Jose Mourinho is gone, for now, from football, and Liverpool fans are worse off for it.
For the 2 ½ seasons the self-styled Special One spent at the helm at Manchester United, Reds supporters had an easy, straightforward locus for their loathing, as well as an unending source of entertainment as they watched the Portuguese manager steer their bitter rivals into the ground.
Mid-table floundering, player mutinies, turgid football—it was a great package deal, really. And maybe, if Xherdan Shaqiri hadn’t scored that third goal in December’s 3-1 hiding, or if Jürgen Klopp’s side could’ve cut down on a few of those 36 shots, or even gifted the poor Red Devils a bit more than the measly 36% they managed, then maybe, just maybe, we could’ve enjoyed the Mourinho trainwreck a bit longer.
Anyway. Spilled milk and all that.
Even so, good ol’ Jose hasn’t left Merseysiders completely high and dry. After a vanishingly short period of self-reflection following his sacking, the 56-year-old has popped back up in the press again in an attempt to perform some legacy maintenance. First up, was Mourinho somehow finding a way to talk about his abortive period of buying, mismanaging and selling Liverpool talisman and Golden Boot winner, Mohamed Salah when the two were at Chelsea from 2014 to 2016.
”When [Chelsea] decided to sell him, it was not me. I bought him, I didn’t sell him, and my relationship with him was good, is good,” Mourinho told beIN SPORTS.
”I think that he doesn’t regret that move because everything went well. Everything went well for him and the progression went well for him but, at that moment, he was just a kid with a huge desire to play every week, every minute and we couldn’t give him it.”
“Lots of things have been told that are not true. People try to identify me with the coach that sold Salah; I am the coach that bought Salah. It’s completely the wrong idea.
”I played against Basel in the Champions League. Salah was a kid in Basel. When I play against a certain team, I analyze the team and the players for quite a long time and I fell in love with that kid. I bought the kid.
”I pushed the club to buy him and, at the time, we already had fantastic attacking players - [Eden] Hazard, Willian - we had top talent there. But I told [Chelsea] to buy that kid.
”He was just a lost kid in London. He was a lost kid in a new world and we wanted to work him to become better and better and better but he was more in the idea that he wanted to play and not to wait.
”So we decided to put him on loan. To put him on loan in a culture that I knew well—Italy, tactical football, physical football, good place to play. Fiorentina is a good team, without being a team with huge pressure playing for the title and we decided that move there.”
OK, bro we get it. No one’s blaming you; rather we here in red thank you for whatever you trying to style your time with Salah as being.
Also, we miss you. Pretty sure Ed Woodward and United will take you back if you ask nicely.