Sunday 13 October 2019

Jose Mourinho suggests his title at Manchester United should be changed after transfer window setbacks

Jose Mourinho checks his notes on the sideline during last night’s match against Leicester City at Old Trafford. Photo: Reuters
Jose Mourinho checks his notes on the sideline during last night’s match against Leicester City at Old Trafford. Photo: Reuters
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Jose Mourinho claimed he should no longer be recognised as Manchester United manager after his side opened the new Premier League season with a 2-1 win against Leicester.

Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw have come under fire from Mourinho during his time as United boss, but the duo emerged as match-winners as they scored the goals that fired the home side to a win at Old Trafford.

Yet the fall-out from a disappointing transfer window that saw United fail to sign the central defender Mourinho was demanding was still the subject of debate as he was asked about the club's lack of summer spending.

"That’s football, that’s football management," declared Mourinho. "I think football is changing and probably football managers should be called head coaches. I think we are more the head coach than the manager."

He went on to repeat his sentiments that United are in for a tough season, after they overcame opponents who spent more cash in the summer transfer market.

"I had my plans for many months but I find myself at the beginning of the Premier League with the market closed," he stressed. "I find myself in a situation which is not the situation I thought I would be in.

"I think it will be a difficult season for everybody, but I think it's the last time we speak about it. It's over, finished, the market is closed and no more talk about it.

"We play against a team that invest more than us. They spent more money than us, so in the Premier League we must get used to teams with players of the same quality that we have. Forget the name, the history, the shirt, every match is difficult.”

Mourinho was full of praise for Pogba, who impressed for United just four days after he returned to training with United and 26 days after he helped France win the World Cup final.

"I asked Paul and he put himself available for the team and he was very, very good for us," declared Mourinho.

"In my opinion it would be a good performance but with the circumstances I think very good because pre-season was very hard and we needed this fantastic spirit by the players to manage this performance and this result."

Mourinho was also keen to lavish praise on Shaw and Eric Bailly, who were left out of the United side time and again in the second half of last season.

"Of course some fantastic performances, the boys with the proper pre-season were in a much better condition," he added. "Luke Shaw, Andreas Pereira, Eric Bailly, Matteo Darmian, these boys were comfortable to play 90 minutes but the others were fantastic.

"Marcus Rashford was in trouble but he played, Pogba was a monster, we thought maximum 60 minutes but he managed the 80 and then (Romelu) Lukaku and (Marouane) Fellaini available to help the team.

"Fantastic spirit and I think periods of very good football and in the periods where Leicester were stronger we played as a team and we coped well with the situation. I think good three points, good victory, tomorrow morning training and free Sunday deserved."

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