Jose Mourinho weighs in on Man Utd struggles and teases Man City | Football | Sport

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Former Man Utd manager Jose Mourinho has given his thoughts on the club’s current direction following Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s investment. Mourinho also revealed he was fond of former chief executives Ed Woodward and Richard Arnold, but claimed that they lacked football experience and did not know how to properly structure a club.

Mourinho spent two-and-a-half years at Old Trafford, in which time he won both the Europa League and Carabao Cup, before he was sacked in 2018.

But now Utd under Erik ten Hag are going in a different direction following the investment of Ratcliffe, with the INEOS Group taking charge of football operations. 

Speaking on Rio Ferdinand’s VIBE with FIVE podcast, Mourinho only had good things to say about Ratcliffe. He said: “I know Jim Ratcliffe well, I know him very, very well. We had good relations from years ago. I have a very good feeling. 

“He’s also a sports man, he loves it which is a very important thing and comes with experience from other experiences from other sports, cycling, I have a good feeling that things can go in the right direction and I hope so. I really hope so.”

Richard Arnold, while seen positively by Mourinho, was always more of a ‘rugby man’ in his eyes. As The Special One saw it, change was needed at the club. He said: “He’s a good man and I liked him very, very much even when he was in a commercial role. For sure, they improve.”

Despite his successes and pride in managing Utd, Mourinho claims that the management structure at Old Trafford made it difficult to progress. “I loved my time there. You know better than me, to be a coach in the same club as Sir Alex – even if it was not immediately after – you have to feel it. You have to feel the pride and responsibility and I felt it,” he said. “When I went back a couple of years later to Old Trafford as a Sky commentator when I felt the reaction of the crowd to myself, to have that reaction touched me.”

He also weighed in on how difficult it was to manage such a prestigious club: “Historical club, legendary players, I felt proud to be there. Not easy. I don’t think the media helped me. It was not an intention of hurting but people did not understand the dimension of the job but also potential difficulties but also that the coach was in a hybrid position.

“Before you had Sir Alex and David Gill, then you had changes and then you had not a very fluid structure. When people criticise the job Ed Woodward did, I don’t like it because, for me, he’s a good man, but was just a man that probably was not a fish in the water.

“Very intelligent, very polite and very correct but probably not prepared for the sport side and for a coach not to have a direct contact with the ownership and for a coach not to have a structure which shares the same principles was not easy with consequences at many levels.”

Despite his trophy-winning successes with the Red Devils, The Special One sees a second-place finish behind Manchester City in the 2017/18 season as his greatest achievement there. He said: “Maybe there’s a chance we win the league because if Man City are caught in FFP, breaking the rules, maybe they lose a few points and we win that title! Joking apart, we did the best we could do.”

Asked again if he truly believed finishing second was the biggest achievement, he added: “Of course I believe – and no one has done it better. It was a hell of a job.”

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