Jose Mourinho versus Pundits - A history of the manager's swipes at former players

Alex Rea 2/01/2018
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The relationship between Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho and former pros working as pundits has always been a fractious one.

Indeed, the history is quite toxic with ex United and Liverpool players dominating the heated exchanges.

Here, we take look back at some of the most infamous rows between Mourinho and pundits.

Mourinho v Jamie Redknapp

Incident One: April 2014

“You speak with Jamie Redknapp and he tells you everything about it. It was about winning – you have your pundits and Jamie Redknapp, who is a brilliant football brain, they can explain to you everything.”

After Chelsea’s impressive 2-0 win over Liverpool at Anfield, Mourinho offered this sneering retort in the wake of Redknapp’s criticism of the Portuguese’s sarcastic response to referee Mike Dean awarding Sunderland a winning penalty at Stamford Bridge the previous weekend.

Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp

Incident Two: January 2015

“I don’t know what you understand by a stamp. Maybe you are already influenced by the campaign on the television with the certain pundits saying that Costa has crimes – they must be nuts, the guy who says that.

“Sky calls it a crime. I have to say that he goes to the ball, he chases it, the opponent goes to the floor and he puts his foot there when he is looking at the ball.

“It is a great campaign. We know how much that pundit loves Chelsea. So you are sitting there, you are very well paid and you are a manager putting their a** on the bench.

“These guys have a good seat, earning a lot of money, no pressure, they are never wrong. They have to be fair and they have to be honest.

“I don’t know his name because when I see it I switch off the television.”

Mourinho launches one of his most astonishing attacks in the direction of Redknapp after he was left furious by the former Liverpool midfielder’s claims Diego Costa should have been sent off for a stamp on Liverpool midfielder Emre Can during their League Cup semi-final tie.

Of course, Costa was later handed a three-match ban for the incident so evidently the “campaign” Mourinho spoke about stretched further than the Sky Sports studio.

Emre Can (R) is seperated from Diego Costa after the latter's stamp

Emre Can (R) is seperated from Diego Costa after the latter’s stamp

Mourinho v Graeme Souness

Incident One: March 2015

“The difference between me and Souness is this. Souness as a player [points upwards]. Jose Mourinho as a player [points downwards]. Jose Mourinho as a manager [points upwards]. Souness as a manager? 

“Another difference. I was not a frustrated man because I was not a top player. He is clearly a frustrated man.”

Souness is another former Liverpool to draw the ire of Mourinho after he described Chelsea players as “pathetic” after they surrounded referee Bjorn Kuipers prior to Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s sending off during their Champions League exit to Paris Saint-Germain.

Incident Two: May 2017

“I have seen in the football media that certain pundits cannot understand why our players are tired. A pundit is not honest if they cannot forget their colours or if they try to hide the truth from their audience. It’s not my fault if their managerial career was very poor.”

Savage stuff from Mourinho as he mocked Souness’ managerial career after the former Liverpool, Newcastle and Blackburn boss questioned the handling of United stars ahead of the Europa Cup final with Ajax.

The Scot had claimed Mourinho was giving his squad an “easy excuse” for not winning matches by saying they were tired from a congested fixture list.

United would go on to taste European success so perhaps the Red Devils was justified in fielding under-strength XIs in the Premier League.

Mourinho v Jamie Carragher

Incident One: March 2015

“The world is a bit strange. Maybe because of diet and maybe the quality of the products we are eating, memories are getting shorter. Because, you know, when Jamie Carragher and Graeme Souness speak about it, it’s because they are having a problem for sure.

“Jamie stopped playing a couple of years ago and, in two years, he forgot everything he did on the pitch.”

On the aforementioned PSG game which saw Mourinho lock horns with Souness, he also slammed Carragher after the former Liverpool defender said that it was “disgraceful” his players surrounded the referee before going on to say Mourinho’s team would never be loved.

However, the row did inspire a quality retort from Chelsea’s social media accounts.

For those with short memories...

A post shared by Chelsea FC! 🏆 (@chelseafc) on

Mourinho v Gary Neville

Incident One: October 2015

“I know the culture now, even in England. Before it was not the culture in this country, but, especially the pundits. They have a new job, which has become a very important job, it’s changed the culture a lot. Some of the pundits are really brave. To criticise someone with my history, you need to be brave, as there is a risk someone like myself will say, “Shut up. You’ve won nothing in your life”. But I won’t do that. I just work and hope that the good results are coming.”

A degree of context is required for this one as the backlash is more on the entire punditry complexion rather than Gary Neville himself. However, it did come out around the same time the former United defender had heavily criticsed Chelsea displays and even suggested the Portuguese had lost the dressing by doubting the squad’s motivations.

Mourinho v Eric Cantona

Incident One: November 2017

“It was a battle because Brighton were very good. I think they were good from minute one until the last minute. Good approach, defensively very well organised.

“I keep saying to defend well is very important. For some pundits no, but to defend well is very important. And they defended very, very well, and they were quite dangerous on the counter-attack.”

Mourinho had endured criticism of his playing style and his comment about “some pundits” came a day after United great Eric Cantona told the BBC he was more of a fan of Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola’s brand of football than the Portuguese’s “defensive way”.

Cantona even went on to say he would “prefer to have him (Guardiola) as manager of Manchester United”.

Man United icon Eric Cantona

Man United icon Eric Cantona

Mourinho v Paul Scholes

Number 1: January 2018

“I think the only thing Paul Scholes does is to criticise, which is a different thing. Not every one of us has to be phenomenal like he was as a player. That doesn’t all mean we have to be phenomenal.

