London: Jose Mourinho said on Wednesday he has a ‘future without Manchester United’, speaking for the first time since he was sacked by the Premier League club.
The Old Trafford hierarchy sacked Mourinho in the aftermath of Sunday’s 3-1 defeat at Anfield that left the 20-times champions an embarrassing 19 points behind league leaders Liverpool after just 17 matches. But the former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Inter Milan boss refused to go into details about his departure.
‘I don’t change. And what I did when I left Chelsea, for example, is the same as that I’m going to do now,’ Mourinho told Sky Sports News. ‘I keep the good things and I don’t speak about anything that happened in the club. We could speak about so many good things. It’s finished,’ he added.
‘Manchester United has a future without me and I have a future without Manchester United, so why should I now be sharing with you or even with the supporters, any of my feelings? It’s over. That’s me and that’s the way I’ve always been and I was always very critical of managers that leave clubs and then they come out and they speak about details of what happened and who is to blame for this kind of situation — that’s not me. I just want to finish, it happened yesterday and I’d like to say it’s game over.’A
‘And I just hope that you media respect this. Until I get back to football I think I have the right to live my normal life, like I’m going to do now. I go for my little shopping, I go for my little walk and that’s what I want to do. Manchester United is the past.’
Former United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was announced as Mourinho’s temporary replacement on Wednesday.
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is the bookmakers’ favourite for the permanent role, with former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane also tipped for the job. But Solskjaer — and whoever eventually fills Mourinho’s shoes — has an enormous task to restore the club to its former glories.
Questioned about Paul Pogba’s influential role in France’s World Cup triumph earlier this year, Mourinho’s sharp response that he needed to try harder for United set in motion a chain of events that contributed to his downfall.
Mourinho was already frustrated by Pogba’s apparent unfocused attitude and perceived lack of effort in a United shirt, so when his club’s record signing was transformed into a rampaging figure in midfield for France, his manager tried to shame him into action with his acerbic assessment.
Pogba’s relationship with Mourinho was destined to get even worse as he was stripped of the vice-captaincy and feuded with the boss on the training ground. With several of United’s younger players looking up to Pogba, Mourinho had caused a huge rift in the squad and there were also palpable tensions with Alexis Sanchez, Antonio Valencia, Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial.
Morale in United’s dressing room is at a low ebb after such a divisive period and healing those wounds is essential is essential for those whoever takes on the mantle.