Mourinho launches rant in defence of managerial record

2018-03-16 16:46:33

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho went on a remarkable 12-minute rant as he launched an impassioned defence of his record in the wake of the shock Champions League exit to Sevilla. After the struggles of David Moyes and Louis van Gaal following Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement in 2013, the Old Trafford giants turned to the Portuguese in a bid to bring success back to the club. United won the Europa League, EFL Cup and Community Shield in his first season, but the FA Cup is the only silverware realistically achievable after Tuesday's surprise last-16 exit to Sevilla in the Champions League. Mourinho has been criticised by pundits and fans for his approach over both legs, leading the United boss to go on a surprise, wide-ranging and lengthy rant ahead of Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final against Brighton. "I say to the fans that the fans are the fans, and the fans have the right to have their opinions and to have their reactions," Mourinho said. "But there is something that I used to call football heritage - I try to translate from my Portuguese, which is almost perfect to my English that is far from perfect. "But translation, word by word is something like football heritage and what a manager inherits is something like is that the last time Manchester United won the Champions League, which didn't happen a lot of times, was in 2008. The final was 2011." Then Mourinho, using pre-prepared notes, went through each of United's European seasons since that final against Barcelona in detail.

"The last time Manchester United won the Champions League, which didn't happen a lot of times, was 2011 (interruption from the reporters calling out "2008!") Oh, yes (reached) the final.

"Since 2011, in 2012, out in the group phase. The group was almost the same group as we had this season. Benfica, Basel and Galati from Romania.

"In 2013, out at Old Trafford in the last-16 (phase). I was on the other bench.

"In 2014, out in the quarter-final.

"In 2015, no European football.

"In 2016, comes back to European football. Out in the group phase, goes to Europa League and, in the second knockout, out of the Europa League...

"In 2017, play Europa League. Win Europa League - with me. And goes back to Champions League.

"In 2018, win the group phase with 15 points. Impossible (to get) 18. And loses in last-16."

After finishing with his notes, he went on: "So in seven years with four different managers, once not qualified for Europe, twice out in the group phase and the best was a quarter-final," he said. "This is football heritage.

Mourinho leaving the Old Trafford dugout after Manchester United's Champions League exit at the hands of Sevilla

"And if you want to go to the Premier League, the last victory was 2012/13 and in the four consecutive seasons, United finished fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh - or seventh, fourth, five and six. "So, in the last four years the best was fourth. This is football heritage. "It means that when you start the process, you are here (using hands to represent levels), you are there or you are there. It is heritage. It's heritage."

The Portuguese continued: "And if the fans, that I will always respect, always respect... if the fans... and many of them are the ones you speak with (in the media), many of them are the ones I speak with, or I am very lucky and very unlucky (with you speak to). "But the ones that speak with you are very disappointed and the ones I speak with knows what is football heritage. "They know what is a process and know when they arrive." Mourinho then went onto highlight the "football heritage" of the Real Madrid side he took over, before a question mentioning those statistics set him off again.

"When I arrived in Real Madrid, do you know how many players quarter final of the Champions League? Xabi Alonso with Liverpool, Casillas with Real Madrid and Ronaldo with Manchester United.

"All the others not even a quarter final, that’s football heritage."

Mourinho went on to illustrate the difficulties of competing with Manchester City and made clear he was not the first Manchester United manager to trail in their wake.

And he pointed to the legacy, in terms of playing personnel, he would ultimately leave for the next Manchester United manager.

"Those stats are real. I give you a couple more, in the last seven years the worst position of Manchester City in the Premier League was fourth, in the last seven years Manchester City was champions twice and if you want to say three times, they were second twice.

"That’s heritage. Do you know what is also heritage? Is that Otamendi, Kevin De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Silva, Sterling, Aguero, they are investments from the past, not from the last two years, do you know how many of United players that left the club last season?

"See where they play, how they play, if they play. That’s football heritage and one day when I leave the next Manchester United manager will find here Lukaku, Matic, of course De Gea from many years ago, they will find players with a different mentality, quality, background, with a different status, know-how, and for some reason you go to the Champions League quarter final like today and there are four clubs that are always there, always there.

"Barcelona is always there in the past seven, eight years, Real Madrid, Juventus, Bayern Munich and then of course appear now and again, another club like my Inter, like some other clubs like Monaco last season, but the ones that are always there is for some reason and the good thing for me, and the amazing feeling for me, is that I am exactly on the same page as the owners, as Mr Woodward, Mr Arnold.

"We are on exactly the same page, we agree on everything, on the investments, that we have what we have, the investments that we are going to do will be season after season, we are exactly on the same page, so life is good. I have an amazing job to do."

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