If you are a Manchester United player currently on preseason tour with the squad, it’s probably best you look away and don’t read on.
Jose Mourinho absolutely slammed his current squad after a 4-1 International Champions Cup loss to Liverpool at the Big House in Michigan, pulling no punches following Manchester United’s second loss of preseason and fourth preseason game without a victory.
First, he was asked about the happiness of Alexis Sanchez at Manchester United with the Chilean star readying for his first full year with the Red Devils. He laid into his players ruthlessly.
“Look, do you want him to be very happy with the players he has around him?” Mourinho asked in his postgame press conference. “We are here just to survive and to have some not very ugly results. Alexis is the only striker we have. And the poor man is there trying his best.”
To be fair, he’s mostly right. The Manchester United squad is quite thin in its current state, with Juan Mata, Eric Bailly, Ander Herrera, and Luke Shaw the only first-teamers in the preseason group. Still, that’s brutal for a player to hear while looking to make a preseason impression on his manager.
“This is not our squad,” Mourinho said. “This is not my squad, this is not even half my squad. This is not even 30 percent of my squad.”
It didn’t stop there. Mourinho pleaded with his World Cup internationals receiving extra breaks to come back.
“I just hope the boys on deserved holidays, they take care of themselves a little bit & somebody wants to do what [Marcus] Rashford & [Phil] Jones do,” Mourinho said, “which is to be back a little bit earlier to try & help the team because for the beginning of the season we are going to be in trouble”
He continued, pulling Liverpool into his wake. “The atmosphere was good but I wouldn’t spend my money to watch these two teams,” he said, an odd comment given that the match was one of the few ICC games that actually produced an enjoyable product.
This isn’t the first time he’s complained about his young, thin preseason squad this summer. In fact, it’s been a repeated mantra for Mourinho over the last few weeks, saying 10 days ago, “I am worried because I am not training with all our players.” Then after a 0-0 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes, Mourinho repeated himself saying, “We are not a team. We’re a group of players from different teams.”
Finally, Mourinho was done criticizing his team, but laid into the referees. After a preseason match.
“The referees were called by the baseball federation, they thought it was a baseball game and they had to deal with a soccer game.”
I repeat, this is preseason. Someone get off Jose Mourinho’s lawn.