Jose Mourinho believes Manchester United failed to evolve under his predecessors David Moyes and Louis van Gaal, describing their tenures as an “empty period” for the club.
United have struggled to replicate the success that saw them become the major force in the Premier League under Six Alex Ferguson, who guided the club to the last of their 20 top-flight titles four years ago.
Ferguson’s successor Moyes was sacked after 10 months in charge while early promise under Van Gaal fizzled out, even though the Dutchman ended his reign by winning the FA Cup.
Mourinho won two trophies in his maiden season at Old Trafford – including the Europa League which ensured United would play in the Champions League this term.
But the former Chelsea and Real Madrid manager believes he inherited a side that were burdened by past successes.
He told the Sunday Times:
“There was an evolution in the other clubs; there was no evolution in this club.
In all the areas that make a team successful I think we stopped in time.
“That was quite an empty period in the club with no evolution in areas that are important.
It was the weight of the past on the shoulders of the players, managers, even boards, even probably owners, because when you are used to win and win and win, and suddenly you stop, it’s like a heavy burden.
“Today, we have better working conditions, a better medical department, a better analysis department, a better scouting department, a better media department, and in many cases we did it without changing the people, which is quite important.”