A Jose Mourinho quote from 2019 has resurfaced and highlights the state Manchester United were in at the time and how their recent slide should come as no great surprise.
Mourinho joined Man Utd in 2016 after six months out of the game following his second exit from Chelsea.
He guided the Red Devils to League Cup and Europa League glory in his first season. Those two trophies remain the most recent successes in Man Utd’s history, despite the massive investment into the squad.
Roughly €800 million has been spent on players since that Europa League victory, and that doesn’t even include the vast amount of wages paid to each player in the five years since the triumph under Mourinho.
‘The Special One’ lasted just over two years in the Old Trafford dugout before leaving December 2018. He was replaced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who was given the role full-time after an interim period following Mourinho’s departure.
Man Utd finished seventh in Mourinho’s first season, but the Portuguese head coach masterminded a second-place finish the following year. However, that proved to be his final entire season after a poor start to the 2018/19 campaign.
Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic and Victor Lindelof were all signed ahead of Mourinho’s second season, and those moves represented the club’s faith in Mourinho.
It was repaid by the second, as mentioned above, placed finish. However, Mourinho’s time at the club was soon called, and since then, it’s been a struggle for Man Utd. The 2021/22 season is their worst ever in the Premier League, and incoming manager Erik ten Hag has a tremendous job.
What did Mourinho say?
He was slightly mocked at the time, given his successes with Chelsea and Inter, but Mourinho admitted:
“One of the best jobs of my career was to finish second with Man Utd in the Premier League.
“I keep saying this because people don’t know what’s behind the scenes.”
Man Utd has one of the most pricey squads in world football, yet will be nowhere near the Champions League places once the season is over. Despite heavy investment, it’s clear that the club need to spend more to compete with the top teams once again.
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