Saturday 18 January 2020

Mourinho's dig at 'zero defeat' managers

Jose Mourinho. Photo: PA
Jose Mourinho. Photo: PA

Jon West

Jose Mourinho marked Mikel Arteta's arrival at Arsenal with a swipe at Premier League clubs he says hire managers with "zero defeats" instead of proven winners.

Arteta, previously Pep Guardiola's No 2 at Manchester City, was yesterday unveiled by Arsenal despite having no managerial experience.

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And Tottenham manager Mourinho could not help wondering how people such as Carlo Ancelotti, a Premier League winner at Chelsea like himself, were being overlooked for top posts, with Everton, at the wrong end of the table, finalising the Italian's appointment this week.

"The only point I can find, and it is for us to laugh a little bit, is that years ago the best managers were the guys with more victories and now the best is the guy with the fewest defeats," he said.

"So, Ancelotti has three Champions Leagues, won the league in Italy, France and England - but he has lost, I don't know, 200 matches?

"I have lost 150-180 - Carlo is a little bit older than me. So, probably the best managers now are the managers with zero defeats."

Tottenham came close to silverware under Mauricio Pochettino but Mourinho made it clear that "almost" is not in his DNA.

"If you don't win, it is better being close to winning than to be far away,"he said. "It's not my profile, or my DNA, to be comfortable with 'almost'. I never liked the 'almost'."

Mourinho is facing another rookie manager tomorrow in the shape of Frank Lampard, who had just one season on his CV at Derby County before succeeding Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea last summer.

That campaign featured a Carabao Cup success at Mourinho's expense, however, hastening the Portuguese manager's departure from Manchester United.

Tottenham will overtake Chelsea, who are fourth, if they win. "The only thing that means is a better Christmas," Mourinho said.

"My deep feeling, is that we are going to be there. But if you can be there on Dec 22, I cannot hide that is a better Christmas."

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