Mourinho claims ‘things could’ve been different’ at Man Utd if he had Ten Hag’s ‘level of support’

Lewis Oldham
Mourinho on Man Utd
Jose Mourinho comments on Manchester United.

Jose Mourinho has reflected on his time at Manchester United and explained why he left the Premier League giants feeling “sad”.

Mourinho was Man Utd’s manager between 2016 and 2018. He helped them win the Europa League, EFL Cup and Community Shield but he was let go after they endured a miserable start to the 2018/19 campaign.

Man Utd’s decline post-Sir Alex Ferguson is still ongoing as Erik ten Hag is enduring a rough season and it’s being suggested that he could be replaced in the summer. 

The Premier League outfit edged past Coventry City on penalties on Sunday to reach the FA Cup final but they are likely to miss out on Europe ahead of new co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s first full season at Old Trafford.

Man Utd have been blighted by poor recruitment in recent years so one of Ratcliffe’s priorities will be to overhaul their transfer model.

Mourinho has revealed that there are a “couple of players” still at Man Utd who he “didn’t want five or six years ago”.

“I didn’t have that level of support…”

The veteran boss made this revelation during an interview with The Telegraph. He has also claimed that he “didn’t have” the “level of support” that’s being afforded to Ten Hag.

“My relationship with [former chief executive] Ed Woodward was good. Good as in the personal point of view. Even now we send an SMS,” Mourinho said during an interview with The Telegraph.

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“But from a professional point of view, it was not the best. I am who I am. I am a football man. Ed comes from a different background and what Ten Hag has in his time at Manchester United I didn’t have.

“I didn’t have that level of support. I didn’t have that level of trust. So I left sad, because I felt I was in the beginning of the process. In some moments, I felt if they trusted me and believed in my experience things could be different.

“There are still a couple of players still there I didn’t want five or six years ago. I think they represent a little bit of what I consider not the best professional profile for a club of a certain dimension.

“But I did my job there. Time always tells the truth. I would love Manchester United to succeed.”

Mourinho butted heads with Paul Pogba during his time at Man Utd. The midfielder has been banned for four years after testing positive for DHEA (a banned substance used to boost testosterone levels).

The manager claims Pogba “came back different” after winning the World Cup in 2018.

“The only thing I say is that it happens with almost everybody in some moments of your career: you lose a little bit the sense of who you are and what you have to be,” Mourinho added.

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“The season after France won the [2018] World Cup, I think Paul came back different. The World Cup brought him into a dimension where football was not the most important thing for him.

“Sharing the philosophy of everyone; everyone with the same level of responsibilities. I am not enjoying Paul’s situation at all.”

Regarding player power at United, he continued: “When you are supported by the power, by the hierarchy, the message that passes through is very positive in the group.

“When you are not supported … because the player is more important or what the player represents is more important – then you are in a fragile situation. Even if you are a coach with so much experience as was my case.”