What We Learnt From Jose Mourinho’s First Press Conference As Manchester United Manager

What We Learnt From Jose Mourinho’s First Press Conference As Manchester United Manager

What We Learnt From Jose Mourinho’s First Press Conference As Manchester United Manager

Jose Mourinho made his long-awaited 1st press conference today as Manchester United manager, and covered a host of topics. For those that missed the cliff notes are as follows:

  • Wanted 4 main signings when he took over. The third is Mkhitaryan, who he all but confirmed, and the fourth will be a CM.
  • Rooney is a number 9 or a number 10 and will not be playing CM under him.
  • He wants specialist players that fit his system not players that can play more than one position.
  • The only aim is to win the league.
  • Ryan Giggs wanted the manager’s job which was the reason he left the club.

After swerving an initial nonsense question regarding how he currently sees himself, (the special one or the normal one), Mourinho was questioned about the comings and goings within the current squad.

Mourinho said that there were 4 key areas that needed addressing when he took over, and it appears 3 of those areas have already been addressed. As we know, United have already signed centre back Eric Bailly, and talisman striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Also, Mourinho had to ask United’s PR colleague whether the third signing (Mkhitaryan) had been made official yet which brought chuckles from the press. The fourth signing is what will be intriguing United fans currently, and will be the one they hope to bring stability and class to the team.

Mourinho hinted the fourth player would be a central midfielder, which would make sense given the issues that have been faced in that area of the field over the last few seasons. Paul Pogba has been heavily linked since the start of the summer, but we all know the price he would come at. Another player recently linked is Pogba’s national teammate Blaise Matuidi. Matuidi shares the same agent as Ibrahimovic and Mkhitaryan, and the PSG man has just seen his team pick up another central midfielder in Grzegor Krychowiak, which would suggest somebody will be leaving the staked PSG midfield.

Mourinho was then questioned about last season’s failures, and said ‘some managers last won the title 10 years ago…last time I did was 1 year ago’ which is being perceived as a quip at long-time rival Arsene Wenger. Mourinho clearly stated that 1st place is the only thing that should be accepted at United, and an improvement from 5th to 4th is nothing to be happy about. He also said United have to be in the champions league this time next year, which will be the thoughts of everyone involved with the club.

He was also questioned on where he thought Wayne Rooney’s best position was, and confirmed he saw no role for Rooney in central midfielder, which would give credence to the idea the fourth signing will be a central midfielder. However, fitting Rooney into a front 4 may cause players to be played out of place, which is what we’ve seen over the last 3 seasons. Could this be Rooney’s swansong season?

When asked about his policy on youth, Mourinho had come prepared and seemed frustrated at the perceived idea he never brings through youth. He repeatedly asked the reporter if he wanted the list of the 49 players he had promoted from academies into the first team, as well as asking if the reporter knew the stats regarding Mourinho’s team injuries.

Mourinho clearly disagrees with the media’s perception that he doesn’t promote youth, and in some regards he has a point. He brought through Davide Santon at Inter Milan, Alvaro Morata, Jese, and Casemiro at Real Madrid, as well as giving Loftus-Cheek a shot last season at Chelsea. He also gave Kurt Zouma, Kennedy, Jon Obi Mikel and Scott Sinclair premier league debuts before the age of 20, so it seems that if you are good enough, you’ll get your shot, which he really wanted to get across to the press.
He also cleared up the Ryan Giggs situation, saying that Giggs was only interested in staying on as manager at Old Trafford, which was the reason he decided to leave.

For any Manchester United fan, the press conference will have been everything they wanted. With another big signing to come, the intent to win everything, and jibes at fellow managers, it looks like Jose hasn’t even started yet.

Betting Odds

Man Utd are currently second favourites to win the Premier League at 7/2 with bet365. or 4/9 for a top 4 finish. Elsewhere, the Red Devils are currently the bookies favourites to win the Europa League at 7/1 with Betfair.

Written by Jake Hammond