Alexis Sanchez was ruled out at least until new year but Diogo Dalot is line to get his Premier League debut confirmed Jose Mourinho in his press conference before the Southampton game.
The press conference this time around saw a passionate Mourinho defending himself and his players. So, here, we’d be looking what all he had to say yesterday about today’s game.
First up, the all important team news:
“The first thing I can say is that in every club, when a player is not playing it is a simple manager’s decision. In our club when a player does not play it is always because of the player is not behaving and has disciplinary issues. Of course that is not the case again. He has an important injury, I don’t want to risk by saying for how long he will be out but from the top of my experience I would say he is not playing this year. The opportunities will always come. Phil Jones was not playing. Lindelof got injured and Jones had the opportunity to play against Young Boys. It will happen all over the place I believe. For the other game Luke Shaw was suspended and now we have Ashley Young with four yellow cards. Who knows when the fifth is arriving? Players must be ready. In this case some are going away to the medical room and some are coming back. For example this weekend will be the first call for Dalot. He is ready now. He had an important injury, surgery, then a second injury in the national team when he was coming up, when he was already playing against Young Boys and Derby County, when he was almost here. But now he has been training for two weeks and we think he is ready now.”
Then, Jose spoke about turning the season around:
“Yeah I told that before Crystal Palace, it was November but was for me the start of a period and we lost two points, we need points and we have now in spite of a Champions League match in December but is a Champions League match different, we can now focus on the Premier League, not even cup matches yet, cup is for January and we need points.
“We want to improve our position in the table, we want to close the gap to the top four, we want to be smelling these positions, if not there then just behind then just smelling for the second part of the season. But everybody for different reasons need points so it’s not like we go to Southampton and they don’t need, is not just one team for high level of motivation. So we are going to have a very difficult match against a team that I know are not going to have any problems, the team, squad is good, the club is very well organised for many many years, they are not going to stay in that part of a table for a long time so difficult match for us.”
Asked about inconsistency, Jose Mourinho said the following:
Depends. I feel that in some matches the way we start is not that intense, emotional, aggressive way where I would like the team to start, other times like for example against Young Boys we had that start I imagine what the game could be after 10 minutes the result 2-0. Sometimes it’s because of efficiency. We don’t score chances that we have and chances in this case, goals have a huge impact in the way the game goes, obviously Young Boys wouldn’t defend the way they did if after 10 mins they are losing 2-0, sometimes is because of efficiency, other times it is because of the way we approach the game, and obviously it’s a little confusing, because all of the work is based on strong starts and being intense and aggressive since the beginning.”
Mourinho on Alexis Sanchez:
No scans yet. But the player is experienced, the player knows what the injury is and also from the top of my experience, just the painful scream and the way the injury happened I know it’s going to be for a long time. Is not the little muscular injury that in one week or 10 days the player is ready, is for me and also for Alexis, the feelings before the scans is that the grade is different than the Lindelof one and the Lindelof one was not an easy one so I think Alexis has what I used to call an aggressive muscular injury.”
Mourinho feels Fellaini gets more appreciation now:
I think now he’s getting [the credit], I think until I came probably no but I think now everyone gives him what he deserves. Everybody knows Marouane is not Maradona but everyone knows what Marouane is and what he can give. In this moment, especially this season and also last season he did many times what strikers couldn’t do which is score goals in important moments. I know him very well and I know the positions he can play, the jobs he can do, this season you saw him as a third central defender against Burnley and you saw him as a striker and as a number eight, which is basically the position where Marouane has more balance and know how but he’s very important in both boxes, in the first third and in the last third. Now people knows what Marouane is and he also feels that good feeling.”
Mourinho’s latest De Gea update:
“I think David’s performance you have to say for 92 mins to be David there or myself would be the same, I can kick as well as him and zero saves, zero shots, to be David or myself would be the same. Don’t say it was an amazing performance, it was a zero performance with a save that only the best goalkeeper in in the world can make and that’s a fair analysis of his performance. He didn’t touch the ball and against Crystal Palace he didn’t touch the ball. When he needs to touch the ball he’s the best, he’s the best. He wants to stay, of course, I want him to stay of course, he’s the level of player Manchester United needs. Manchester United needs the best players in the world, if we want to be Manchester United we need the best player in the world. We have the best goalkeeper in the world. Obviously, the manager wants him to stay, the board wants him to stay, David wants him to satay, his agent is not the kind of agent that is manipulative like others, his agent lets him think and decide by himself so the point is to agree the contract that the club wants to give and that the player wants to accept… and this is just my feeling, they are going to finish well.”
Mourinho then spoke about history and tradition in the transfer market:
“Is Manchester United by its history, by its dimension, bigger than Tottenham? But can you buy Tottenham’s best players? No, because they don’t sell. Of course, they are so powerful, they can say no. A few years ago, who was Tottenham’s best player? Carrick. Berbatov. Can we go there now and bring Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Eriksen, Son? Can we go there and bring those players here? No. So who is more powerful now? Them or us? Football has changed. It’s more difficult to buy players of a high, high, high level. Before, the smaller clubs were almost begging the big clubs ‘get my best players, I need to sell – please’. In this moment, they don’t want to sell. The transfer market is very difficult unless the clubs want to go to what I call crazy numbers. You have no chance in the market unless you go to crazy numbers, or instead you go to what you call the second-level players & still have crazy numbers. Honestly, I don’t think we are going to sign. If we do, I would say one player. I don’t see us going more than that.”
Mourinho then spoke about the media agenda on him and Manchester United:
“In United, every time a player is not playing there’s always a rumour, always a problem. The player must have misbehaved, or the manager had a fight with him. It only happens here, you make me feel very special because I’m clearly different from everyone else. At Chelsea when Willian doesn’t play there is no problem with him & Sarri. It is never a problem when Jesus doesn’t get a game at City, it’s just a normal Pep decision. When Fabinho and Keïta don’t play for Liverpool they still love Jürgen and Jürgen loves them. I was not happy a player (Rashford) missed a chance, that’s all. The next day a friend sent a clip of Ronaldo missing a chance and Alex Ferguson shouting at him in beautiful Scottish. That moment killed Ronaldo’s career. He was never the same player after that.”