The Portuguese tactician has found an unlikely supporter from across town in City boss Pep Guardiola.
Jose Mourinho is currently the hot topic of discussion in European football. Mourinho’s position at Manchester United has come under severe scrutiny after United’s successive losses to Brighton and Tottenham Hotspur. Since then, the Portuguese manager has been literally spitting fire in the press conferences he has attended.
In the pre-match press conference ahead of a tricky trip to Burnley, Mourinho claimed that he is not just managing a great club, but that he himself is one of the greatest managers in the world.
“I am the manager of one of the greatest clubs in the world, but I am also one of the greatest managers in the world,” Mourinho said. The Portuguese gave a cheeky reply when he was questioned about whether he will still hold this tag if he fails to win the Premier League title with Manchester United.
“Of course. Do you ask that question to the manager that finished third in the Premier League last season? To the manager that finished fourth? To the manager that finished fifth?
I had great success last season. That is what probably you don’t want to admit. I analyse my performance myself and for me, it is more important what I think than what you think.
For me, I think that two seasons ago we had a fantastic season by winning the Europa League. Last season everyone thought Atletico Madrid were amazing because they won the Europa League after being knocked out of the Champions League. We are the last team in England to win a European competition.
I won eight titles. I am the only manager that won in Italy, Spain and England. And by winning eight titles – not small titles, not small countries, eight proper trophies – my second position last season is one of my greatest achievements in football.
You disagree? You have the right to disagree. That is no problem for me.”
On the other side of Manchester, City boss Pep Guardiola believes that winning titles are not the only factor a manager is judged on and he won’t judge Mourinho on the statement where he demanded more respect for winning more titles than other managers, referencing to the three Premier League titles he has with Chelsea.
“I said many times I don’t judge. Of course, we are judged for the titles we get now, especially if you have won titles as it can work.
There is no doubt about his quality – I have never doubted that in the past, I won’t now. But, it is not only the titles. I have said many times, for example with myself, I have won at amazing clubs with amazing players, but if that had not happened I would not have won titles.
There are many many managers who don’t win titles who are excellent. That’s why on-one said it happens because you have something special to win titles, but the other side managers are so good it is not necessary to win because good clubs, good players sustain you. In many circumstances, the manager cannot control it. That does not mean they are not good,” said Guardiola.
The Spaniard also claimed that the players are the ones who knows the manager inside out and they are the only ones to judge how the manager really is.
Only the players know exactly who we are and normally even with the players we are judged, if they play we are good, if he doesn’t play the manager is not good. It’s simple like that.” added City’s boss.
Manchester United have another challenge ahead as they will face Burnley at Turf Moor on Sunday evening, while Manchester City will host Newcastle later that day.