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Mourinho: I'd have loved backing like Guardiola or Klopp at United

The Portuguese manager was on beIN Sports’ Champions League coverage last night.

Mourinho pictured in the stands watching Fulham against Everton last month.
Mourinho pictured in the stands watching Fulham against Everton last month.
Image: Getty Images

JOSE MOURINHO BELIEVES that he was not afforded the backing he needed for success at Manchester United compare to that which Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp have enjoyed at Manchester City and Liverpool.

The Portuguese’s two-and-a-half year tenure in the dugout at Old Trafford saw the Red Devils lift both the Carabao Cup and Europa League during his spell at the helm.

However, his time with the club came to an end following United’s 3-1 loss at Liverpool last December amid a poor run of Premier League results, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer subsequently taking charge.

Both Mourinho and Guardiola arrived at their respective clubs ahead of the 2016-17 campaign, with fans anticipating a renewal of their La Liga rivalry from their days at Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Instead however, United were subsequently outclassed by their cross-city rivals, who hit the 100 point threshold last season to lift the title, 19 points clear of Mourinho in second place.

Since then, Klopp and Liverpool have emerged as the major threat to Guardiola and City, with both sides clear of the 90-point barrier in the Premier League with two games to.

Mourinho was allowed to make some big-money moves while in charge at United, making Paul Pogba the most expensive player in the world and luring Alexis Sanchez to Old Trafford over the Etihad Stadium with a mega-money package.

Regardless of this though, the former Chelsea boss feels the more sustained backing Guardiola and Klopp have enjoyed is much clearer.

“I would love to go to a club and be in conditions to do what Jurgen and Pep did,” Mourinho told beIN Sports, while working as a pundit covering the Champions League semi-final between Barcelona and Liverpool.

If you look at the [Liverpool] team that started the game, how many of them were there when Jurgen arrived? A couple.

“And when Pep was not happy with the full-backs he had [at City in 2016-17] and in the [next] summer bought four [three] full-backs that he liked.

“When he bought one goalkeeper like Claudio Bravo and was not happy with Claudio Bravo, the next season he bought Ederson.

“When Jurgen is in the club and wins absolutely nothing for three-and-a-half years and he still has the trust, still has the confidence, still has the conditions to try to keep going and going. 

Jose Mourinho File Photo Mourinho was sacked by United before Christmas. Source: Andrew Matthews

“Probably this season they have a big chance to do it – the first time that they win a trophy.

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“In my next job I will not be starting a conversation without knowing exactly what the club wants and what the club has to give in terms of structure and the club objectives.”

Gary Neville said his former club were, in hindsight, wrong to appoint a manager like Mourinho, who did not align with United’s traditional philosophy.

Mourinho also scoffed at the assessment made by Neville that United should not have hired him due to a clash of coaching philosophy, drawing attention to a famous triumph over Guardiola’s Barcelona with Inter in 2010 to suggest his reputation as an ultra-defensive coach is unfair.

“You are in the direction of a lie told a thousand times become truth and it is not true,” he said.

“When people remember the incredible match that Inter played in Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final with 10 men, people say that was a masterclass of defensive football but was two buses parked.

“You don’t say that two weeks before [it was] Inter 3 Barcelona 1. We put ourselves in the position to go there and defend that result, playing with 10 men against the best team in the world, because two weeks before we beat them 3-1 and it should be four or five.”

Similarly, he felt Antonio Conte’s Premier League triumph at Chelsea in 2016-17 was judged by different standards to his three over the course of two spells at Stamford Bridge.

“When I came to Chelsea for the second time and we were champions, we were champions when we were not the best team in the country,” Mourinho added.

“To be champion when you are not the best team in the country you have to be more strategic than philosopher.

“And then, when Chelsea was champion again with Antonio Conte, Chelsea was a counterattacking team – very defensive and phenomenal on the counterattack.

“Once more they did it by the strategic point of view. But, because it was Antonio and not me, you didn’t mention it.”

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