Marcus Rashford’s toils show up José Mourinho as a man without a plan | Barney Ronay

A isolated outing for the forward added was dismaying proof that skilful attackers are being left to regress at Old TraffordOn a sweaty, heavy, oddly gruelling Wembley day Manchester United’s sweaty, heavy, oddly gruelling season was finally euthanised to a close. It has been a good season in some ways, with obvious progress made in the Premier League. But it passed here without the garnish of a trophy as Eden Hazard’s first-half penalty settled a largely forgettable FA Cup final in Chelsea’s favour. Continue reading...

Ander Herrera: My future is the FA Cup final. I want to be here next season

Manchester United midfielder has struggled for an automatic place in the first team but he scored the winner in the semi-final and is keen to continue in that veinAnder Herrera has a self-possession that allows rare honesty when he is asked how Manchester City’s runaway title win and Liverpool potentially being European champions heightens Manchester United’s need to win the FA Cup final against Chelsea. Sitting upstairs in the academy building at the club’s Carrington base, the midfielder is an articulate speaker on a range of subjects. United finished second to City but, unless Chelsea are defeated at Wembley on Saturday, José Mourinho’s side will end the season without a trophy. The nightmare scenario is City’s 19-point Premier League success being followed by Liverpool claiming a sixth European Cup next Saturday by defeating Real Madrid. Continue reading...

Forget artist v mechanic: Mourinho and Conte’s midfield duel holds key | Jonathan Wilson

José Mourinho’s dig at Antonio Conte has diverted attention from the FA Cup final’s pivotal confrontation in which Chelsea’s midfield could be overrun by Manchester United“I’m not,” José Mourinho said after Manchester United’s home win over Liverpool in March, “the kind of mechanic coach that says player A pass to player B, player B pass to player C and player C to player D. I’m much more a supporter of preparing the players to decide well and feel the game.” As so often with Mourinho, there was perhaps a coded jibe; this may have been (it’s very hard to know for sure with a man whose every utterance is subjected to intense scrutiny) another sortie in his protracted war of words with Antonio Conte. For the Italian is a manager who has his side practise “automations”, as Eden Hazard calls them. Conte does see the value in practising Continue reading "Forget artist v mechanic: Mourinho and Conte’s midfield duel holds key | Jonathan Wilson"

Man United finishing in second is a sad indictment of the Premier League

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> With the Premier League season coming to an end, Manchester United clinched their spot in second place with 78 points. It’s the most points the Red Devils have earned since the dismissal of Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013. Hats off to Mourinho for this accomplishment. But if a casual football fan sat down and watched an entire United match this season, they’d surely be scratching their heads or falling asleep. At the very least, they’d wonder how they finished so high in the table. It’s a straightforward query: How on earth did Manchester United finish in second place? Yes, they have a squad stocked with talent. But the eyeball test leaves something to be desired.

Playing not to lose

The reality is that Mourinho’s tactics completely revolve around defense. It’s about not conceding goals. Forget about winning. Let’s play not to lose. Unfortunately, for the fans and players, this strategy
Continue reading "Man United finishing in second is a sad indictment of the Premier League"

Manchester United assistant manager Rui Faria to leave the club

• José Mourinho’s assistant decides ‘time is right for me to move on’
• Faria has worked with Mourinho for 17 yearsManchester United assistant manager Rui Faria is to leave the club at the end of the season. Faria has worked alongside José Mourinho at Old Trafford since 2016, having also been on his coaching staff during both his spells at Chelsea as well as at Porto, Internazionale and Real Madrid. Continue reading...

Robert Pires would ‘welcome’ unsettled Manchester United attacker at Arsenal

Arsenal hero Robert Pires insists that he would ‘welcome’ unsettled Manchester United attacker Anthony Martial to his former employers in the summer, with the searing Frenchman failing to nail down a consistent starting position in Jose Mourinho’s set-up at Old Trafford. Martial was named in United’s matchday XI on Friday evening against Brighton and Hove […]

José Mourinho blames loss at Brighton on Manchester United bit-part players

  • Mourinho: ‘the players who replaced others did not perform’
  • Manchester United manager says Brighton showed more desire
José Mourinho has pointed to the disjointed displays offered by Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial as justification for their bit-part roles this season after Brighton secured a first win over Manchester United since 1982 to confirm top flight survival. Neither Romelu Lukaku nor Alexis Sánchez was fit to feature at the Amex Stadium but Rashford and Martial laboured against Albion, with only David de Gea of the visitors impressing in a mess of a performance. The defeat left the manager questioning whether his players were as desperate as he is to secure a top-two finish. Continue reading...

