Size isn’t everything.
A dung beetle is the strongest animal in the world. An egg is almost impossible to break if you squeeze it at the top and bottom, although we wouldn’t recommend testing that out at home.
Then there’s the composition of Manchester’s two, for want of a better term, biggest sides. Their midfield trios, to be precise.
In the blue corner, a fleet of minute magicians who trick you into punching yourself square between the eyes.
Man City took to the pitch against Fulham with a midfield trio of Fernandinho, Bernardo Silva and David Silva.
Fernandinho, nominally the ‘defensive midfielder’, is the tallest of the trio at 5ft 8in, dwarfing the 5ft 6in Silvas.
Not that you’d know it when you’re on the floor, having collapsed after 90 minutes stuck in a passing merry-go-round.
Then there’s the red corner. They’d steal your lunch money and make you apologise for wasting their time.
Man United’s midfield three against Watford comprised of Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini and Nemanja Matic.
Pogba, at 6ft 3in, is an inch shorter than his two midfield bodyguards.
It would be physically impossible to walk past any of the trio on the street without saying ‘corr, he’s tall’.
Size does’t matter, but it isn’t dismissible.
Pep Guardiola requires his players to be unnaturally proficient at moving the ball quickly in tight areas.
The dynamics of football dictate that Pep’s ideal midfielder tends to be on the shorter size.
None of Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Philipp Lahm or Thiago Alcantara would get into a party with a 5ft 10in minimum height requirement, although that sounds like a weird gathering.
There are players who buck the trend. Sergio Busquets, Toni Kroos and Kevin De Bruyne are all too tall to put ‘Lil’ in their rap name.
But, on the whole, you’re not going to get bullied off the park when you come up against one of Pep’s teams.
The same can’t be said for United.
Jose’s Mourinho current squad could give Wasps, a rugby team for anyone not familiar with the sport of chasing eggs, a decent game.
It’s not just the midfielders.
Romelu Lukaku, David De Gea, Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof, all of whom started against Watford, breach the 6ft mark, while Antonio Valencia’s arms have been legally registered as weapons.
Mourinho isn’t trying to hide what he’s doing. Plan A is to smash the door off with crosses and second balls and hope something drops. Plan B is to do exactly the same.
Jesse Lingard’s movement and ability to react to the second ball mean his small stature hasn’t been an issue, but Marcus Rashford, Alexis Sanchez and Juan Mata have all struggled under Mourinho.
Watford relented for just three minutes against United’s physical pressure, but that was enough.
Fellaini, Mourinho’s favourite mountain, was involved in both goals, chesting the ball down in the lead up to Lukaku’s strike before towering a header towards Smalling who did the rest.
It was only right that he was awarded the Man of the Match award for his headache-inducing contributions to both attack and defence.
Three minutes were enough to define 95 minutes of football. Enough for the all-important three points.
You could only enjoy the way United play in the way a mother thinks her unmistakably ugly son is handsome.
It’s relentless. When it doesn’t work United look disjointed and clueless. See the defeat to Brighton for 90 minutes of football you’ll find on Hackney Marshes every Sunday.
But, when it clicks, United look dominant. That might have to do for now, as much as United fans won’t want to hear it.
Pep’s mini-magicians could be the most dominant force English football has ever seen.
However, in an age where dropping out of the Champions League can end your title hopes for the next 20 years, Mourinho’s Rugby Club might be exactly what the doctor ordered.
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