Saturday 26 December 2015

How the World Works - Mourinho to Manchester United Rumours as an example (FICTION ALERT)


The sacking of Jose Mourinho has prompted this attempt to explain to people how stuff works in the media and how it affects real life.

The fact that Jose Mourinho had been gagging for a sack before Mr Abramovich finally put him out of his misery is well documented. In my opinion, Jose knew he had irretrievably lost the Chelsea dressing room and there was no way back. He is one fortunate SOB though. Single handedly destroy the Champions of England and move on to your next victim as if not happened. You have to doff your hat to the man. But was it pay back though for his sacking in 2007. Who knows.

Now back to my 'how stuff works"

Mourinho gets sacked. The statement released on his behalf makes it obvious that his termination contract does not preclude him from working in the EPL. Jose's agent is the all powerful Mr Jorge Mendes. A man whose back pocket is so big that Florentino Perez of Real Madrid, Teflon Ed Woodward of Manchester United and many more club chairmen live there.

So Jose's side put out a feeler that he had been approached by Roma (a big club) to manage them less than 48 hours after his sack at Chelsea. Cue the panic by gullible Manchester United fans and management. Big clubs are still after Mourinho. We must join the bandwagon. Strike 1 for the Jorge Mendes PR machine. Don't you find it interesting that all football journalists miraculously got this briefing at the same time and it appeared in all of their papers on the same day. Usually reliable sources they say. We can see through you I say.

NOTE TO ALL - if the majority of so called reputable news outlets carry a similar story except in situations where someone has released a statement or held a press conference, please be aware they have obviously been briefed by someone who is trying to 'sell a line' to the public.

Of course Roma have since denied the Mourinho story. It was tosh. Hogwash even.

Will Club chairman be intrigued by a Mourinho. Surely. His trophy count speaks for itself so does his body count and the trail of destruction that he leaves in his wake. So CAVEAT EMPTOR. And please don't complain after buying, there is no right of refund. You can't 'unbuy' his ability to wreck dressing rooms while picking fights with one, none and all.

Back to how stuff works. Of course after the Roma story spreads, the PR machine moved onto their next victim - Florentino Perez. A willing victim I believe. Again, similar mode of operation. Real Madrid will have Jose back was the headline. Really. Yes Pigs will fly and carry passengers.

TO have Mourinho back, Real Madrid will have to do a root and branch restructure of their dressing room as the wounds are still raw. Considering the Jorge Mendes and Florentino Perez relationship, this was never going to be denied publicly. However the Perez camp have quietly let it be known that Jorge Mendes & Jose Mourinho were playing a game of  fantasy Manager.

But did that stop the Jose to Manchester United stories from spreading like a California wild fire? Hell no. Match made in heaven stuff. Manchester United is suffering. The fumes of that thing sold on the streets of Amsterdam have prevented clear comprehension of the philosophy. The fans are tired of their "downtroddeness" and their is an unemployed manager who guarantees trophies. Forget the after effect, let us win trophies today for tomorrow we shall be back to square 1.

Guess what, Mr Unemployed Manager looking like a tramp doesn't care. Why should he? His PR team are behind the media frenzy against Van Gaal. It doesn't matter that this same Van Gaal got Mr Unemployed Manager looking like a tramp on the street of West London his Assistant Managership at Barcelona.  No, all who know Mr Mourinho know that it is all about him.

What happened to dignity? What happened to "I have respect for a former mentor and believe that these attempts to frog march him out of his job are disparaging". Why can't Mr Tramp front up and let people know publicly that "while I want the Manchester United job, I want it a dignified manner and don't think that hounding my benefactor out of a job is the way to go". No he can't because he doesn't do dignity. There is not an ounce of dignity about our Special Happy Juan.

Again back to how stuff work. A few days later, the media was awash with the story that Manchester United had not approached Jose yet. My interpretation of this story is as follows: Mr Ed Woodward is asking the fans to put more pressure on the great and the good of Manchester United (Bobby Charlton & Alex Ferguson) who were yet to be persuaded by the messianic qualities of Jose Mourinho. Of course, the source had to be from the Unemployed One's camp.

Which then leads us to Van Gaal's memorable press conference. Clearly Teflon Ed Woodward would gladly fire Van Gaal to save his own gig. However in a publicly quoted company the size of Manchester United, decisions like these are not solely in his hand. Going by Van Gaal's short lived press conference, several meetings were held and people who were not in Jorge Mendes back pocket did not allow themselves to be rail loaded into anointing Jose Mourinho as the new 'Damager' of Manchester United.

What Van Gaal's press conference revealed to me though was that the Board of Manchester United had given him no reassurances regarding his job and I suspect they were going to go from match to match going forward. Van Gaal couldn't afford to answer the question about his position as the circus would just have continued. So he played that nice little number and body swerved everybody.

I don't blame Van Gaal. If I was in his shoes, I will do the same although I did cringe about his 'I'm human' angle. If you thought Manchester United's performance against Stoke was listless, just imagine what would have happened if Van Gaal had taken a proper press conference and there was no indication that the Board had backed him.

I believe the die is cast. I believe as I write this, Van Gaal has offered his resignation. He is a proud man who understands football and realises it is about results and when your team puts out that dross of a performance in a must win game, it is time to go. However, it appears there will be no announcement until Tuesday AM especially if Manchester United lose to relegation battlers Chelsea. I don't see any other result though except if by some quirkiness of football, both sides end up losing.

To all Manchester United fans I wish you well. Please hone your "attack attack attack" chant. You will need it. I am licking my lips for when Mourinho plays a defensive back 7 and you have 0 shots on goal. I am looking forward to when you sign Mikel Obi as he is very good at choking the midfield and he is a very obedient servant to Jose Mourinho. I look forward to return of glory to Manchester United when you win the 2016/17 EPL and I am licking my lips for when you are relegated the following season. Cant wait.

Sunday 20 December 2015

Manchester United Fans Are Unfair To Louis Van Gaal

Before I start, please allow me state this disclaimer.

I don't like Manchester United and their fans. As an Arsenal fan they have caused me pains, gut wrenching heartbreak and I have suffered many romantic heartbreaks from girls / ladies / women and females. However nothing trumps the heartbreak Manchester United has caused me.

I blamed their success on referrees' connivance and Sir Alex Ferguson's bullying of the whole football establishment. I blamed their players cheating on the field of play. How I rejoiced as they suffered under David Moyes and revel in their late night insomniac ranting courtesy of The Philosopher. I hope the current circus continues for a long time. Its only fair and is the least Manchester United and their fans deserve.

All said and done, I think Manchester United fans are barking up the wrong tree in hounding Louis Van Gaal. Where were they when the great Johan Cruyff was constantly on LvG's back for his defensive style of play with the Dutch national team?

LvG is LvG he hasn't changed. Why are you blaming a man for staying true to his philosophy? Due to your hounding, he has changed his philosophy slightly starting from the Wolfsburg match. I hope you have enjoyed the 3 results since then.

What I find amazing is LvG's words which are very Wengeresque. I wonder if this morphing into Wenger is what is really annoying  Man U fans. Accepting 4th as a damn fine achievement, talking about building things perpetually. I can see loads of similarities between the Man U fan base and the Wenger Out Brigade.  O what a joy. I wonder if the Wenger out brigade can be persuaded to switch their allegiance to either Manchester United or Chelsea. If only wishes were horses.

So why are Man U fans unfair to LvG. Hear me out

LvG did not take over your swashbuckling Alex Ferguson Manchester United side. He succeeded David Moyes or if you really want to erase the Moyesian era at Man U, he succeeded Ryan Giggs. He took over a team bereft of confidence and shorn of their swash buckle. A team that finished 7th and broke (made) all sorts of football records.

LvG is managing a Manchester United side that is competing in a very competitive premiership. This is not the league that Steve Bruce and other managerial members of the Alex Ferguson Appreciation Club came to pay obeisance to the great man and donate their customary 3 points and a few last minute goals. This is the league where Alex Neale & Eddie Howe have the effrontery to think they are going to win against Man U and they do convincingly.

LvG has been able to attract big players. Yes you are Man U and you always attracted big players. But how many came to Old Trafford even with the promise of Champions League during the era of the man you refuse to acknowledge.  Zilch. Zero. Nada. You had the money then and you have it now but LvG coming meant you could attract Angel Di Maria, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Ander Herrera, Marcus Rojo, Daley Blind, Anthony Martial & Victor Valdes. Let that sink in.

