In dramatic style, Jose Mourinho’s band of misfits secured all three points against Newcastle last Saturday. After falling two goals behind within the first 10 minutes of play, all hope looked lost for the boys in red. It was do or die for Mourinho, as rumours of his dismissal from the club had already begun to surface before the weekend. He needed something. Anything. On the 19th minute, Juan Mata replaced Eric Bailly, showing United’s resilience to go on the offensive. But at half-time, the score remained Manchester United 0-2 Newcastle.
Going into the break, fans and pundits saw no way back for the Red Devils. Not in their current form at least. It would take something special to secure a point, let alone three. But alas, after a super Juan Mata freekick and a sensational Martial strike, the score was tied 2-2.
Then it happened. In the 90th minute, Paul Pogba found himself inside the box with the ball. With no time or space to turn, he laid the ball off to Ashley Young bursting forward from the right-back position. His first touch was a cross into the box, which was met by Alexis Sanchez’s head. The ball flew past Martin Dubravka, and the game was all but over. After United played out the last few minutes of stoppage time, referee Anthony Taylor blew the final whistle. Game, set, match.
But what inspired such a dramatic comeback? Was it something Jose Mourinho said at halftime? Luckily, one of our Ronnie Dog contacts received a video file of Mourinho’s halftime speech to give us more insight. Here is what happened.
Mourinho’s team talk
Michael Carrick stands in front of a silent dressing room waiting to address the players. Jose Mourinho stands ominously in the background, silently assessing his team’s performance. As the last player finds his spot, Carrick begins to speak.
“Alright lads, listen up. The manager has a few wor-.”
Before he can finish his sentence, the manager cuts in, “What’s the point? I’m going for a pint in the Red Café. If anyone wants to join, the drinks are on me. I’ll be sacked in the morning anyway. Estou-me a cagar para isso.”
Jose Mourinho calmly exits the dressing room leaving everyone shocked. It doesn’t take long before Michael Carrick composes the United players. He brings out a small whiteboard and starts writing things down.
“At this point, we may as well try anything,” declares the England assistant, “So if you have any ideas, pipe up.”
Without a second’s thought, Paul Pogba chimes in, “Attack, attack, attack.” The rest of the players nod in agreement while Paul Pogba dabs accordingly.
“What if Lukaku starts finishing his chances?”, suggests Luke Shaw.
“No, no, no, that would be too easy”, says Carrick. “Does anyone have anything else they can think of?”
Pogba stands up to address the group and asks hopefully, “What about a fourth attack?”
The dressing room erupts into applause. The team has been waiting for something like this for ages now. Paul Pogba dances across the room while Luke Shaw starts smashing up the room like a rock star in a hotel.
Pandamonium has broken out and nothing can stop this rowdy group of footballers. Nemanja Matic picks up Marcus Rashford over his shoulder and charges out to the field.
Across the hall
From across the hall, the Newcastle players watch in amazement. They have never seen anything like this, and that’s saying a lot coming from folks who live that close to Scotland. Juan Mata was the last United player to walk past the dressing room. The supposed ‘nicest guy in football’ flips off the Geordies and yells some Spanish insult at them before following the rest of his team.
Moments later, Jose Mourinho reappears with a rye smile on his face. He knew exactly what he was doing when he left. If he wasn’t involved, the players couldn’t blame him anymore. They were forced to play, and play well. He waves at Rafa Benitez, who knows all hope is lost. Jose has won the mind game and his job is safe.
The Spanish manager, with anger coursing through his veins, turns back to his players and says, “I would love it if we beat them.”