The contrast between Mourinho and Louis van Gaal was striking. Whil van Gaal spoke about philosophies, Mourinho spoke abour winning.
‘This is the job everyone wants’: Jose Mourinho on United job.
‘I was never very good at hiding behind words and philosophies.
‘I was always much more aggressive in my approach, with the risks that can bring, and it would be easy and even honest and pragmatic to focus on the last three years – on the fact that we don’t qualify for the Champions League and so on.
‘I could be quite pragmatic to say “let’s work and try and be back to the Champions League, try and be back to the top four”.
‘I prefer to be more aggressive and say we want to win.
‘What is playing well? It is scoring more goals than the opponents, conceding less, making your fans proud because you give everything and you win. It is everything at the same time.
‘I want everything. Of course we are not going to get everything but we want to. For many years success was just routine. I want the players to forget the last three years.
‘I don’t want the players to think we have to do better and finish fourth. Finish fourth is not the aim.
‘I would never be able to work without success. That is my nature and I have always to find the reasons why I have always many questions towards myself and the people working with me. That is my nature.’
That dig at van Gaal for settling for fourth was just a warm-up act for Mourinho, who also attacked LVG’s preference for players who can play multiple positions:
‘I am more a manager that likes specialists and not so much the multi-functional players because I am very clear in my approach.
‘Multifunctional players are like one or two, when you are in trouble you need someone who can fill but basically I want specialists.’
Mourinho bristled when challenged over his record of bringing young players through into the first team at other clubs, and the suggestion that his style would not fit with United’s desire to promote youth.
Visibly annoyed, he said:
‘You know how many players I promoted to the first team (at other clubs)? Forty-nine. Forty-nine. Two factors are very important here: sometimes you promote because you don’t have another choice because of injuries. The second is when you are not playing for big targets it is easier to bring them up outside the big moments.
‘My record with injuries is very low. Very low. I never promote players because of a need. I did it because of conviction. Last year was the only season in my career I was not fighting for the title.’
That last quote about injuries was another shot at van Gaal, as United had an atrocious record of injuries during his two years in charge.
Finally Mourinho ended his press conference with the kind of aggressive statement that has been missing from Old Trafford since Sire Alex Ferguson.
“Man United is a Champions League club and we have to make sure next July we are where it has to be.”