Manchester United manager José Mourinho has insisted he is “one of the greatest managers in the world” during a fiery press conference – another one – ahead of his side’s crucial Premier League visit to Burnley on Sunday.

Mourinho was in defiant mood as he faced provocative questions from the British press, continuing what has been a testing start to the new campaign for the former Porto boss, both on and off the field at Old Trafford.

United have lost two of their opening three Premier League games, with the latest seeing the Red Devils suffer a 3-0 defeat at home to Tottenham Hotspur on Monday evening. Mourinho, who remained on the pitch after the match to share mutual applause with sections of the home crowd, maintained that he was happy with the performance.

Rocky start

It has been a problematic season for the Portuguese from the start. An opening day victory over Leicester City was quickly overshadowed by inflammatory comments made by star player Paul Pogba, who appeared to indirectly confront his manager, while reports emerged detailing the club overruling Mourinho’s summer recruitment plans over disagreements about strategy.

Such stories continued during the week, with newspapers indicating that the United hierarchy intend to issue Anthony Martial a new contract, despite an apparent openness from Mourinho to sell the Frenchman, leading to a sense that the discord between club and manager is growing.

Mourinho, who last week maintained that his relationship with Chief Executive Ed Woodward was still strong, was targeted for provocation from the opening minute of his press conference on Friday, with a journalist asking him to respond to chants from Tottenham fans questioning whether he was still ‘The Special One’.

“They did not have that song when we beat them (in the FA Cup semi-final) at Wembley a couple of months ago. A cup final that they had a big dream to go to; a title they had a big dream to win, because they don’t have many. That night the United fans were singing “the special one” and of course they were not singing that.”

The former Real Madrid boss was then asked to describe his feelings on managing one of the greatest clubs in the world, and Mourinho appeared irked by the question. “I am the manager of one of the greatest clubs in the world, but I am also one of the greatest managers in the world”.

Mourinho’s time at United has seen him attract more criticism than perhaps at any point during his career so far. Despite last season’s second place finish – United’s highest since Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 – and winning the Europa League and League Cup in 2017, Mourinho has been subjected to unflattering comparisons with rival Pep Guardiola, while the quality of United’s football, transfer recruitment and his relationship with his players have also been major talking points.

Success in stabilising United’s results – including wins over rivals Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham during the closing months of the season – has not prevented Mourinho’s tactical pragmatism from becoming a popular issue when measuring him against rival managers Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, Mauricio Pochettino and more recently Maurizio Sarri of Chelsea.

Sharp riposte

When pressed on whether he would still be one of the great managers if he failed to win the league title with United, the 55-year-old was stern in his response. “Do you ask that question to the manager who finished 3rd in the Premier League last season? To the manager that finished 4th? To the manager that finished 5th?

“I had great success in my career? I had great success last season. That’s what probably you don’t want to admit. You do what you want; I do what I want. I analyse my performance, myself. For me it’s more important what I think, not what you think.

“Two seasons ago we had a fantastic season, by winning the Europa League. Last season everyone thought Atletico Madrid were amazing for winning the Europa League. We are the last team in England to win a European competition.

“I have won eight titles. I am the only manager in the world that won Italy, Spain and England. Eight titles – not small titles; proper titles. With this I say my second position last season was one of my greatest achievements in football.”

Mourinho’s team travel to Burnley on Sunday fully aware that a win is vital to get their season back on track. The United manager, who was in attendance as Burnley were eliminated from the Europa League by Olympiakos on Thursday at Turf Moor, said he felt the Clarets were unlucky to be eliminated.

“I went there, and I knew they would probably rest a lot of the players who will play Sunday, and that happened. I think they were very unlucky. If they score one of the big chances they had early in the beginning of the second half, if they score I think they would win the tie.”

The omens for Mourinho are good, with his United side having won both of their visits to Burnley since his appointment without conceding a goal. Ahead of the match, midweek press reports have ranged from stories claiming some at United feel Mourinho’s position is precarious, to stories of a stronger-than-ever relationship with vice-chairman Woodward.

Victory on Sunday, however, and the avoidance of a third consecutive league defeat ahead of the international break, will no doubt be the most important headline for the Portuguese.

By Sean Gillen

 

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There was a time from about when Mourinho refused Benfica, took over Porto and I would estimate right up to the 2nd stint with Chelsea when he would make us all laugh with this quotes and nonsense. That is all gone now, he is a miserable man with...

There was a time from about when Mourinho refused Benfica, took over Porto and I would estimate right up to the 2nd stint with Chelsea when he would make us all laugh with this quotes and nonsense. That is all gone now, he is a miserable man with very little of the charm he once had when he first arrived in the EPL.

Still, here are some of the best pre-2014 quotes of his;


“Please do not call me arrogant because what I say is true. I’m European champion. I’m not one out of the bottle, I think I’m a special one.”

“I am José Mourinho and I don't change. I arrive with all my qualities and my defects.”

“I think [Arsene Wenger] is one of these people who is a voyeur. He likes to watch other people. There are some guys who, when they are at home, have a big telescope to see what happens in other families. He speaks, speaks, speaks about Chelsea.”

“Young players are like melons. Only when you open and taste the melon are you 100% sure that the melon is good.”

“[God] must really think I’m a great guy.”

“You may as well put a cow in the middle of the pitch, walking. And then stop the game because there was a cow.”

“Fear is not a word in my football dictionary.”

“Some clubs are treated as devils, some are treated as angels. I don’t think we are so ugly that we should be seen as the devil and I don’t think Arsene Wenger and David Dein are so beautiful that they should be viewed as angels.”

