Jose Mourinho was defiant of his tactics and his players with pundits questioning the United team all season long
Manchester United face their nearest and their most historic rival Liverpool at Old Trafford. With both teams just a couple of points apart, Mourinho would be looking for a positive result to strengthen United’s hold of the second position and in turn, piling misery on Klopp’s men.
Despite being at home, many pundits are expecting the Portuguese manager to instruct his players to “park the bus” to neutralize Liverpool’s fearsome attack. Several former players have criticised Mourinho for using defensive tactics, not suited to a club like Manchester United, and have also criticised United’s performance this season.
Speaking on the eve of the match, the 55-year-old took the opportunity to hit back at United’s detractors. He said:
“Some of the guys with an opinion couldn’t resolve their own problems when they were managers. So they are giving opinions like they have solutions for everything but it is not like that.”
“But they are in a position where they can give opinions about everything, sometimes I read and I listen, sometimes I don’t.”
“This week I was more focused on enjoying Champions League and Europa League and preparing my match than be focused on opinions.”
Gary Neville, for one, has been extremely condemning of his former club’s game. Mourinho’s swipe was particularly meant for the Englishman who had a disastrous spell as the manager of Valencia.
MOURINHO PRESS CONFERENCE:
"Some of the guys with an opinion couldn’t resolve their own problems when they were managers.
They’re giving opinions like they have solutions for everything, but it is not like that.” – Mourinho's reply to Neville's comments… #MUFC #RedArmy pic.twitter.com/iUELZJMCF8
— UnitedReds.com (@UnitedReds_com) March 9, 2018
Manchester United will also be looking go through to the last-8 of the Champions League just like their opposition on Sunday when they welcome Sevilla on Wednesday. However, Mourinho was quick to dismiss that importance of any match outweighs the other and also downplayed the rivalry between the two most successful clubs in English football. He added:
“For me, it is just a big match, two historical clubs not just in England but the world and in this moment important points for top four, important points for second. But I still don’t look to some matches as special opponents, it is just a big match because we are speaking about two big clubs.”
“We have three matches now, Liverpool, Sevilla and Brighton. If you ask me, I can’t choose one to be the most important, I could not choose, so for me, the most important one is Liverpool, because it is the next.”
Mourinho says that Liverpool is no bigger than any other game. Is he trolling?! pic.twitter.com/jcFK6z34Pg
— Football Daily (@footballdailyuk) March 9, 2018
United go into the weekend’s clash on the end of a morale-boosting 3-2 win over Crystal Palace. While Mourinho might still park the bus against Liverpool, there is no denying that his defensive tactics do work. The Red Devils second position and their European campaign gives credibility to Mourinho’s tactics. It’ll be interesting to see how Mourinho sets his team up for the weekend’s Clash of the Titans.