Jose Mourinho: Manchester United manager baffled by criticism

Jose Mourinho's second season at Manchester United is proving a bumpy ride.Knocked out of the Champions League...

Posted: Mar 22, 2018 10:07 AM
Updated: Mar 22, 2018 10:07 AM

Jose Mourinho's second season at Manchester United is proving a bumpy ride.

Knocked out of the Champions League by underdogs Sevilla, trailing local rivals Manchester City by 16 points in the English Premier League and having scored the fewest goals of any of the top four sides in the elite division, Mourinho is facing plenty of questions about his management of United.

Jose Mourinho says he can't understand the criticism he is receiving

United out of Champions League and heavily trail Manchester City in league

Says Manchester City 'better prepared' than United

But says United are in a good position to get second

"I understand the frustration, I understand the sadness of being knocked out in the Champions League, but I don't understand anything more than that," Mourinho told CNN Sport's Amanda Davies Wednesday after managing Usain Bolt in the Match of Friendship in Basel during the international break.

Nonetheless, for a growing section of United fans the "Special One" -- who delivered a defiant 12-minute rant when he addressed reporters Friday following the Champions League exit -- isn't so special anymore.

United's cautious approach was there for all to see against Sevilla -- who had racked up Europa League titles but never before made a Champions League quarterfinal -- leading to a 2-1 defeat on aggregate in the round of 16 earlier this month with all three goals coming at Old Trafford in the second leg.

It was the kind of display United fans in the Alex Ferguson era didn't witness very often, even if the legendary Scot wasn't always about playing free-flowing football.

Read: Mourinho under fire after European exit

United did manage to beat Brighton 2-0 Saturday to advance to the FA Cup semifinals but even that was a far from commanding display, with the Portuguese himself calling his team "scared" at the "Theatre of Dreams."

Things could get worse for second-place United before they get better.

Manchester City under Pep Guardiola -- who Mourinho famously dueled with in La Liga when they managed Barcelona and Real Madrid, respectively -- potentially could clinch the Premier League title in the Manchester derby on April 7 at the Etihad Stadium.

As well as running away with the Premier League, Guardiola's team is playing a style of football that has the critics purring, though Mourinho claims the the blue side of Manchester has been "better prepared" to achieve success.

Manchester City 'better prepared'

"In the history of football all around the world, not just in England, you had the biggest clubs with the moments of transition, you have the biggest clubs with moments of continuous and permanent victories and these are phases in the club," said Mourinho.

"And I think really at this moment looking to us in the Premier League we have one team, one club clearly better prepared than us in the past few years to be first and we have 18 clubs behind us. One in front of us, 18 behind us," he emphasized.

Manchester United have won more domestic titles than any other English club but Mourinho is adamant the Red Devils are in a transitional phase.

This despite United spending more than 145 million pounds ($205 million) in the pre-season transfer window and signing Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal in the January window. Indeed if Mourinho hinted of City's immense finances, United have also gone big in transfers.

When Mourinho arrived at Old Trafford, United splashed out a then world-record 89 million pounds ($125 million) on midfielder Paul Pogba -- seemingly currently frozen out. The former Real Madrid, Chelsea and Inter boss, according to reports, last year became the first manager to dish out one billion pounds ($1.4 billion) on transfers overall.

Read: English derby in Champions League

Read: Race for Golden Shoe intensifies

"Of course in the future we want to have 19 clubs behind us but this is the reality," said Mourinho, who added to his trophy haul by guiding United to the League Cup and Europa Cup double last term.

"And the reality is for people with brain, with sense, with common sense, with knowledge of what sports is, we are in a moment of transition.

"Being in a moment of transition and still manage to do what he did last season and win trophies and to do what we are trying to do this season, which is still trying to win a trophy, and try to be second, because in this moment it's the only top position that is possible for us to get.

"I think we are in a good position."

Visit our football page for more football stories

Prior to the Manchester derby, United play host to rejuvenated Swansea City on March 31.

And as Mourinho attempts to build on United's "good position," he made this promise to the United supporters.

"Usain has a double meaning for me -- it's the meaning of what he represents in the history of sports and also what he represents in the history of humanity.

"He is a Manchester United supporter and my feelings towards Manchester United supporters is that feeling that I will give everything I can, everything I have to try and make them happy."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 265146

Reported Deaths: 5777
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17741191
Hinds16891332
Harrison14279204
Rankin11239220
Jackson10917190
Lee9071145
Madison8599169
Jones6731118
Forrest6208124
Lauderdale6121192
Lowndes5544120
Lafayette520598
Lamar505865
Washington4933125
Bolivar4126109
Oktibbeha408382
Panola386981
Pontotoc377460
Monroe3686110
Warren3685103
Marshall357170
Union356864
Pearl River3495106
Neshoba3490154
Leflore3118109
Lincoln306788
Hancock294262
Sunflower291975
Tate280662
Alcorn273154
Pike270181
Itawamba269363
Scott260048
Yazoo256756
Prentiss253754
Coahoma249755
Copiah249749
Tippah249750
Simpson242872
Leake238167
Marion224273
Grenada223972
Covington221073
Adams215171
Wayne213734
Winston207671
George204739
Newton199946
Attala197064
Tishomingo194961
Chickasaw189344
Jasper181138
Holmes172068
Clay166837
Tallahatchie157235
Stone152525
Clarke148162
Calhoun141322
Smith130026
Yalobusha123335
Walthall114537
Greene113729
Noxubee113026
Montgomery112036
Carroll106822
Lawrence106817
Perry105131
Amite102126
Webster96824
Tunica89021
Claiborne88825
Jefferson Davis88430
Benton85823
Humphreys84724
Kemper80920
Quitman7139
Franklin70617
Choctaw63713
Wilkinson59825
Jefferson56821
Sharkey45217
Issaquena1606
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 441170

Reported Deaths: 6660
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson646811007
Mobile31620572
Madison28310217
Tuscaloosa21525275
Montgomery19954332
Shelby19335132
Baldwin17256189
Lee13205107
Morgan12639142
Etowah12107181
Calhoun11521206
Marshall10471123
Houston9009164
Limestone834981
Cullman8274124
Elmore8214110
DeKalb7894107
Lauderdale7871107
St. Clair7854130
Talladega6481112
Walker6036183
Jackson601545
Colbert549994
Blount547386
Autauga537662
Coffee462464
Dale410785
Franklin374950
Russell357515
Chilton345473
Covington339680
Escambia335444
Tallapoosa3149109
Dallas313296
Chambers304270
Clarke300236
Pike262531
Lawrence254155
Marion253761
Winston233642
Bibb222348
Geneva211547
Marengo209331
Pickens199631
Hale185244
Barbour182738
Fayette178629
Butler174460
Cherokee165731
Henry159925
Monroe152421
Randolph146436
Washington142327
Clay130546
Crenshaw124045
Macon122337
Cleburne121825
Lamar120222
Lowndes115536
Wilcox107922
Bullock103528
Perry100018
Conecuh97922
Sumter90527
Greene77923
Coosa63618
Choctaw51924
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 69°
Columbus
Cloudy
71° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 71°
Oxford
Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 64°
Starkville
Cloudy
70° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 70°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather