Jose Mourinho, manager of Manchester United spent almost fifteen minutes defending his record as a manager in a press conference.
The former Chelsea and Real Madrid manager received criticism following his side’s exit from the Champions League at the hands of Sevilla in the round of 16.
Mourinho, who arrived at the conference with a prepared speech, began by saying: “I am alive. I am here.”
He went on to talk about previous United managers’ plight in Europe: “In seven years with four different managers, once not qualified for Europe, twice out in the group [stage] and the best was a quarter final, this is football heritage.”
Following the match earlier in the week, Mourinho stated that he had “no regrets” and that the exit from the competition was “nothing new” for the Red Devils, using his own victory at Old Trafford when he was in charge of Porto as an example.
However a lot of Manchester United fans (understandably) do not share their manager’s approach to the result and fans and pundits alike have begun to question his tactics.
Sevilla’s defence is not too good.
They conceded 5 goals v Atletico in 90 mins.
5 goals v Real Madrid in 90 mins.
5 goals v Spartak in 90 mins.
5 goals v Betis in 90 mins.
5 goals v Eibar in 90 mins.
1 goal v Manchester United in 180 mins.
Mourinho tactics have been brilliant.
— Michael Yokhin (@Yokhin) March 13, 2018
The fact that all 7 of the other clubs will probably be hoping to draw Sevilla today in the Champions League draw sums up how disappointing Manchester United were on Tuesday.
— John Bennett (@JohnBennettBBC) March 16, 2018
Manchester United right now is a shambles, and it’s been coming for a while. Against Sevilla however, this was the tipping point for Jose Mourinho as manager. He is not getting the most out of his best players, & he has set them up for failure. That’s exactly what’s happened.
— Adam Joseph (@AdamJosephSport) March 14, 2018
Since reaching the final of the Champions League in the 2010/11 season, United have struggled to reach the same heights in the competition. The following season saw them drop to the Europa League after failing to progress from their group for the knock-out stage of the tournament; the same happened in 2015/16 where they were knocked out by Liverpool in the round of 16 in the Europa League.
Other years in the Champions League saw them go out to Real Madrid in the Round of 16 (2012/13) and Bayern Munich in the quarter-final (2013/14)
During those years, United have had four managers – five if you include Ryan Giggs when he took over as interim player-manager in the April of the 2013/14 season – but, in the same time, none have gone further than Davis Moyes in the Champions League who was in charge when they lost to Bayern Munich.
Manchester United and the ‘special one’ will have to regroup quickly ahead of their FA Cup quarter final against Premier League opponents Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday to retain any hope of winning silverware this season with their city rivals running away at the top of the league.