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
0

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.”


Simona Halep positive despite Dubai defeat by Belinda Bencic

Updated 21 February 2019
0

Simona Halep positive despite Dubai defeat by Belinda Bencic

  • Former world No.1 blames three-set loss on tiredness after nine matches in 13 days.
  • Halep has high hopes for the rest of 2019, saying her game is in good shape.

LONDON: Simona Halep is still certain a good year lies in store for her despite losing to Belinda Bencic in the Dubai quarterfinals.
The Romanian former world No. 1 was the favorite to win her second title in the emirate but ran out of steam as her Swiss opponent ran out 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 winner.
It was Halep’s ninth match in just 13 days and she admitted tiredness had caught up with her.
“It was really difficult physically. I was tired,” the world No. 2 said.

Bencic came from a set down to beat the favorite in the last-eight encounter in Dubai. (AFP) 


“After the second set, I felt like I’m getting cramping a little bit. It’s normal. I was sweating a lot.”
While, her fatigue was clear for all to see, Halep was not using it as an excuse, admitting Bencic, who has now beaten her in two of their three matches, was the deserved winner.
“Yeah, she played well. She played very well. In the end, she was a little bit stronger,” the Romanian said.
Having lost in the Qatar final last weekend and failed to make the last-four in Dubai you might think Halep would be disappointed with her Middle East stint. She was, however, far from glum and revealed she is looking forward to landing more titles to add to her collection during the rest of the year.

Cheerio from Halep after her defeat to the Swiss. (AFP) 


“I think were three good weeks. Tough weeks. A lot of tension, a lot of pressure. Also the Fed Cup,” she said.
“I take only positive things. I had great matches. My level is good. Physically also I’m good. But day by day I had to play, so is not easy.
“I’m confident for the next tournaments.”