Boring, boring, Man United

25 October 2016 | Lloyd Hughes

Paddy Power was up to its old tricks at the weekend, doing what it does best. The brand is well known for its risqué PR stunts and loves rolling out the football #bantz. 

After a turgid 0-0 draw at Anfield the other week, which saw Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United deploying what amounted to a 6-man defence covered by 2 defensive midfielders in obvious fear of the rampant reds, the phrase being bandied about was that the Special One had ‘parked the bus’.

In football parlance, going heavy on defence and light on attack is known as parking the bus thanks to the wall of bodies shielding the goal being on par with that of, funnily enough, a bus.

Jose is well known for his ‘anti-football’ that sees him doing what it takes to grind out a result, but with none of the flair that many spectators are wanting.

He’s certainly not my cup of tea as a manager and his Man United team is a far cry from that of the Fergie era.

With United fans celebrating a 0-0 draw like they’d pulled off some miraculous feat, the Paddy Power team was keen to highlight Jose’s negative tactics in achieving it.

With Sunday marking Mourinho’s first return to Stamford Bridge since his ignominious exit partway through last season, Paddy Power spotted an opportunity, drawing up a mock ‘buses only’ space, with the banner ‘Reserved for the return of Jose Mourinho’ brandished alongside.

The brand loves poking fun at football teams and managers and this was a fairly straightforward stunt, but one that was bound to win approval from rival fans, and disdain from United supporters. Either way though, Paddy Power was being talked about and that’s exactly what it wants.