Change management is incredibly tough. Ask Tesco after Terry Leahy, ask Apple after Steve Jobs. Manchester United is a super tanker. Succeeding Sir Alex and recreating his success is unlikely to happen again this century. He was one in a life time phenomenon and going by results alone, is succession was bungled and the knock on effect of that bungled succession is affecting LvG.

Yes LvG has spent loads of money. But please stop bandying this quarter of a million pounds nonsense about. His net spend over 2 seasons is c£150m and £36m of that was for Anthony Martial plus another £15m loss on Di Maria. LvG is not responsible for over pricing unproven youngsters or for the burglary at Di Maria's house. So please get off his back. £150m over two seasons is considerably less than Man City have spent in the last 2 seasons and what Brendan Rodgers spent in his reign at Liverpool and see how many titles Liverpool won and how City are blowing away the entire league.

Manchester United fans if you are looking for someone to blame for your predicament. Blame the owners. Blame their representative Ed Woodward. On what planet were you when Sir Alex and David Gill were retiring at the same time? Were you in Space when David Moyes was appointed? I remember you calling David Moyes 'The Chosen One' before it all went pete tong. Manchester United fans want all the sweet sensation of applauding a decision but want none of the sourness / bitterness of the result of the same decisions. Look at yourself. Take a deep breath and do some introspection.

The problem at your club is Ed Woodward and the belief by the fanbase that you are entitled to winning - be it matches or trophies. No team is entitled to winning especially not in the beautiful game that is football. Sir Alex is gone. GET OVER IT. Other teams have grown in confidence and conversely, the reign of Moyes and all the moaning by the fans and the United old boys have drained some of the confidence amongst your squad. Any two bit psychologists can tell you that if you tell a child many times that he is crap & shit, watch him turn to KAKA. And please don't tell me that those professional footballers are not over paid crybabies and delicate wallflowers.

Back to Mr Woodward. Brilliant Commercial man I hear. Behind all of United's recent commercial success it appears. Massive BIG UP to the man. I am absolutely delighted for him but all I see is that he has now been promoted beyond his level of competence. The proverbial sales man appointed to manage a company that requires none of his technical abilities.

He is not a football man by any definition. He was the Muppet who signed off on Moyes appointment. Same Muppet who displayed so much lack of class in the sacking of David Moyes. The same one who signed Louis Van Gaal and bungled the Fellani signing. He is now the one that makes decisions at your club.

Manchester United fans should google search the relationship between Ed Woodward & Jorge Mendes and the later's role in all of your big money signings and weep. This is the source of the bulk of your problems. Louis Van Gaal wants proven match winners but Teflon Ed & Pope Jorge are adding lemons to his squad. How is he supposed to play exciting football and win? Some fans think LvG on pension top up gig at Old Trafford. You might be right but stop and ponder, perhaps Mr Philosophy is not the only one looking after his post football lifestyle.

To all those agitating for a change of manager. Agitate if you must Man U fans. If you want to morph into the latter day Chelsea, it is up to you. Don't forget, Chelsea's frequent changes in Manager denied them the opportunity to sign Pep Guardiola as he wasn't comfortable with the mindless change of managers. I still believe this made Mr Abrahamovich hesitant in firing Jose Mourino this time around. So United fans, continue howling at LvG, hopefully the board listens to you and fire Louis or he grows tired of the circus and walks away.  Bring in another manager who will spend another £250m - NO PROBLEM, after all Mata, Rooney, Felliani, Carrick, Rojo, Darmian and Schweinsteiger are all crap.

Going forward and in my opinion, Mr Woodward has boxed himself into a corner. The storm is gathering and the Twitterati are united in asking him to hand over the reins to Jose Mourinho. I wish you guys FORTUNATO (I hear thats goodluck in Italian). Hopefully Jose leads you back to winning ways. 2 Premiership win in 3 seasons and many more years of mediocrity. I hear that's the new normal but please don't complain or moan when it happens. Personally I think Jose Mourinho is a busted flush and can only see him managing a team owned by Massimo Cellino.

Some are clamouring for Ryan Giggs, I think that boat has sailed unfortunately. The time for Giggs' management of United was just after Sir Alex with the owners setting the scene and letting all shareholders, fans and the market know that Ryan is the manager irrespective of results and as long as United not threatened with relegation. Going by what has happened in the last 3 years, United will not have the courage to fully back Giggs and be patient with him and if they do, Just wait, watch, buy popcorn and lick your lips. If you think the hounding of LvG is unbecoming, wait till the United fan base turns against a legend. It will be like a mother eating  her own child. IMO, Giggs is never going to happen. Woodward doesn't want United legends around in influential roles. They will spoil his parole.

