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Man City doco shocker: Why attacking Mourinho beneath all involved

COMMENT: Just over a week ago, Pep Guardiola threw down at Yaya Toure. He'd had enough. The accusations from his former Manchester City midfielder cut him deep.

It wasn't picked up by every English outlet, but angered by Toure's claims of racism being behind his rare minutes last season, City's manager let rip.

"... if they leave and write books and make statements ... then they do not have the guts to put it right in your face," Guardiola snapped, referring to the now released Ivorian.

"When they are here, they are so sweet. 'Oh, how good the manager is? He's genius!' But then ... And normally the reason is they do not play. Actually, that's the only reason, because the club always treats the players great."

And the majority of us would agree with the sentiment. If there's a problem, sort it yourself. Hash it out... So why the attack by stealth on Jose Mourinho this week?

If City have a problem with Manchester United's manager. Guardiola. Txiki Begiristain. Even Khaldoon al-Mubarak. Then they should have the stones to say it themselves. Don't hide behind a production company. Don't claim you had nowt to do with the editing.

Mourinho can exaggerate. He can go over the top. But there was no hyperbole yesterday. He was spot on in his reaction to City's Amazon production.

"I think you can have a fantastic movie while respecting the others," the United manager said - and he's right. Being taken on City's journey to the title, from the inside, is edge of your seat stuff.

But Mourinho continued, "You don't have to disrespect others to have a fantastic movie, but, you can be a rich club and buy the best players in the world, but you can't buy class. And they showed that clearly, that was really obvious."

Correct again. City are better than this. Guardiola and Khaldoon, the chairman, are better than this. Forget the title. Teams win titles. The regeneration in and around the Etihad campus is the owners' legacy. As is the player culture. Cultivated from the seniors to the juniors, which results in headlines on the backpages of the press, not the front. This is today's City. This is the champions. So why risk the damage? Why hand that carefully developed reputation over to bloody reality TV producers? This is football. The Premier League. You don't need to be involving experts on manufactured conflict.

But this is what City did.

Yeah, it's banter. Drama. And as this column has stated before, we love it. But that's between managers. Clubs. Fans. Within the football culture. But this was unnecessary. Specious. Calculated. Designed to mock an individual. One out of 19 other managers.

Any number of City players have had their hard luck stories. Their issues with past managers. But it just had to be Kevin de Bruyne and his history with Mourinho that was pushed by the creators. And of course we also just had to have the obligatory luvvie insert himself.

It's no secret of the tension. The rivalry. The animosity between Guardiola and Mourinho. It doesn't need to be played up. Acted out. You just sit back and let the two men get on with it. But now we have Ben Kingsley feeling the need to get involved. To talk about 'parking the bus'. Again, to mock. Ridicule. And to get himself on the bandwagon. Just charming...

The rivalry between Pep and Jose. Between City and United. This has been built on years. Decades. It's real life. It doesn't need the Kardashian touch. It stands alone. Such fabrication, it's beneath English football.

Okay, okay. It's Jose. An easy target. He knows the score and he can handle himself, sure. But let's remove the personalities. Even the clubs involved. Let's just take this as it is...

You have a billion pound club. Using the richest company in the history of the planet. To ridicule one man. To reduce his life's work to mockery. That's not sport. That's not football. That's not the Premier League.

City, you're punching down. Pep. Khaldoon. You're much, much better than this.

Chris Beattie
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Chris Beattie

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