Under-fire Jose Mourinho insists he is ‘one of the greatest’ managers

Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho gestures from the touchline after the final whistle in the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford. (AFP)
Updated 31 August 2018
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Under-fire Jose Mourinho insists he is ‘one of the greatest’ managers

  • Mourinho ended a press conference following his side’s 3-0 home defeat to Tottenham on Monday by demanding respect from the media
  • In keeping with his recent self-justification, Mourinho even cited 18th century German philosopher Georg Hegel

MANCHESTER: Jose Mourinho insisted on Friday he is one of the world’s best managers in a continued defense of his managerial record despite Manchester United’s recent struggles.
Mourinho ended a press conference following his side’s 3-0 home defeat to Tottenham on Monday by demanding respect from the media.
United also lost, 3-2, at Brighton the week before, but the Portuguese launched into a fierce defense of his record.
“I am the manager of one of the greatest clubs in the world but I am also one of the greatest managers in the world,” said Mourinho.
That was the start of another edgy exchange between Mourinho and journalists in which he was asked whether he could still claim to be one of the greatest managers in the world should he fail to win a league title with United.
And, in keeping with his recent self-justification, Mourinho even cited 18th century German philosopher Georg Hegel.
“Of course,” said Mourinho. “Hegel says the truth is in the whole, the truth is always in the whole.
“Do you ask that question to the manager that finished third in the Premier League or fourth? To the manager who finished fifth?“
When it was pointed out that Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had faced a similar line of questioning last season, Mourinho cited the German’s record of never having won a European trophy.
“Because he never won anything in international (competition), for example. That’s his problem, I tell you what I think, how I feel. And I answer the question.”
When Mourinho was pressed further, and quizzed as to whether his best days were behind him, the United manager reiterated his stance that finishing second behind a record-breaking Manchester City last season was one of his greatest achievements.
“I had great success last season and that’s what you probably don’t want to admit,” he added.
“I analyze my performance, myself and for me it is more important what I think than what you think.
“I won eight (league) titles, I am the only manager in the world that won in Italy, Spain and England and by winning eight titles — not small titles or countries — my second position last season is one of my greatest achievements in football. I think.”
One of the few positives from United’s start to the season has been left-back Luke Shaw’s return to form.
Shaw has not only won his place back in the United team but also been selected by England manager Gareth Southgate for the forthcoming internationals with Spain and Switzerland.
“He played three very good matches and is not easy to play three very good matches when your team loses two of them,” said Mourinho.
“Mentally, physically he is stronger; tactically he has a better understanding and we are very happy for him. It is an extraordinary thing for him.”


Virgil van Dijk sets sights on an awesome foursome of trophies for Liverpool

Updated 20 September 2018
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Virgil van Dijk sets sights on an awesome foursome of trophies for Liverpool

LIVERPOOL: Virgil van Dijk wants to create history with Liverpool this season as he set his sights on an unprecedented quadruple of trophies.
The Anfield outfit are full of confidence after recording six successive wins at the start of a season for the first time since 1961.
Having reached the Champions League final in the previous campaign, they opened up this one with a thrilling 3-2 victory over Paris Saint-Germain thanks to an injury-time strike from Roberto Firmino after the French champions had pulled back a two-goal deficit.
While pundits have suggested Liverpool should prioritize the Premier League, van Dijk said they have the belief to do even better.
“Everyone is excited, feeling good, wanted to be part of this,” he said. “We know the season is very long, four competitions to play and we want to win everything. That’s basically our mindset. You need to have ambitions.
“With the size of this club, the people around here and with the history, we want to try to win everything. It’s going to be hard, we know it’s something very difficult to do, but we are going to try. That’s what we are here for.
“I’ve enjoyed every bit since I arrived here and hope to keep going. I want to win things, create memories here and write history as well with all of these boys.”
The Dutch defender also feels rivals will see Liverpool as contenders for the big prizes having overcome Neymar and Co.
“We were not in the [Champions League] final last season for no reason,” he added. “I think we should have already got the respect, but this season is new.
“Everyone starts over and we need to show it in every game. We need to keep going, keep improving, but also enjoy it. It’s the highest stage.
“If you are going to be on the pitch and you don’t believe it [that you can beat teams like this] then you need to stay home. You need to believe in your team. I have the belief. I’m enjoying it. You want to play in these games, you want to play these clubs. I think it’s a great time to be a Liverpool player.
“If you look at the team, the whole squad, players who are not even in there and have so much potential, so much quality, it says a lot about our team.”