Sport on TV: Wine and whine as Fergie wants more time added on

Jose Mourinho is such a curious bird, with such dazzling plumage, it would be entirely natural if David Attenborough did the voiceover for a documentary about him. The Special One has, of course, been ruffling feathers ever since he converted himself from Bobby Robson's translator into one of the great football managers. In a sport not renowned for advancing the cause of humanity, he represents an evolutionary tour de force.

So it's no surprise the makers of Mourinho (ITV4, Monday) should have consulted Desmond Morris. The anthropologist calls him a "witch doctor" who knows how to "work some magic". What category Sir Alex Ferguson falls into is not specified – screaming banshee, perhaps – but His Imperial Highness is also interviewed in depth and is surprisingly generous about his former nemesis at Chelsea. "I give him a lot of stick, you know, a lot of stick," says Ferguson of their wine-swilling encounters in his office. "And he laughs it off. He's got that sort of personality." How Chelsea could do with him coming back.

In terms of footballing evolution, the great unknown is who will take over from Ferguson at Manchester United, and the incumbent makes no bones about the fact Mourinho could do the job. But Sir Alex is worried that Jose will overtake his haul of 45 trophies. What if he carries on until he's 65? "In that case he would have 50-odd trophies. He's a greedy bugger." So now we know why Ferguson is refusing to retire.

The idea of Mourinho sitting around supping Fergie's burgundy in the company of Big Sam and 'Arry is an intriguing one. He obviously manages to endear himself to his rivals with his charm, even when he rubs them up the wrong way, and that charisma rubs off on his players. Morris says he is "the only manager to celebrate in exactly the same way as the players. That makes him the leader of the gang." It works like a charm.

Not everyone, however, has been seduced by the siren voice. Chelsea's reporting of Frank Rijkaard for allegedly chatting to the referee in a match against Barcelona, resulting in death threats to the official, was a low point even by Chelsea's standards, and Mourinho has not endeared himself to a sequence of Barça bosses. The club seem to be his own bête noire, even before he went to Real.

To see Mourinho whispering into the ear of Pep Guardiola as he was trying to give instructions to his Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the touchline, you could almost see the old translator's skills at work. No doubt Mourinho, with his winning record, doesn't even like losing anything in translation.

* Hats off and in the ring for Andrew Flintoff after he won his first, and hopefully only, professional boxing fight. But it was rather strange that the eight-month build-up should be recorded in a three-part documentary for Sky while the actual fight was shown on BoxNation.

In the concluding episode of From Lord's to the Ring (Sky One, Thursday), Flintoff had a warm-up fight in Belfast before the big night, in which he was told off by trainer Shane McGuigan for crossing his legs when he sat in his corner after the first round. If he had sipped a glass of sherry he could not have provided stronger evidence that he is not a natural pugilist.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
peopleMathematician John Nash inspired the film Beautiful Mind
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Life and Style
Audrey Hepburn with Hubert De Givenchy, whose well-cut black tuxedo is a 'timeless look'
fashionIt may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Life and Style
fashionFrom bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

Guru Careers: Senior Account Manager / SAM

£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: A Senior Account Manager / SAM is needed to join the ...

Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Manager (EMEA) - City, London

£55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Manager...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine