Wednesday 20 March 2019

Mourinho takes a veiled pop at City's Pep

Happy: Jose Mourinho
Happy: Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho has served up another veiled snipe at Pep Guardiola, after hinting his job at Manchester United has been more challenging than his rival's task at their local rivals City.

Guardiola has stormed to Premier League title glory in his second season at City, with United left in their wake after a season of dominance from the blue half of Manchester.

Yet Mourinho has now suggested his task at Old Trafford was very different to that undertaken by Guardiola, who inherited a squad loaded with taken before he spent more than £400m in the transfer market.

"One thing is to go to a club that is prepared to win and you just need to arrive and give the last touches, to give your personal quality, personal knowledge and the team, and the club, is ready just for the last click," said Mourinho.

"I knew that was not the case at United. The owners knew that. The CEO, he knew that. I knew it was not to come and have simultaneous success. In spite of it, three trophies, three finals, probably a third or fourth in worst case scenario. Not bad."

Meanwhile, Mourinho says his respect for Arsene Wenger means the pair can be friends in future.

Wenger last week announced he would be leaving Arsenal after 22 years in charge and takes the Gunners to Old Trafford for the final time on Sunday.

Mourinho and Wenger had a tempestuous rivalry during the Portuguese's two spells at Chelsea, which became physical when the pair were involved in an altercation at Stamford Bridge in October 2014.

Mourinho said: "If he respects me even 50 per cent of what I respect him we can even be friends in the future. I have lots of respect for him.

"But the reality is that he was at Arsenal, he was the champion and I came to the country in 2004 and wanted to steal his title. That's football.

"But in the end I respect him a lot, I tried to show that in the past couple of years there were no more problems at a different stage of my career with a different profile."

Mourinho added: "I feel sorry that after Sir Alex Ferguson - but it was obviously Sir Alex's decision (to leave after 27 years) - the next big one, the next iconic one is leaving the Premier League."

United are second in the Premier League with four games to play.

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