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Extra carrots for Jose’s United stars?

OPINION: Footballers such as Alexis Sanchez may have reached a tipping point – paid so much that actually taking part in matches is now a distraction

04 October, 2018 — By Richard Osley

Former Arsenal winger Alexis Sanchez is struggling to make an impact at Manchester United

WHAT should Jose Mourinho use to get Manchester United working again? The carrot or the stick?

The stick strategy does not appear, from the outside, to be working so well if I’m honest. Shouting, mean looks, public criticism, Mourinho has been giving his players a right good kicking over the past couple of weeks and yet they remain boring and beatable.

As this column has noted several times before, the manager simply has not looked as special as he always proclaimed himself to be since he joined United and, more recently, we have finally seen the press stop fawning over his every vapid word.

Yes, you did, gentlemen of the press, we saw you back in the day, hanging on every whispered words as if he was feeding you genius lines rather than monotone cod-philosophy.

I digress, and what about the carrot strategy of reward?

United look like they have given Alexis Sanchez so many rewarding carrots that he may never score a goal again. This is not to say he is full, as in large, or flabby. I’m a writer, you must understand, and so I’m sketching you out this imaginary barrow of carrots for you to see that the carrots represent money. Money, and lots of it.

With Sanchez, you have to wonder whether we have now reached the tipping point in terms of footballer salaries, where they are paid so much that actually playing football is a distraction. Sanchez reportedly turned down Manchester City when he left Arsenal – a move which would have led to at least one league title medal and probably more career achievements.

He would have been paid well, too, but instead chose a club willing to give him a reported £350,000 a week.

To put that in context, you can break that down to being paid 50p for every single second of every day, whether he’s awake or asleep, playing football or walking his dog, at work or at home.

In the two minutes you spent brushing your teeth this morning, he earned £60. During the eight hours of sleep you had last night, and presumably he did too, he earned another £16,000.

In the five minutes you spent reading this column, well, let’s work it out shall we? Sixty seconds at 50p a pop equals £30, times that by five, five minutes, and there you go… he’s earned £150 in the time it took you to decipher these words.

Obscene even for football. Not just a few carrots too many, but the whole orange field.


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