Jose Mourinho criticises and exposes Man Utd structure

Related imageJose Mourinho has broken his silence in the wake of his sacking as Manchester United manager last month by launching what appeared to be a thinly veiled attack on the club’s management structure, Paul Pogba and player power at Old Trafford.

Mourinho also seemed to have Mauricio Pochettino and Jurgen Klopp in his sights as he sought to defend his brand of football by taking a swipe at a younger generation of coaches who are lauded for their style of play, despite a lack of trophies.Related image

The Portuguese – who has ruled out retirement by insisting he “belongs to top level football” – was gagged from talking directly about United owing to a confidentiality clause in his £15 million severance package.

But, in his role as an Asian Cup pundit for beIN Sports, Mourinho appeared to leave little to the imagination as he spoke for the first time since his dismissal by United a week before Christmas with the club 11 points adrift of the top four following a 3-1 defeat to Liverpool.

The final, tumultuous months of Mourinho’s reign at Old Trafford were marked by disagreements with the board over signings and fall-outs with players, most notably Pogba.

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Mourinho’s relationship with Pogba hit a nadir when he branded the club’s £89 million record signing “a virus” during a dressing room tirade after a 2-2 draw at Southampton last month.

And, in what looked like a dig at Pogba, the former Chelsea and Real Madrid manager appeared to insinuate that player power was out of control at United by suggesting the days of a player not being allowed to think he was bigger than the club were gone.

“I think it was when Manchester United sold David Beckham to Real Madrid if I’m not wrong but the phrase I kept with me from the biggest one in the Premier League – Sir Alex Ferguson – was, ‘The day a player is more important than the club, goodbye’,” Mourinho told beIN.

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“Not any more. Not any more. Because there are many things behind now that means it is difficult to create a situation as linear as this one.

“The manager is there to coach them [players], the manager is not there to keep the discipline at any cost. The structure must be made. The structure must be there to protect the manager and for the players to feel that everything is in place and they are not going to arrive into a situation where they feel more powerful than they used to be.”

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Mourinho appeared to suggest that United’s structure behind the scenes is inadequate and responsible for undermining the manager and failing to help bring players into line. His remarks could also be perceived as criticism of executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, with whom Mourinho clashed over transfers after the failure to sign a centre-half last summer.

Woodward’s background is in business and Mourinho seemed to insinuate that United suffered for the absence of a director of football, even though the club are thought to have encountered some resistance from their former manager over plans to recruit one.

“What I want to say is we’re not any more in the time where the coach by himself is powerful enough to cope and to have a relation of education and sometimes confrontation with players that are not the best professionals,” Mourinho said.

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“The coaches nowadays need a structure, need a club organised in a certain way. A club must have an owner or president, a CEO or a director executive, a sporting director or a football director and then the manager. This is the structure that can cope with all of the problems than modernity is bringing to all of us.

“For me, a club must be very well organised to cope with all of these kinds of situations where the manager is only the manager, and not the man who is trying to keep the discipline or is trying to educate the players.

“If I tell you that I consider one of the best jobs of my career was to finish second with Manchester United in the Premier League, you say, ‘This is crazy.’ He won 25 titles and he’s saying second position was one of his best achievements but I keep saying this because people don’t know what is going on behind the scenes.”

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