Memphis: I wasn’t good enough for Mourinho

The Netherlands international says it was easy for him to move to Lyon in January, having been starved of game time at Old Trafford

Memphis Depay has said that he feels he never earned the trust of Jose Mourinho at Manchester United, and so leaving Old Trafford was not difficult to do.

WATCH: Memphis wows in training

The Netherlands international was sold to Lyon in January for £16 million, having rarely featured under the Portuguese, who took charge at Old Trafford from Louis van Gaal in the summer of 2016. 

Memphis had only been at the Red Devils 12 months longer, but he felt it was the right time to bring his stay to an end and is pleased with the start he has made at Lyon.

“I have no bitterness towards Mourinho,” he told beIN Sport. “I did what I had to do in training. Of course, I didn’t understand his choices, but he was the boss. I had to accept those choices. I think I was not good enough for him. But it’s okay, I’m showing my quality here. 

“I’ll be back to the top and we’ll see what will happen.

“Leaving Manchester United? That was not complicated. I’m young, I need to play. 

“When I think about the last time I played a whole 90 minutes before coming here, it was a year ago. It’s incredible.”

The 23-year-old has made a positive start in France, scoring five times in nine Ligue 1 appearances, including a stunning goal from the halfway line against Toulouse last weekend. 

'It's something that motivates me' – Ibrahimovic loves Guardiola challenge

The Swede admits that he still gets fired up when he has the opportunity to play that Catalan, although he claims that it is not personal

Manchester United star Zlatan Ibrahimovic admits that he is extra motivated and gets adrenaline when facing former coach Pep Guardiola.

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The duo were together at Barcelona for a season in 2009-10, but their relationship was notoriously fractious and the striker made the move to AC Milan after only one season at Camp Nou.

Ibrahimovic and Guardiola find themselves in the Premier League, the striker at United and the manager at Manchester rivals City.

The 35-year-old Ibrahimovic said taking on Guardiola’s teams gave him more inspiration, although he insisted it was nothing personal.

“When I play against his team, it’s something that motivates me, it gives me adrenaline,” he told Fox Sports Italia.

“It’s not personal what I have. It’s part of the game.”

Ibrahimovic and Guardiola won the Spanish title in their season at Barca, with the Swede scoring 16 league goals.

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He Swede explained that his relationship with the former Bayern Munich coach changed quickly.

“First he called me every day to have me and from one day to the next I didn’t play anymore,” Ibrahimovic said.

Klopp backs Mourinho over fixture complaints

The United manager was supported by the Liverpool after his complaints about the fixtures piling up

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp backed Jose Mourinho over his complaints about Manchester United’s fixture pile-up.

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Mourinho is furious about a schedule which sees United face Middlesbrough at midday (local time) on Sunday, days after a Europa League win over Rostov.

Klopp’s team encountered a similar problem last season and the German said he supported Mourinho, reiterating that more needed to be done to help sides in European competition.

However, the Portuguese tactician was slammed by United great Roy Keane, who questioned whether the club was too big for Mourinho.

“It is all about using the experience you have and when you think of experience I heard what Jose Mourinho said and what the pundits think about it,” Klopp told UK newspapers.

“Last season we had the same experience. It was really hard.

“We played Villarreal and then Swansea at 12. If you want to help you should not do that. I know it is contracted, but 12 or 4pm? Don’t play then.

“Don’t make it more difficult than it should be. We thought the same. We thought it was really hard. That was an experience.”

Klopp’s men are fourth in the Premier League – six points ahead of United but having played two more games – and have a trip to Manchester City on Sunday. 

'He has banished Mourinho's ghost' – Carragher hails Conte as one of the best

The Portuguese’s status as number one in the eyes of Chelsea supporters has definitely come to an end in the view of the former Liverpool defender

Antonio Conte’s classy management means Chelsea supporters have moved on from Jose Mourinho for the first time in a decade, according to Jamie Carragher.

Fabregas better than ever – Conte

The former Liverpool defender, now a pundit, believes Chelsea fans had always yearned for Mourinho since his first spell in charge of the club came to an abrupt end in 2007.

But after watching Blues supporters goad the Manchester United boss for the second time this season in Monday’s FA Cup quarter-final victory, he thinks the ghost of Mourinho has finally been banished from Stamford Bridge.

“Would there have been a point in those early months when a section of the Chelsea support hankered for Mourinho still being their manager?” Carragher wrote in The Daily Mail.

Antonio Conte José Mourinho Chelsea Manchester United Premier League 03132017

Chelsea Manchester United N'Golo Kante

“You always felt after Mourinho left the first time, in September 2007, that Stamford Bridge yearned for him to come back.

