Let's face it, a lot of us are scraping by at the moment. If we're lucky we'll have a skanky Chinese of a Friday night and keep up the Netflix monthly payments if we can. If you've got little uns the ungrateful bastards are getting every single available item from Primark and they're just having to live with it.
Sod your ethical investment funds and your organic cotton, we've got to screw every last penny out of every nook and cranny we can find. Sofas that haven't had their grim contents eviscerated for years are being ripped open to reveal a horrific combination of lost keys, soiled tissues, battery-less remotes, Ginster's pastry, a few quid in coppers and in my case about three pairs of socks. Well, six individual ones but times are tough so I've paired em up anyway.
Austerity continues to press upon us like a weighty layer of marzipan, squeezing our innards outwards in an unappetising way that would have Mary Berry's face wrinkling into a charming walnutty frown.
History tells us that at times like these, what we want is a bit of escapism: a glance into a better world of glamour, of artistry, of sophistication,
A world where fellow parliamentary representatives of our country are knocking each other sideways; where the country isn't run by a kind of wicked governess that wouldn't think twice about locking you in the cupboard under the stairs, especially if you hadn't passed your 11-plus; where the words 'grab her by the pussy' are magically transformed into something more romantic and alluring like 'I've got a half of Lowenbrau with your name on it, pet, but obviously it's up to you, like.'
Yes, when you can't see where your next tuppence is coming from what you need more than anything else is ENTERTAINMENT. Especially from those for whom Austerity is something that is happening in a parallel universe somewhere beyond the leylandii at the bottom of the garden.
Of course Jose Mourinho has never believed he was in the entertainment business. Unless referee-baiting becomes an international sport, in which case he'd be WORLD FUCKING CHAMPION, the louse.
It's been a long time since Duff and Robben seared up and down the flanks at Stamford Bridge while Drogba ploughed between them like some fleet-footed shire horse. He'll have none of that frippery anymore. For all his pouty good looks and his occasionally colourful outbursts Mourinho has become as dour a coach as the game currently has. What is wrong with the miserable sod that he has to inflict such pragmatic workaday drudgery on the expectant football fan?
I bet if you went round his house for dinner you'd get some dry white bread, a scrape of butter and one of those mandarins with all the taste bled out if it. If he bought you a present it'd be gift vouchers for Jewson's. He'd be the one buying a winter coat on the warmest day of the year.
Now look, as a Boro fan maybe I'm feeling this more than most. Karanka's not exactly got us leaping of our seats right now. In fact I've invested in some comfy cushions for the next home match cos there's nowt like a sheet of cold plastic for kickstarting your haemorrhoids. But we have to be a bit practical. The club's not awash with cash like some of them.
But Manchester United? Well, they've spent the gross domestic product of a middle-sized European nation on their team and all we get is a decent defensive unit with a top keeper and an ageing showpony up front.
I mean what's Mourinho said to himself here? 'It worked for Simeone and Atletico'? Yeah but he's making the most of not much. 'And look how well Iceland did'? Yeah but that's Iceland. Ibrahimovic could buy Iceland with a week's wages.
And here's my point. Life gets a tad dull when your nose is to the grindstone. The last thing you want to do is go and see a team of multimillionaires play the greatest game on earth like their noses are to the self-same grindstone. We want self-expression, extravagance, spontaneity and a dash of the unexpected. In other words all the things that Mourinho abhors.
I tell you this for nowt, if United had Tony Pulis in charge right now they'd be doing just as well. At least Guardiola gets his rich boys knocking it about a bit. Right now United, the keeper aside, wouldn't look out of place wandering out onto a municipal playing-field having just downed a jar of ale.
And don't one of you lot even begin to argue that it's working and that it's a valuable point and not a lot of teams come away from Anfield looking that sort of reasonable.