Jose Mourinho spoke for four minutes and 19 seconds on Friday to preview Manchester United huge clash with Tottenham Hotspur on Monday (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).
That was all.
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Mourinho turned up early for his press conference, meaning plenty of journalists missed out on the chance to speak with him, and he then gave short, rather curt answers to questions about his relationship with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and Paul Pogba’s comments after their shock defeat at Brighton last weekend.
The Portuguese coach said his relationship with Woodward is fine despite reports suggesting he is unhappy about the lack of incoming transfers in the summer, and when asked about reports stating there is a strained relationship here’s what Mourinho said.
“I don’t know 10% of what is written,” Mourinho said. “I’m not the right guy to answer.”
When asked about Pogba, United’s captain for their opening two games of the season, saying he didn’t have “the right attitude” in the game against Brighton, Mourinho illuminated us further…
“Paul has to answer by his words. If you want any explanation about Paul’s words you must get him and ask him,” Mourinho said.
Asked what he hopes from United against Tottenham on Monday, he was even more talkative.
“To play well and win, don’t make mistakes, play well and win. That is what we want,” Mourinho said.
So, what is all this about?
Mourinho obviously isn’t happy with media reports suggesting he and Pogba have fallen out and that there is a rift between himself and Woodward, so he isn’t playing ball. Add into that the fact he was criticized for saying Man City have a lack of class after a documentary on their title-winning 2017-18 campaign was released and Mourinho’s negative mood is carrying over from his summer of moaning Stateside about a lack of transfers, players returning late from the World Cup and more.
He’s switched on the negativity before, many times, and the last significant time was during his second spell in charge of Chelsea when things began to unravel. Mourinho’s surly demeanor has certainly been more prevalent in recent months and for a large chunk of his two years in charge of United.
It doesn’t seem likely to end anytime soon and it seems like he is hoping to create an “us versus them” mentality which has worked out so well for him in the past.