The Portuguese is unsurprised by his former club’s recent troubles, but believes that better days are on the way at Old Trafford. Jose Mourinho professes to be a “Chelsea man” who is closer to the Blues than Manchester United, but he also believes he is “not delighted to be right” about United’s current situation. Mourinho was the last United manager to win silverware, winning the Europa League and League Cup in his first season at Old Trafford in 2016-17. He also guided the club to second place in the Premier League the following season, but he was fired after a terrible start to the 2018-19 season, and he has not been surprised to see them suffer in his absence.
Mourinho, who went on to take in a spell at Tottenham before joining Roma last summer, feels that United are still making the same mistakes behind the scenes that they did during his tenure. The Portuguese has also admitted that he has a greater affinity towards Chelsea than the Manchester club, having won three Premier League titles across two stints at Stamford Bridge earlier in his career. “Of course, my English connection is Chelsea, that’s the way I see things, as a Chelsea man after two periods of Chelsea and six years,” Mourinho told BT Sport ahead of Roma’s UEFA Conference League final clash against Feyenoord. “But at Manchester United the fans are special. There are lots of good people inside the club, so it’s not like I’m happy to be right. “I’m not happy to be right, I’d like to be wrong. I’d like to be wrong, but I knew that I was right. “For me, the first thing to change when things are not going right is mentality and organisation, and that was not coming. “I knew that for me to leave was not going to resolve the situation. I knew that, unfortunately, but I wish them the best and I hope that they make it.”
Mourinho’s comments come on the back of United’s worst-ever Premier League season, with interim boss Ralf Rangnick having been unable to steady the ship following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s dismissal in November. The Red Devils finished sixth in the top flight and suffered early exits in all major cup competitions as they failed to build on the promise of an encouraging 2020-21 campaign. Former Ajax boss Erik ten Hag is the latest man to be charged with trying to turn the club’s fortunes around, and the Dutchman is reportedly set to be given a significant transfer budget for new players. A number of outgoings are also expected at Old Trafford, with the likes of Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani and Jesse Lingard due to become free agents next month, and a number of other stars being strongly linked with summer transfers.