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Any point crying over thrown milk?

OPINION: Judging by his bampot reaction to Man City’s win at Old Trafford, Jose Mourinho is rattled

14 December, 2017 — By Richard Osley

JOSE Mourinho, the man who went berserk in happiness at Old Trafford when Porto beat Manchester United in the Champions League, is now telling us how players can – and cannot – celebrate.

If it makes him feel any better about the boring state of the Premier League, where one team is so much superior (and richer) than all of the others, so be it. We all need to find a way of making this one-team season pass comfortably.

But he did sound like a bampot on Sunday, complaining that Manchester City had been too boisterous in their celebrations at winning their derby match – and essentially the league title too – in December.

No Arsenal fan can agree with him – if, that is, they took any delight in Lukas Podolski taking selfies at White Hart Lane among the fans after a win against Spurs a few seasons ago.

Players should be able to celebrate how they want, as long as they are not hurting anyone. It adds to the richness, the drama of it all. Football is an emotional sport and City’s exuberance – until the milk was thrown – was just a macro version of all of us who have danced a little too vigorously around the kitchen at a happy result.

What Mourinho should’ve said was that the scale of the City celebrations revealed the decades of hurt the club has suffered in United’s shadow and that is what fuelled the release of emotion. He usually has a wisecrack on hand, but somehow not this time. He must be rattled. Maybe he’s realised how much he’s paying Romelu Lukaku to play when he wants.

• TOTTENHAM’S draw against Juventus in the Champions League must make all Arsenal fans frustrated at not being part of Europe’s elite competition for the first season in forever. A Thursday night match-up with Ostersund in the Europa League is hardly an appetising alternative.

Can Spurs, however, avoid following the Groundhog Day pattern which made actually being in the Champions League no fun at all? There’s no point dazzling in the group stage if you get sent home in round two every year.

• THIS column has regularly been critical of wasteful forward Olivier Giroud and, truth be told, I think it is time Arsenal cashed in their chips on a striker who sort of symbolises the club’s nearly-good era.

His inconsistency is frustrating. That smile he does when he heads a chance straight at a goalkeeper is, too. Alexandre Lacazette is better. But there are hardly any strikers in the league and certainly none at Arsenal, who could’ve glanced in a header like the Gunners’ equaliser at Southampton. His precision made you wish he could find a way to do it every week.


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