Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has had no shortage of frustrations during the pre-season. We take a look at his long list of complaints.
Even by Jose’s standards, he has been remarkably ill-tempered in recent weeks, constantly voicing his displeasure at United’s preparations for the coming Premier League season.
Missing Key Players
Mourinho hasn’t had a full squad at his disposal during the pre-season, and he’s been less than happy about it.
18 July: “(Nemanja) Matic, (David) De Gea and Fred will come next week, but I don’t have all my players.
“I’m not worried about playing against Liverpool or Real or AC Milan [in the International Champions Cup], but I am worried because I am not training with all my players. It is what it is and we have to make the best of it.
“It’s maybe good for Luke Shaw and Eric Bailly and Andreas Pereira, just back from loan – I’ll take the positives.”
That quote ends on a positive and hopeful note, but it wasn’t long before Mourinho was failing to see the upside.
23 July: “We are not a team. We’re a group of players from different teams. Some are first team, some under-23s, some coming from loans and going on loan, some are younger, U18s. We don’t have a team to play much better than we did but [it’s] one more training session.”
24 July: “I have got good facilities, as always. I have got incredible commitment of the people that are involved with the process of preparing a good pre-season. I am happy with the matches, the evolution of the matches, but I don’t have the players to work.
“I don’t have the majority of the players that are going to be in the squad on the 9th of August, when the [transfer] market closes and we can make the squad official for the season. Of course I am not happy.”
28 July: “The atmosphere is good but if I was them [the fans], I wouldn’t come. I wouldn’t spend my money to see these teams.
“I think the passion many Americans have for soccer deserves more. They deserve the best teams and invest to bring the best clubs to the US. But we, and some other clubs, were not able to give to the people the real quality football that can attract even more passion in this country.”
28 July: “Do you want me to be very happy with the players [Sanchez] has around him? We are not playing here to improve the team, the dynamic or our routines. We are playing just to try to survive and not have some ugly results. Alexis is the only attacking player that we have.
“We don’t have wingers, we don’t have strikers. He is the only one who is here and the poor man is trying his best with the frustration of somebody who wants more. This is not our team, this is not our squad – not even 30 per cent of it.
“We start the game with almost half the players who are not even going to belong to our squad on August 9 [transfer deadline day].”
Lack of Transfer Activity
To go along with some of his best players being absent, Mourinho has also voiced his frustrations with United’s lack of transfer activity.
While the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City have already made some significant additions to their squad, the same can not be said of the Red Devils, and Mourinho is understandably concerned.
24 July: “One thing is what I would like. Another thing is what is going to happen.”
28 July: “I would like to have two more players. I think I am not going to have two. I think it’s possible I am going to have one. It’s possible.
“I gave a list to the club of five names a few months ago and I wait to see if it is possible to have one of these players.
“If it is possible it is possible, if it is not possible it is not possible. If it is possible, good, if it is not possible we keep fighting, working and believing in the players that we have.”
Not a Fan of Holidays
Having players return to the squad well-rested may be good for some, but Mourinho reckons some of his players had more vacation than they needed.
26 July: “Ashley Young is a possibility to play right-back, but is on holiday. I don’t know if he fancies to be back for that and put himself to be available for the team or stay on holiday.”
28 July: “Antonio Valencia comes from holiday – I think too much holiday for him. His condition was not good when he was back, then injury and also go back.
“Anthony Martial has the baby and after the baby is born – beautiful baby, full of health, thank God – he should be here and he is not here.”
28 July: “I just hope the boys on deserved holidays, they take care of themselves a little bit and I hope somebody wants to do what Marcus Rashford and Phil Jones decide to do, which is to be back a little bit earlier to try and help the team because for the beginning of the season we are going to be in trouble.”
Phew! That’s quite a lot of complaining for one Premier League manager. And with nearly two weeks to go until the start of the season, there could be more to come!.