Mourinho: Now you understand why I don’t start certain players

Following Manchester United’s 1-0 defeat away to Brighton, Jose Mourinho was happy to hang the players out to dry. After giving the likes of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial a start, only for them to play poorly, the manager wasn’t surprised that they didn’t come up with the goods.
It was not good enough. The players that replace others didn’t perform at a good level and when individuals don’t perform at a good level, it’s difficult for the team to perform at a good level. Maybe now you understand why some players play more than others and you don’t ask all the time why A, B and C don’t play more. My players, if you ask them, will tell you I told them before the match what was going to happen and I told them at half-time what was going to happen. I knew it. I told them. Of course, Continue reading "Mourinho: Now you understand why I don’t start certain players"

José Mourinho is the maestro when it comes to managing expectations | Liam Rosenior

The Manchester United manager has consistently managed to win things – even when he does not have the best team According to José Mourinho, it took him “20 years to become an overnight success”. Having spent a few days this week on the final part of my Uefa pro licence coaching course, I am beginning to appreciate what he meant when he said that. Hours in the classroom and on the pitch, as well as giving presentations to fellow students, has made me more appreciative of the hard work that goes into qualifying to be able to do a job that I don’t even know if I will one day be lucky enough to get. Studying also gives an insight into the commitment, passion and application which someone like Mourinho has had to put into football in order to achieve the level of success he has. In a week when Continue reading "José Mourinho is the maestro when it comes to managing expectations | Liam Rosenior"

Eric Bailly dropped because he is not going to World Cup, says José Mourinho

• Defender has not played for Manchester United in nearly a month
• ‘Jones, Smalling, Rojo and Lindelöf are fighting for World Cup place’José Mourinho has revealed why Eric Bailly has been frozen out of the Manchester United first team in the last few weeks – it is because Ivory Coast have not qualified for the World Cup. Related: Chelsea interested in making move for Manchester United’s Anthony Martial Continue reading...

Ainsley Maitland-Niles issues apology following late defeat at Manchester United

Arsene Wenger’s final visit to Old Trafford as Arsenal boss ended in misery after Marouane Fellaini pounced highest to grab a last-ditch winner and Gunners youngster Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who performed valiantly on the day, has subsequently issued the north-Londoners’ ardent travelling support a solemn message of apology. Fellaini’s stooping header made the score 2-1 at […]

José Mourinho says Manchester United semi-final places are up for grabs

• ‘What is the criteria to choose a team? The way they play’
• Manager explains substitution of Paul Pogba against West BromJosé Mourinho has appeared to question the ambition of some Manchester United players after the defeat by West Bromwich Albion that left Manchester City Premier League champions. The team who lost 1-0 at Old Trafford were all internationals and the manager offered an enlightening response on Monday when asked whether he was getting enough from experienced players. “Consistency has nothing to do with age,” he said. “It has to do with personality, has to do with the way you live for football, what is your priority in your life, what are your ambitions. This has nothing to do with age. Continue reading...

‘I know how to win – but I don’t play,’ says José Mourinho after United defeat

• Manager says he could ‘smell’ a bad performance coming
• Home defeat against West Brom hands the title to CityJosé Mourinho said he could “smell” a bad performance coming from Manchester United after the 1-0 defeat by bottom-of-the-table West Bromwich Albion that confirmed Manchester City as Premier League champions and left him questioning his players’ attitude. Mourinho described United as “the masters in complicated football” and said they had been guilty of letting their 3-2 victory against Manchester City go to their heads, arguing that they would not be able to sustain a better challenge next season until Paul Pogba, among others, had started to show more consistency. Continue reading...

José Mourinho calls for more respect as United close in on second place

• Manager says United have not received credit for successful season
• ‘It seems hard for people to praise the team and praise the boys’ Manchester United play the bottom team in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon and even though there seems to be a general acceptance that West Brom are as good as relegated, José Mourinho is taking no chances. The United manager stepped up training this past week because he did not want any complacency to creep in following victory in the Manchester derby. Winning at the Etihad meant United have kept up a 100% record since going out of the Champions League to Sevilla and it also allowed Mourinho to make a point. “We have beaten all the big teams around us, but the important thing now is to continue to pick up points in order to finish second,” he said. Continue reading...

José Mourinho calls for more respect as United close in on second place

• Manager says United have not received credit for successful season
• ‘It seems hard for people to praise the team and praise the boys’ Manchester United play the bottom team in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon and even though there seems to be a general acceptance that West Brom are as good as relegated, José Mourinho is taking no chances. The United manager stepped up training this past week because he did not want any complacency to creep in following victory in the Manchester derby. Winning at the Etihad meant United have kept up a 100% record since going out of the Champions League to Sevilla and it also allowed Mourinho to make a point. “We have beaten all the big teams around us, but the important thing now is to continue to pick up points in order to finish second,” he said. Continue reading...