“When he returned with Inter Milan in March 2010 and knocked Carlo Ancelotti’s Chelsea out of the Champions League, they pined for him even more.

“The hankering continued last season even after Mourinho was sacked, as the crowd turned on Chelsea’s players. Now the yearning is over. Monday night was the line in the sand.

“Conte has not allowed himself to be bullied and it felt like a huge moment on Monday when he stood up to Mourinho on the touchline as Chelsea knocked United out of the FA Cup.

“In many ways, it could be the moment Conte cemented his place in the affections of Chelsea’s fans.

“What Conte has proved in the last six months is that it was naive to think he would play second fiddle to the battle for supremacy between Pep Guardiola and Mourinho. This, make no mistake, is one of the finest managers in the business.

“Chelsea’s last Italian manager won the double in his first year, but that success – along with all the rest between Mourinho’s first spell ending and his second starting – felt like it had something to do with the Portuguese. The spine of that team was his team. 

“Now, though, Chelsea are moving into a different era and never did change feel more in the air than when the Stamford Bridge fans had a go at Mourinho during the FA Cup quarter-final.

“This feels like Conte’s Chelsea now. Not only has he shown himself to be a special manager, but he has banished the ghost of Mourinho.”

Man United fined £20k for misconduct

Carragher feels Mourinho has failed miserably in his attempts to rile Conte this season, adding: “Mourinho had tested Conte before, goading him and sniping at him. 

“It all started on the afternoon Chelsea dismantled Manchester United 4-0 in October, when Mourinho shouted down the Italian’s ear at the end of the game and accused him of lacking respect.

“There were other issues, not least on February 11 when Mourinho said, ‘Chelsea are a very good defensive team and defended well with lots of players’. There was another dig last week, when Mourinho said he was, ‘Surprised by the way Chelsea play’.

“It is nonsense to say Chelsea are defensive. There is a huge difference between being a defensive team and being very good defensively. Conte’s Chelsea are the latter.”

'He deserved to be sacked' – Mourinho offers sardonic backing to Karanka exit

The coach took the club up to the Premier League and his departure from Middlesbrough was greeted in scathing fashion by the Manchester United

Jose Mourinho has offered sarcastic approval of Aitor Karanka’s departure as Middlesbrough boss this week, claiming “he deserved to be sacked” for his success.

Man Utd fined £20,000 for misconduct

Karanka, who was Mourinho’s assistant at Real Madrid, left his post at the Riverside Stadium by mutual consent, with his side 19th in the Premier League with 11 games to go.

Boro chairman Steve Gibson insisted that the decision was a mutual one and said the former defender would be “relieved” to be given a break after a tempestuous three and a half years at the club, in which he has clashed with senior players and members of the board on more than one occasion.

Mourinho offered pointed support of Claudio Ranieri following his shock sacking by champions Leicester City but, when asked for his view of Karanka’s exit, the Manchester United boss was of a more sardonic mindset.

“I think he deserves to be sacked,” he said, speaking ahead of United’s trip to the Riverside on Sunday.

“Because, in the first year, when he arrived, the team was going to League One and he saved the team. In the second year, he took them to Wembley to play in the play-off final. In the third year, he had direct promotion. I think, in the fourth year, he deserves to be sacked.”

I’d like to thank @Boro for a wonderful opportunity and the players, staff and all the people at the club who I have worked with. #UTB 1/3

— Aitor Karanka (@Karanka) March 16, 2017

United’s meeting with Boro comes at the end of a week in which they have faced an FA Cup quarter-final away to Chelsea and a Europa League last-16 second leg at home to Rostov.

Mourinho hit out at Premier League bosses for their scheduling of the Boro match so soon after the 1-0 win over the Russian side, with Paul Pogba, Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo all picking up injuries during that match.

However, the former Chelsea boss insisted he would not consider fielding a team made up largely of players from the youth academy – headed by Nicky Butt – as it would be unfair on Boro’s fellow strugglers.

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“I don’t sacrifice. I don’t sacrifice the game at Chelsea. I cannot sacrifice anything,” he said. “If I do then I would go to Chelsea with a Nicky Butt team, like Manchester City did a couple of years ago, and I’d be here today with Pogba, [Antonio] Valencia, Rojo – everyone fresh.

“We try to go for every game with the maximum potential we have. But if someone tells us we’re going to be playing with 10 men, I’d let the Nicky kids be running up and down.

“Do you want me to go to Middlesbrough and play with Nicky Butt boys? What would Hull City, Sunderland, the teams that play against Middlesbrough for the relegation battle say? We cannot do this. We go with what we have.”