Thursday 27 October 2016

Cantona: 'Jose can claim title'

United legend says 'successful players' are key to Premier League win

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho
Manchester United legend Eric Cantona

Eric Cantona is adamant Manchester United can win the Premier League title under Jose Mourinho this season.

United have made a patchy start to the league campaign with four wins, two defeats and one draw to leave them five points adrift of leaders City.

Mourinho's side faces a testing period this month, starting against Liverpool at Anfield on Monday before they end the week at Chelsea on Sunday, with a Europa League fixture with Fenerbahce sandwiched in between.

Cantona won four titles in five seasons with United to instigate their period of domestic domination and is convinced they can prevail again, despite the intense competition.

"It's just the beginning. Manchester can still be champions. Jose Mourinho is a successful manager at a successful club which this year has successful players," Cantona said.

"But this is an extremely difficult championship, full of great teams and great managers like Pep Guardiola." Cantona earlier this year declared his 'love' for Mourinho but suggested Guardiola would have been a better fit.

"I love Jose Mourinho, but in terms of the type of football he plays I don't think he is Manchester United," Cantona explained.

"I love his personality, I love the passion he has for the game, his humour. He is very intelligent, he demands 100% of his players. And of course he wins things. Guardiola was the one to take. He is the spiritual son of Johan Cruyff. I would have loved to have seen Guardiola in Manchester (United).

"He is the only one to change Manchester. He is in Manchester, but at the wrong one."

Mourinho and Guardiola face each other for the second time this season in the EFL Cup derby on October 26.

Meanwhile, the United boss should have a 25-man squad to choose from for the Premier League trip to Liverpool on Monday night. All 17 senior squad members who were on international duty have returned unscathed and the only individual who will miss the fixture is defender Phil Jones, who is sidelined with an "important injury."

Sergio Romero, Marcos Rojo and Antonio Valencia returned to training today after they returned from their trips to South America, having played for Argentina and Ecuador.


Chris Smalling and Ander Herrera, now established first-teamers under Mourinho, did not play for their countries during the international fortnight and nor did Matteo Darmian.

Other regulars Juan Mata and Zlatan Ibrahimovic were among nine senior squad members who were not on international duty and enjoyed a long weekend off before they returned to Carrington on Tuesday.

Mourinho has named the same side for United's last two Premier League games but Luke Shaw and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are both in contention to figure at Anfield.

Shaw was "not quite fit" enough for England's World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovenia but could return at left-back, while Mkhitaryan remained in Manchester. The Armenian has been recovering from a thigh injury.

Liverpool, meanwhile, could be without the services of key midfielders Adam Lallana and Georginio Wijnaldum for the game.

Wijnaldum limped off complaining of discomfort in his hamstring just after the hour mark in the Netherlands' 1-0 defeat at the hands of France in a World Cup qualifier on Monday night.

Wijnaldum has returned to Melwood to be assessed by the club's medical staff.

The loss of the Dutch star would be a major blow for Jurgen Klopp, who is also sweating on the fitness of Lallana, the England international suffered a groin injury in the win over Swansea.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News