Newspaper Headline: Jose Puts Boot In
This headline, ‘Jose Puts Boot In’ is from the Daily Star football page from September 15th 2020 which describes Tottenham manager, Jose Mourinho’s reaction to his side’s defeat against Everton in their opening game of the 2020-21 season. The phrase ‘to put the boot in to someone‘ means to attack or criticise someone or by making something worse for someone. It is linked in some way to the phrase ‘to kick someone when they are down’ because to put the boot in suggests that someone is kicking another person when they are already in a bad or vulnerable situation.
The Tottenham team played poorly in their defeat against Everton and so we can say that they are down and then when their own manager criticised them after the game we can say that he put the boot in – the team were in a bad position but rather than support them or pick them up he continued to attack them. In this report, the headline writers have used the image of Jose Mourinho on the sideline kicking the ball away to suggest that he was kicking – or putting the boot into – his own team because he doesn’t think they played well. In fact, he also claimed that he didn’t like his team and that they were ‘lazy, unfit …(and in a) bad state of mind’. Harsh words indeed!