‘I needed to clean up before buying new furniture’: Jose Mourinho reveals how he failed in fight to boot out Man United’s bad eggs, as he reflects on ‘deep problems’ in open confession to Rio Ferdinand

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  • Mourinho was sacked midway through his third season in December 2018 
  • He admitted he wasn’t able to get rid of all United’s disruptive players 
  • CHRIS SUTTON: I wouldn’t be getting the bunting out at Man United just yet – It’s All Kicking Off podcast 

Jose Mourinho has admitted he failed in his attempts to resolve Manchester United‘s ‘deep problems’ and boot out the bad eggs in the squad.

The Portuguese was manager at Old Trafford between 2016 and 2018 but was unable to take them back to Premier League glory.

Mourinho won the EFL Cup and the UEFA Europa League in his first season at United before leading them to a second-place Premier League finish in 2017-18.

But his tenure quickly unravelled during his third season with poor results and a fall-out with several prominent players – including £89m Paul Pogba – led to his sacking on December 18.

Speaking to former United defender Rio Ferdinand, Mourinho said his efforts to ‘clean the house’ at United fell short.

Jose Mourinho in the dug-out during his final game as Manchester United boss at Liverpool

Mourinho fell out with several players, including Paul Pogba, during his final months in charge

Mourinho fell out with several players, including Paul Pogba, during his final months in charge

Mourinho told ex-United defender Rio Ferdinand his efforts to clean up United failed

Mourinho told ex-United defender Rio Ferdinand his efforts to clean up United failed

‘Do you buy new furniture units before cleaning the house? I was more about cleaning the house than buying new furniture [signings],’ Mourinho, global ambassador for Football.com, said.

‘We didn’t clean it the way we wanted. I wanted to clean from the second season and we couldn’t for different reasons.

‘I cannot say that I was asking for A, B, C or D in the third season because that was not right. I just knew clearly by the third season what I didn’t want there.

‘In terms of the individuals, in terms of the profiles, I knew clearly what I didn’t want, but it didn’t happen. Sometimes in football, you have to accept that.

‘I tried my best but I knew exactly the deep, deep problems that we had there. In my third season, the manifestation of these problems was more and more clear.’

In 2017-18, United finished second to Manchester City by a distant 19 points but Mourinho joked that a points deduction resulting from City’s 115 charges for breaching financial rules could yet hand them the title.

Mourinho was in charge at Old Trafford for two-and-a-half seasons, winning two trophies

Mourinho was in charge at Old Trafford for two-and-a-half seasons, winning two trophies

Alexis Sanchez was one of several United players not disappointed when Mourinho left

Alexis Sanchez was one of several United players not disappointed when Mourinho left

‘If Man City is caught breaching the Financial Fair Play, breaking the rules, maybe they’ll lose a few points in the title!’

‘But joking apart, we did the best we could do.’

All three parts of the interview will be available on FIVE’s YouTube – The full interview with José Mourinho will be available on @FIVEUK’s audio platforms, Spotify, Apple and Google Podcasts. 





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