a memorable BBC documentary last week – would regard Mourinho as the sort of figure who would do things ‘the United way’.

And can you imagine any United side, whoever they were facing, playing as negatively at Old Trafford as Real did at home against Barca?

Here was Mourinho effectively ordering the nine-times European champions, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil and Angel di Maria in their side, to play without an attacking idea in their heads.

The ill-tempered convention of cheating and deceit which followed from both sides was an affront to football.

Barca’s Sergio Busquets, in particular, really should audition at the Old Vic, so prevalent is his play acting.

Until coach Pep Guardiola rids this wonderful team of these dark arts, many of us will put our love for them on hold.

But it is Mourinho who emerges from this as a more tainted figure than ever before.

Let us see if he allows his side to play with freedom and adventure as they try to haul back a two-goal deficit at the Nou Camp tonight.

After all, Real must gamble.

Or does he only do pragmatic football and nutty press conferences which border on flights of fantasy?