Sir Alex's Former Assistant Gives Jose Mourinho Advice on How to Handle the Press
Jose Mourinho's situation at Manchester United is delicate, to say the least. After not being backed by the board in the transfer window and failing to land his top summer transfer targets, things deteriorated even further with United conceding a defeat to Brighton in the second Premier League Gameweek.
Of late, Mourinho has not shied away from airing his grievances and as a result, the media has afforded the unwelcome limelight to the Portuguese manager.
Former players and pundits have criticized Mourinho for cutting a frustrating figure when the team should be going into the new season on an optimistic note. The latest to join the list is Sir Alex Ferguson's former assistant Mike Phelan.
Phelan fears that the 'Special One' might be closer to an exit than he ever was. Talking to Sportsweek on Radio 5 Live, Phelan said:
“Any manager of any big institution, which is what Manchester United is, internationally, you have a role and a responsibility to give out the correct messages.”
Phelan, who has been a player, coach, and assistant manager under Ferguson, also talked about how Mourinho's conduct and demeanour are not inspiring any confidence at all.
“You don’t have to avoid conflict, but you certainly have to conduct yourself in a way which is befitting of the tradition of where you’re working, and that’s something you can do by keeping your own counsel and getting on with the job."
“But he [Mourinho] is a completely different character and he expresses himself in a completely different way."
“There are opportunities to say things and there are opportunities to keep it to yourself. He chooses one way, and with that there are consequences in what you say.”
Phelan also weighed in on how Manchester United and Jose Mourinho need to realize that the club should not lose sight of Manchester City who are operating at the height of their strengths.
“There is fierce competition within the city. If United are at loggerheads within the club, it just helps fuel City’s cause more than anything else.
“That’s something they need to be very careful of, because City are a very big club now and they’re very well run.
“They know how to use certain situations, and unrest across the road helps. It can’t not be a help and they use it well.”
The Red Devils will take on Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on Monday night. There is a feeling among the footballing fraternity that this game could have a telling impact on what the future holds for Mourinho and his Red Army.