“Paul (Pogba) tries to do his best all the time and sometimes he plays very well. Sometimes he doesn’t play so well. It’s not Paul’s fault that he made much more money than Paul Scholes. It’s not Paul Pogba’s fault, it’s just the way football is.

“But I think Scholes will be in the history (as) a phenomenal player, but not as a pundit. I prefer to look at him as a phenomenal player that gives so much to the club I am proud to represent.

“Every day I try to do my best. If one day Paul decides to be a manager, I wish he can be 25 per cent as successful as myself. Fifty per cent is 12-and-a-half silverware, 25 per cent is around six (trophies). If he is 25 per cent he will be quite happy.”

In the latest swipe at an ex pro, Mourinho took a swipe at Paul Scholes after United got back to winning ways with a 2-0 win at Everton. Scholes recently said while working as a TV pundit that Pogba was “just strolling through games” and “doesn’t look fit”.

The Frenchman responded with one of the best midfield performances of the season.

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Price on the rise: Philippe Coutinho

Barcelona may have to be willing to pay an “astronomical” fee if they want to bring Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho to the Camp Nou, according to the Telegraph.

It comes after Nike reportedly advertised a Barcelona shirt for sale with the Brazilian’s name on it – fuelling speculation of a January move.

But Liverpool do not seem prepared to allow their star player to leave unless Barcelona can come up with an offer to beat last summer’s bid of £115million.

Negotiations between Everton and Besiktas look uncertain following reports the Turkish club have upped their asking price to £27million for Cenk Tosun, the Daily Mail claims.

The Toffees were hoping to land the 26-year-old for £25million and are said to be reluctant to increase their bid, with boss Sam Allardyce saying “we’ve done all we can”, the paper reports.

Swansea may be looking to West Ham’s Diafra Sakho as part of their strategy to bring in out-of-favour players who are looking for more play time ahead of the World Cup, according to the Guardian.

But any potential move by Sakho, who has not yet made the starting XI for the Hammers this season, may rely on any possible agreement by Swansea to lose Alfie Mawson and Ki Sung-yueng, who are said to be on West Ham’s radar.

Speculation linking Moussa Dembele to Brighton appears to be growing – but the club are keen to know his level of interest in any potential move before making an offer, the Daily Mail says.

Celtic star Moussa Dembele

Celtic star Moussa Dembele

It comes as several other Premier League teams also seem keen on targeting the Celtic star, including Stoke, West Ham and Southampton.

Manchester United are reportedly in discussions with Paris Saint-Germain to bring Lucas Moura to the Premier League.

According to The Sun, contact has been made regarding the 25-year-old Brazilian, but China’s Hebei Fortune are also said to be interested in the winger.

SOCIAL MEDIA ROUND-UP

@BBCSport – ‘Who else is going to do it?’ – Mark Hughes is confident about keeping his job as Stoke boss

@Telefootball – West Brom make a formal complaint to the Premier League over their “terrible” fixture congestion

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Monaco defender Terence Kongolo could be heading for Huddersfield on loan, it is reported. The Huddersfield Examiner said boss David Wagner confirmed a deal was “close” to being met for the 23-year-old.

The near completion of Alejandro Grimaldo’s move with Napoli could open up the possibility of Faouzi Ghoulam’s move to Manchester United, according to Portugal’s Record newspaper.

The club appears set to trigger his £53million release clause now that 22-year-old Grimaldo could replace him at the Italian club.

Provided by Press Association Sport

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Man United are linked with moves for Andre Gomes and Toni Kroos

Alex Rea 2/01/2018
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Madrid makeweight: Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos

The transfer window is now open!

Here, we take a look at the biggest stories dominating the headlines today.

Will any of the following deals happen?

Let us know your thoughts.

Get in touch via Twitter and Facebook.

ARTURO VIDAL

Chelsea have inquired about the availability of Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal, according to Bild.

Vidal is under contract until 2019 but the Bundesliga giants could be tempted to sell if a big-money offer is tabled.

RATING: 7/10

VERDICT

Blues boss Antonio Conte and Vidal won three straight Serie A titles together, as well as one Coppa Italia, during their time at Juventus. The Chile international represented an on-pitch lieutenant for the Italian and Chelsea have been linked with a move for some time.

With Leon Goretzka expected to join Bayern, it’s a transfer which could make sense for both teams but it remains to be seen as to whether a 30-year-old Vidal wants a move to Stamford Bridge.

Arturo Vidal in action for Bayern Munich this season

Arturo Vidal in action for Bayern Munich this season

ANDRE GOMES

Manchester United are set to double their efforts to sign Barcelona midfielder Andre Gomes, reports Il Bianconero.

The Red Devils reportedly had a £35million bid rejected but are preparing a new offer.

RATING: 6/10

VERDICT

There is a good player in there somewhere and confidence could be the key to unlock it because Gomes’ 2016 move from Valencia to Barca has fallen way short of expectations.

The 24-year-old has made just two league starts under Ernesto Valverde and there are suggestions he is struggling to adapt to the Catalan giant’s style of play.

Lionel Messi alongside Andre Gomes

Lionel Messi alongside Andre Gomes

TONI KROOS

Real Madrid are considering selling Toni Kroos to Manchester United to help raise funds to sign PSG star Neymar, according to The Express.

Los Blancos have been linked with a sensational move for Neymar as they seek a long-term replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo and Kroos alongside Gareth Bale may be sold to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations.

RATING: 3/10

VERDICT

There are few things better than an ‘Inception Rumour’, a transfer rumour, within a transfer rumour. Let’s unpack this one, Neymar won’t be joining Madrid, it’s quite literally unfathomable and it’s harder still to picture them letting one of their most influential midfielders departing to facilitate a transfer.

Enough said on this one.

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