Jose Mourinho’s first press call: The key messages

Date published: Tuesday 5th July 2016 2:52

New Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has given his first press conference since taking over from Louis van Gaal.

We look at some of the key messages which came out of Old Trafford on Tuesday.


On what he would he would now call himself after the self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ and ‘Happy One’ monikers
The other two times I was arriving at the country, this is a different one. I was sacked by Chelsea and then I stayed in the same country, the same competition with the same faces in front of me so it is nothing new for me really. I don’t like the denomination people use like ‘dream job’ – it is not a dream job, it is reality. The reality is I think it is a job everyone wants and not many have a chance to have and I have it.”


On taking over at Old Trafford
I know obviously the responsibility, the expectation, the legacy, the history of this club; I know what the fans expect from me and I this challenge doesn’t make me nervous because my history in the last 10 years or more was always to lead with big clubs. I think it comes in the right moment of my career, I feel very prepared, very stable and with a great motivation. I am where I want to be: in this club, in this country, in the domestic cups.


On lack of Champions League football
I feel a bit frustrated I am not playing in the Champions League. I don’t hide I chase Sir Alex’s record in the Champions League for matches as a manager. Hopefully it is only one season I am not there.


On his planned style for United
I was never very good playing with the words or hiding behind words and hiding behind philosophies. I was always much more aggressive in my approach with the risks that can bring. It would be easy to focus on the last three years and the fact that we haven’t qualified for the Champions League and say ‘Let’s work and try and be back to the Champions League, try and be back in the top four’. I prefer to be more aggressive and say ‘We want to win’. You can win a short competition, a couple of matches without playing well, but you cannot win competitions without playing well. What is ‘playing well’? It is scoring more goals than the opponents, conceding less, making your fans proud because you give everything and you win. It is an aggressive approach by myself. I want everything.


On new signings
We made a nucleus of four priorities, four positions to give a certain balance to the squad, to give a certain push in terms of quality and the qualities I need and want. I am more a manager that likes specialists and not so much the multi-functional players. We decided on four targets; from this four we have three (Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the soon-to-be-confirmed Henrikh Mkhitaryan). Until we have the fourth we are still working hard. When we have the fourth I breathe, we all breathe, and then we are stable.


On facing old foe Pep Guardiola, newly installed at Manchester City
To speak about one manager, one club, one enemy I don’t think it is right. It is one thing to be a in a two-horse race like I was in Spain or in Italy it was three teams fighting for the title, then that kind of approach makes sense. In the Premier League it doesn’t make sense at all. If you focus on one opponent, the others will be laughing so I am not going to be part of it.


On criticism of his apparent lack of bringing through youth-team players
You know how many young players I promoted to the first team from academies? Forty-nine. Some of them are big names, they are Champions League winners in the Euros, playing for national teams. One lie repeated many times sometimes looks true but it will never be true.


On Ryan Giggs ending a 29-year association with the club
It is not my responsibility that Ryan is not in the club. The job Ryan wanted is the job the club decided to give me. So when you are speaking about did I offer him a job he could be what he wanted in the club. The club wanted to give him any important job in the club. He is brave, he is honest so good luck so if one day he wants to come back when I am here, I will never say no and if one day the club offers him the chance to be manager, I think it will something natural and the consequence of his success in his career.


On his relationship with former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson
He will always be welcome to the training ground. When his holidays are finished we will have lots of time to meet. He will always be welcome to the training ground and we will have a lot of time to share our personal stuff. His opinion is important to me, the same way so many legends love this club and they are in the pundits industry and every opinion will be important to me. I will try and learn from them.


On Wayne Rooney’s role next season
There are many jobs on the field. The one that is more difficult to find is the guy who has to put the ball in the net. Players change during the years, their qualities, their characteristics. It is normal a player at their age changes a bit but there is something that will never change which is the natural appetite to put the ball in the net. Maybe he is not a striker, not a number nine any more but for me he will never be a number six, playing 50 metres from the goal.”

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