“At the moment, we cannot walk from the bed to the toilet without breaking a leg”

“I want to push the young players on my team to have a proper haircut, not the Rastafarian or the others they have.”

“A pundit is not honest if they cannot forget their colours or if they try to hide the truth from their audience. It’s not my fault if their managerial career was very poor.”

“For me, the real age is not the age on your ID. That’s just a date when you were born.”

“It’s like having a blanket that is too small for the bed. You pull the blanket up to keep your chest warm and your feet stick out. I cannot buy a bigger blanket because the supermarket is closed. But the blanket is made of cashmere”

“We have top players and, sorry if I'm arrogant, we have a top manager.”

“I have a problem, which is I’m getting better at everything related to my job since I started.”

“If he is right and I am afraid of failure it is because I didn’t fail many times. Eight years without silverware, that’s failure. He’s a specialist in failure. If I do that in Chelsea, eight years, I leave and don’t come back.”

“I have a lot of respect for Liverpool fans and what I did, the sign of silence – ‘shut your mouth’ – was not for them, it was for the English press.”

“For me, pressure is bird flu. I’m feeling a lot of pressure with the problem in Scotland. It’s not fun and I’m more scared of it than football.”

“It’s not important how we play. If you have a Ferrari and I have a small car, to beat you in a race I have to break your wheel or put sugar in your tank.”

“I would rather play with 10 men than wait for a player who is late for the bus.”

“The best team lost. After they scored only one team played, the other one just defended for the whole game.”
“I don't want to win the Europa League. It would be a big disappointment for me. I don't want my players to feel the Europa League is our competition.”

“Look, I'm a coach, I'm not Harry Potter. He is magical, but in reality there is no magic. Magic is fiction and football is real.”

“If they made a film of my life, I think they should get George Clooney to play me. He's a fantastic actor and my wife thinks he would be ideal.”

“Can Messi be suspended for acting? Barcelona is a cultural city with many great theatres and this boy has learned very well. He's learned play-acting.”

“We are a little horse. A horse that still needs milk and to learn how to jump.”

“We don't have A, B, C, D, E, F and G - but we do have L, M, N, S, O, P.”

“The style of how we play is very important. But it is omelettes and eggs. No eggs – no omelettes! It depends on the quality of the eggs. In the supermarket you have class one, two or class three eggs and some are more expensive than others and some give you better omelettes. So when the class one eggs are in Waitrose and you cannot go there, you have a problem.”

“I think the lady needs to occupy her time, and if she takes care of her husband’s diet she will have less time to speak about me.”

“You can say the linesman’s scored. It was a goal coming from the moon or from the Anfield Road stands.”

“There are some managers, the last time they won a title was 10 years ago, the last time I won was a year ago. I will never be able to work without success... to finish 4th is not the aim.”

“When [Chelsea] have somebody who wins four Premier Leagues for them, I’ll be number two. For this moment, ‘Judas’ is number one.”

“Every time I play Pep [Guardiola] I end up with 10 men. It must be some sort of UEFA rule.”

“Sometimes you see beautiful people with no brains. Sometimes you have ugly people who are intelligent, like scientists.”

“If you want, you can make a silence very noisy.”

“If I wanted to have an easy job...I would have stayed at Porto - beautiful blue chair, the Uefa Champions League trophy, God, and after God, me.”

“During the afternoon it rained only in this stadium - our kitman saw it. There must be a micro-climate here. The pitch was like a swimming pool.”

“It's simple. If I own an English club, which I don't and which I'd never do, I'd sign Tony Pulis. It's as simple as that.”
“I only talk about men, not of rude children.”

“If Roman Abramovich helped me out in training we would be bottom of the league and if I had to work in his world of big business, we would be bankrupt!”

“It is not a conspiracy, it is fact. I speak facts. If not, I need big glasses.”

“When you enjoy what you do, you don't lose your hair, and Guardiola is bald. He doesn't enjoy football.”

“[Luke Shaw] had a good performance but it was his body with my brain. He was in front of me and I was making every decision for him.”

“If I tell UEFA what I really think and feel, my career would end now.”

“Maybe the guy drank red wine or beer with breakfast instead of milk.”

“My wife is in Portugal with the dog. The dog is with my wife so the city of London is safe, the big threat is away.”

“The moral of the story is not to listen to those who tell you not to play the violin but stick to the tambourine”

“There are lot of poets in football but they don’t win titles.”

“One day somebody will punch you.”

“I have nothing, nothing to say. Nothing, nothing to say. Nothing to say, I have nothing to say. Nothing to say, I am so sorry, I have nothing to say.”

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Who is this man? A man who lead Porto to glory? A man who lead Inter to glory? or a man that built teams on money after those days? Something triggered while playing in Madrid and from there it went downhill. This is a man that tried poking out a...

Who is this man? A man who lead Porto to glory? A man who lead Inter to glory? or a man that built teams on money after those days? Something triggered while playing in Madrid and from there it went downhill. This is a man that tried poking out a Barcelona managers eye out. This is a man that can't develop a player and buys his titles proven after Inter.

Now fast forward to today. A man who lashes out at the media, a man that belittles his players who are young looking for direction.

This man can't coach youth or a national team as there is much patience and development to go through. He is a man who looks at talent as machines and ready to fulfill his destiny. I feel for Pogba and anyone else who is young or English for that matter. He will find mature talent else where to fill in the gaps. His EGO his is only weapon in today's world. He's ManU roster Salary bypasses ManCity so he can stop the $$$ talk and accept defeat again (https://www.totalsportek.com/money/manchester-united-player-salaries/)

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José Mourinho
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