I spent half an hour last week watching José Mourinho’s first press conference at Old Trafford.
I hate it, I still love him… I love his honesty, his intellect, his football knowledge and his deadpan humour.
It was interesting to hear him pre-empt questions and deal with them in his usual pragmatic and non-apologetic way.
The most telling was his explanation regarding the perceived view that he rarely promotes players from academy to first team selection.
I was a bit taken aback when he pointed out that during his managerial career – from around 1999/2000 – he has in fact advanced 49 youngsters!
That’s an impressive number considering the usual smearing comments “he just buys world-class players, wins leagues then moves on after three years”.
I’m still very much a fan, leaving me in the undesirable position of loving the man but hating the club.
I’m sure he’ll do well, especially if the mystery fourth signing is the majestic Paul Pogba.
It’s players like Pogba that turn almost sides into champions, think Patrick Vieira, Yaya Toure, Frank Rijkaard, Roy Keane, he’s in the same mould.
And at the tender age of 23 will no doubt develop into one of the greats, with Mourinho probably one of the best coaches to take the tutoring role.
However, my opinion on the kid goes out the window I guess following the Euro 2016 final.
It was a good performance by the French but when the ball ain’t hitting the net, you need your “big” players to step up and Pogba for one didn’t.
It was a tough result, but let’s face it, France knocked out Germany in exactly the same way…Outplayed but nicked the result.
So, as we spoke about a few weeks ago, the Euros turned out to be another victory for the underdogs.
Ok, Portugal aren’t an Iceland, but were highly un-fancied to get anywhere.
It was an amazing feat, after losing talisman Cristiano Ronaldo, appeared almost impossible, but again the team ethos, energy and effort enough to overturn the odds.
I think my favourite moment had to be the SuperSport studio scene when the Portugal winner was scored and Benni McCarthy went for a two-minute scream and dance.
Hahaha, nice one mate.
So that’s it then, I’ve personally loved this tournament and best of all, it’s taken up a nice chunk of the off-season!
Can you believe English clubs are back in action already!!
Over the last week, West Ham lost 3-0 to the Seattle Sounders in Washington, Liverpool beat Tranmere Rovers 1-0 and Tottenham beat Nottingham Forest 3-0.
This weekend, Chelsea travel to Rapid Vienna, United are at Wigan and Arsenal are at Boreham Wood.
One month to go…damn, I just wet my knickers again.
There will tons more friendly games before the Community Shield season curtain-raiser on August 7.