Mourinho launches 12-minute defence of his Manchester United record

March 17, 2018

LONDON: José Mourinho defended his Manchester United record in an extraordinary 12-minute monologue after being widely criticised in the wake of the Champions League defeat by Sevilla.
He stated his players needed to “grow up” and that the club’s “football heritage” of recent poor European performances meant there should be no surprise at Tuesday’s last-16 exit. The manager also said he was going nowhere and pointed out it was only 10 months since he won a trophy.
Mourinho, whose side host Brighton in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Saturday, defiantly read a prepared sheet of statistics regarding United in Europe since 2011, when they reached the final.
“There is football heritage,” he said. “And what [I inherited] is the last time Manchester United won the Champions League, which didn’t happen a lot of times, was in 2008. Since 2011: 2012, out in the group phase. In 2013, out at Old Trafford in the last 16, I was on the other bench [as Real Madrid manager].
“In 2014, out in the quarter-final. In 2015, no European football. In 2016, back to European football, out in the group phase, go to the Europa League and out in the second knockout.
“In 2017, play the Europa League, win it with me and United go back to the Champions League. In 2018, win the group phase with 15 points out of a possible 18, and lose at home in the last 16. So in seven years with four different managers, once not qualify for Europe, twice out in the group phase and the best was the quarter-final – this is football heritage.
“ We went out to a side that’s more successful than Manchester United in the last seven years in Europe. Do you think they didn’t have any players who could play in my team? I cannot name them – if I name them their agents will jump with happiness and they will say: ‘Tag, tag, price.’ In Sevilla, there are many players who would play in my team.
“The fans, they read what people write, they listen to what people say, and the people that write, the people that say, are people with a lot of ideas. Agencies