Mourinho takes dig at Wenger, defends record with youth in extraordinary Man United press conference
The Manchester United boss faced the microphones in Old Trafford for the first time
Jose Mourinho’s first press conference as Manchester United manager was a typically extraordinary one, as the Portuguese tactician outlined his vision for the Red Devils, while also taking the time to defend his record with youth. Mourinho also took sly digs at rival Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, while clarifying the situation with Ryan Giggs.
After posing for cameras on the hallowed turf of the Theatre of Dreams, Mourinho entered the press conference and read out a prepared statement :
I arrive at a club which is difficult to describe. It is difficult to think of the words to describe this club.
This is not a dream job, it is a reality. But it is a job that everyone wants and not everyone has a chance to have. But I have it. I know the history of this club and I know what the fans expect of me. It doesn't make me nervous. It comes in the right moment of my career.
I am where I want to be, I want to be in this club I want to be in this country. I am unhappy that we are not in the Champions League. I can't hide that I want to chase Sir Alex's record.
Manchester United is a Champions League club, and in July 2017 instead of waiting for the play-off draw this where it has to be and that is the Champions League.
Mourinho takes digs at rival managers
While Mourinho was not asked about former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal directly, he took the time to sneak in sly digs at the Dutchman, saying “I was never good at hiding behind words and hiding behind philosophies. I want to forget the last three years. We cannot say we want to do better, because better is fourth but that’s not good enough. But I am 53, not 63 or 73. I have to get better myself.”
The Portuguese tactician also took aim at Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, saying “There are some managers who last won a title 10 years ago. Some of them the last time they won a title was never. I last won a title last year. So if I have something to prove, what about the others?”
Mourinho defends record with youth
With the emergence of young talents like Anthony Martial & Marcus Rashford at Old Trafford last season, there were many of naysayers when Jose Mourinho was first announced as manager. However, the former Chelsea manager was defiant, claiming that he had an excelllent record, saying “We have five minutes. I would need 10 minutes to answer your question. [Takes out piece of paper]”
“You know how many players I promote from the academy? 49. I can give you the list if you want it. Sometimes you have to bring up the players from the academy because you have no choice because you have injuries. My record of injuries is very, very low. I didn't promote players because of a need, I didn't it because of conviction.”
Mourinho on Rooney
Mourinho also noted that he plans to play Wayne Rooney as a striker, saying “He will never be 50 yards from the goal. Yes, he has a great pass but I have a great pass under no pressure. He will be a 9, a 10, maybe a 9 and a half, but never a No.6, or a not even an 8.”