Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has continued his assault on his own club’s recent European history with more scathing remarks.
The Portuguese, who claimed that exiting Europe was ‘nothing new’ for United after bowing out to Sevilla on Tuesday, defended his comments on Friday during his press conference ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup clash with Brighton in an incredible 12-minute rant, reminding fans of their luck in the Champions League since they reached the final in 2011.
Bearing notes in hand, he let off one of the most astounding tirades in his career, even by his standards, taking everyone willing to listen through the club’s travails since the days of Sir Alex Ferguson.
“I say to the fans that the fans are the fans and have the right to their opinions and reactions. But there is something that I used to call football heritage,” he declared, via Sky Sports.
“I don’t know if, I try to translate from my Portuguese, which is almost perfect, to my English, which is far from perfect, football heritage.
“And what a manager inherits is something like the last time Manchester United were in the Champions League final which didn’t happen a lot of times, was in 2011. Since 2011, 2012: Out in the group phase, the group was almost the same group we had this season. Benfica, Basel and Galati from Romania. Out in the group phase.
“In 2013 out at Old Trafford in the last 16, I was on the other bench. In 2014, out in the quarter-finals. In 2015, no European football. In 2016, comes back to European football, out in the group phase, goes to Europa League and on the second knockout out of the Europa League.
“In 2017, play Europa League, win Europa League with me and goes back to Champions League. In 2018, win the group phase with 15 points out of a possible 18 and loses 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. And if you want to go to the Premier League, the last victory was 12/13 and in the four consecutive seasons United finish seventh, fourth, fifth and sixth. So in the last four years the best was fourth.
“This is football heritage. Means that when you start the process you are here, you are there or you are there, is heritage. And if the fans that I will always respect, always respect, if the fans and many of them are the ones you speak with, many of them are the ones I speak with and I am very lucky, but the ones who speak with you are very disappointed and the ones I speak with know what is football heritage.
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“What is a process and when I arrive. When I arrived in Real Madrid, do you know how many players had played in the quarter-finals of the Champions League? Xabi Alonso with Liverpool, Iker Casillas with Real Madrid and Ronaldo with Manchester United. All the others not even a quarter-finals, that’s football heritage.”
“Those stats are real,” he continued. “I give you a couple more: In the last seven years the worst position of Manchester City in the Premier League was fourth, in the last seven years Manchester City was champions twice and if you want to say three times, they were second twice. That’s heritage.
Pretty heavy stuff from the Portuguese there, but no one can accuse him of lying. However, this does bear similarity to the rant he let off just before he was axed by Chelsea in 2015.