Manchester United’s Jose Mourinho has suggested he is the best-behaved manager in the Premier League and that he should win an award for it – if there was one.
His comments were perhaps a little tongue in cheek given his past behaviour, but the Portuguese said he has made a big effort to improve his conduct on the sidelines, although he freely admitted he was nowhere near “perfect”.
“I am fully committed to win the award this season of the best-behaved manager on the touchline,” Mourinho told reporters on Saturday ahead of Sunday’s clash with Newcastle. “I am serious!
“There are so many awards – performance of the week, manager of the month and this and that – they should give one (to) the guy that behaves best on the touchline and it should be the fourth official to vote.
“I’m pretty sure that I would win. I’m serious! I didn’t create one problem to one fourth official on a touchline, apart from my red card at Southampton when I put a foot on the pitch.
“I’m serious, I prepare myself, I’m really happy. I’m not free of losing my temper, my control in one match. I’m not perfect.
“I’m not going from the Bad One to the Perfect One, no way, but I try, I make an effort and I’m happy with the way things are going.”
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 7, 2018
Despite his red card earlier in the season and various complaints about refereeing decisions, Mourinho said that he was mostly happy with the quality of officiating in England, although he felt players such as Alexis Sanchez could do with a little more protection.
“I feel that English football has some cultural heritage, tradition, and there are some qualities I really like in the game,” Mourinho added.
“But I have to cry a little bit, I have to try to protect my players because, really, you can see the way Alexis was welcomed.
“Yes, he’s a tough boy, he’s a pure guy. He copes with that, and at Yeovil too in difficult conditions with some bad tackles like against Huddersfield, and the referees have just to… I don’t like the word protect the players because it looks like they have to protect only the top players – and I think on the pitch every player is the same.
“They can’t look at a player and say this guy is very talented so I have to protect him. No, they have to protect them equally.”