Saturday 21 April 2018

Jose Mourinho on poets, his most difficult season and transfer plans for next year

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho poses with the trophy
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho poses with the trophy

Jose Mourinho has described his debut season with Manchester United as the “most difficult” in his 20 years of football management, despite winning three trophies in his first campaign with the club.

Having won the Community Shield and the League Cup earlier in the season, Manchester United defeated Ajax 2-0 in the final of the Europa League, as Mourinho won his third piece of silverware in his short time with the club.

But in his post-match interview after the cup final triumph, Mourinho claimed that this season has been the most difficult of his career.

“Three trophies in one season and the Champions League,” he said after the match.

“I am very happy in my most difficult season as a manager. It is the end of a very difficult season. But a very very good season.”

Mourinho also revealed he has left Manchester United's transfer plans in the hands of Ed Woodward.

Mourinho has been linked with another busy summer after spending over £150m after his arrival with the likes of Pogba and Mkhitaryan joined by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who missed the final in Stockholm through injury.

Ed Woodward has my list, what I want, what I would like for more than two months. So now it's up to him and the owners. But I don't care about football for now."

United enjoyed just 31% of possession in the Stockholm final, with Ajax dominating the ball but struggling to create any clear-cut chances. Of the Dutch side’s 17 shots on goal, only three were on target.

United only managed seven shots on goal, but four of those were on target and two hit the back of the net. And Mourinho was delighted with his side’s pragmatic display, claiming that “poets do not win titles”.

“If you are dominant in the air you go long. There are lots of poets in football but poets don't win many titles,” he said. “We knew where we were better than them and we exploited their weaknesses.

“We preferred to reach the Champions League this way than finish fourth, third or second. We got the objective, we are back in the Champions League by winning a title, an important title. The club now has every title in world football. We fought hard for this since the beginning.

"We always thought that we could win the Europa League and we are very happy. We played intelligently, we did it in a comfortable way. We were much stronger than them.”

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