I am depressed by the news that Jose Mourinho is coming back to the Premier League to manage Manchester United. I am depressed not because of anything intrinsic to Mourinho — though like everyone else I find him distasteful — but because the British sporting press believe, with every ounce of their tiny shriveled little hearts, that Mourinho stories are the most fascinating stories in the world. From the day he arrived in England and announced himself as “a special one,” they have been unable to get enough. Every casual word of his, every facial expression, every team sheet submitted, is to the British football writer freighted with immense significance, to be looked at from every angle, like the Hope Diamond.
If he had stayed at Chelsea all season, we’d have heard scarcely anything about the amazing achievements of Leicester City. Why bother with some triviality like that, when Jose just said something that could be construed as an insult to Arsène Wenger? And now that he’s at the biggest club in the country, the press will become still more frantic, and more neglectful of, you know, football. All the stories will become, once again, Jose stories, and there will be no plausible way for those of us who already know all we want to know about Mourinho, and are not interested in hearing anything more, to block them out.
This is a dark day.