Jose Mourinho is back on our television screens, and we always knew he would have some interesting things to say. While the other day he aimed some thinly veiled criticism at Jurgen Klopp, he has today turned to defending himself after the poor end to his tenure at Manchester United.
The Portuguese boss made it clear last summer that he felt he was not being backed by the club in his attempts to bring in some new recruits, something that played a major part in his behaviour during the following months. The failure to sign a central defender was especially concerning to him, as he felt the club were lacking in that position.
Speaking on beIN SPORTS today, Mourinho suggested that the club had not backed him in the same manner that Manchester City and Liverpool had done for Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp, and that he was not allowed to finish the project he had started at the club.
— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS_EN) January 19, 2019
When people sell you the idea that you are going to do a work in-depth, there are different phases of that work. Sometimes you do the first phase, you do the second phase, and you think you are preparing a solid future, you are not preparing anything because you are out...
As a manager I don't focus only on the football itself, I have to focus on preparing for the future. I think the future starts to be prepared with principles... it's more important to bring a culture to a club.
He used the example of the Guardiola changing his entire defence after his first season in charge at The Etihad, as well as the number of players Klopp had sign during his time at Liverpool, as examples of how his club let him down in comparison to their rivals.
He suggested that the structure at Manchester United stifled his ability to make an impact at the club, and was the reason he ultimately did not succeed.
At Manchester City, in the first season Guardiola was not champion. People were expecting a winning team. They were coming already from a winning period...
In between the first and second seasons, Pep made great decisions, but decisions that were supported. He didn't want Zabaleta or Sagna, Kolarov or Clichy. In one summer he sold four full backs, and bought four full backs. He got Walker, Danilo, Mendy... he was supported.
Today we seen Liverpool, and I was thinking how many of these players were at Liverpool before Jurgen arrived? No Alisson, no van Dijk, no Salah... This is work in depth.
The other day when I was speaking about leadership in relation to the structure of the club, it's not just the leadership, it's everything, even the football ideas.
So when you are a manager that has in your hands the opportunity to choose the players that you want to follow your football idea, or to follow the idea that you think is the best to win a certain competition, that is one thing. Another thing is if you are not able to do that.
For Mourinho to suggest he was not backed by the club is bordering on the ridiculous. United bought a number of players for big fees during his time in charge, with the likes of Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku signed at the request of their former manager. They also spent big on a pair of centre backs in Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof.
The lack of success that those pair of defenders experienced under Mourinho likely played a major part in the club's decision to not give him the fund for another defender during the summer, a completely understandable position.
In total the club spent £391million on transfer during his tenure, a figure that would indicate he was fully backed in the transfer market. Their net spend was highest than all of their competitors.