My final word to United fans, be patient and pick your target. You have a choice  - Arsene's & Arsenal's 12 years wait or Liverpool's wait for eternity.

Sunday 6 December 2015


I came across the twitter handle of Sugabelly about 6 months ago and I followed her as I was fascinated with her posts. She came across as a liberal minded Nigerian girl. After a while I unfollowed as I realised that i was probably wrong. Occasionally in my spare time on Twitter, I noticed some of the spats / scrapes involving her. She more than held her own with her detractors to be fair.

A couple of weeks ago, she became a trending topic again. She was delighted that Alhaji Abubakar Audu was dead as his kids had done despicable things to her. More facts have been revealed and courtesy of Reuben Abati, the story is now in the mainstream media in Nigeria. Although I must add that the Alhaji Audu angle is yet to be explained. 

I do not intend to dwell on the wrongs and the wrongs of what happened. What I object to and caution all parents, aunties, uncles, guardians, mentors, teachers and emotionally & physically matured adults against is: 


Granted bad things happen to good people. 

Granted we sometimes experience very painful and extremely traumatic events in life but what part of the science of therapy justifies sharing your traumatic story with not only 320+ million Twitter users worldwide but also with the very active and very judgemental c2+ million users on Nija Twitter? For God’s sake, how does this help you overcome your trauma? How is it that many people tweeting abuse at you help you achieve closure? If you care to know Sugabelly's answer, check her tweet on this link 

If Sugabelly’s events are 100% accurate, I am distraught on her behalf and the perpetrators are fortunate she is not my relative. If she was my relative and I choose not to exploit any extra judicial means, I will attempt to do the following & I recommend this to anybody in her position dealing with the same or similar issues: 

 - Anonymise the 'story' and persuade many of the good people on Nigerian Social Media, mainstream media and in many of  our Rape / Violence Against Women Charities to run with my anonymised story and hopefully ensure it gains the same traction as the Sugabelly story. 

 - Appeal to all the well connected people in my family circle & network to fight a conventional battle (via the Police and the Justice system) against my attackers. Yes the alleged perpetrators are monied and influential. All you need to do is persuade someone as influential as them to believe you and the Nigerian Police will do something. Many Nigerians of influence have gone to prison for less violent crimes. Yes we know what the Police are like generally but they make things happen and move when the right kind of pressure is applied. 

 - Commission Private Investigators / investigative journalists to find other victims of the perpetrators, maybe find some of the videos that are already in circulation through covert information technology skills. Together with other victims of the same individual, ensure wide publicity for the case while anonymising the victims. Either get the police to prosecute or file a class action law suit seeking punitive civil damages that ensure the perpetrators are compelled to acknowledge their evil deed in open court. 

Personally, I found it extremely sad & bewildering that a fellow human found themselves in a terribly bad situation and did not know where to turn to. Where were the adults in this person’s life? What was so bad that the child could not confide in the parents?  Isn't this one of the reasons why we have parents and other adults in our lives? Yes we make mistakes and there is nobody who hasn’t made loads of them. But the first step is to realise these mistakes and seek help from competent sources - parents, other adults and other professionals. Yes some scars never heal but blanketing social media with the causes of those scars will not make the scars heal either. Getting help will. Help from people who care about you, help from professionals, help from people who have experienced the same or similar things. Getting justice might also but sharing your traumatic story on social media is definitely not the way to go in my opinion. Having to defend the life choices of your parents to everybody in the world is definitely not a choice or option I will advocate for anybody. 

To all young people out there in fact to everybody out there, please if you are suffering a particularly traumatic and physically degrading event whether in the past or ongoing, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don’t be tempted to follow the same steps as Sugabelly on this one issue. Talk to your parents, if you are not comfortable with that, talk to other adults and also talk to professionals who are specialists in the type of trauma you are dealing with. Take the issue through the formal justice system. Find a lawyer who is prepared to help, find a sympathetic person in the mainstream or social media who will help give attention to your case anonymously. Together these professionals can help you get justice. But please the main road that is Twitter is not the place. You wont get the closure you desire. 

Ka Chineke Mezie okwu