Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has told Expresso he is “terrible at picking teams” to manage.
Mourinho highlighted his experiences taking charge at Inter Milan, Real Madrid and United as he told the Portuguese newspaper — using the English phrase — that he always joins clubs in “big trouble.”
“I’m terrible at picking teams,” he said. “I always choose teams that are in big trouble, as you would say back in England. Inter was in big trouble, Real Madrid was in big trouble and Manchester United is in big trouble — in other words, always in big trouble.
“What does this ‘big trouble’ mean? It means that they are teams that want to win but are thousands of kilometres away from winning. One thing is the club’s dimension and the club’s history and another the club’s current situation.”
Inter had won Serie A under Roberto Mancini but had exited the Champions League to Liverpool at the round-of-16 stage in the season prior to Mourinho’s arrival, and in his second season at the San Siro the former Porto and Chelsea boss led the club to the Treble.
He then left for Madrid, who had finished three points behind Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona in La Liga and exited the Champions League to Lyon at the round-of-16 stage under Manuel Pellegrini.
Mourinho led Madrid to three successive Champions League semifinals, without making the final, and won the Copa del Rey in his first season as well as securing the club’s first La Liga title since 2007-08 in his second campaign.
He highlighted Madrid’s poor record in the Champions League in the years prior to his arrival, with the Spanish side exiting at the round-of-16 stage every season between 2004-05 and 2009-10.
“The Real Madrid captain [Sergio Ramos] — who the other day lifted the [Champions League] cup and is now three-time European club champion — when I arrived at Real Madrid back in 2010, he had never played the quarterfinals of the Champions League before,” he said.
United, meanwhile, had finished in the Premier League’s top four only once after Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013 and, despite winning the FA Cup under Louis van Gaal just before Mourinho’s arrival, they remained a side in transition.
“I arrived at Manchester United and you know how many players were champions? The veterans who are ending their careers and come from Ferguson’s era,” he said. “The others don’t know what it is like to win.”
United finished sixth in Mourinho’s first season at United but won the Community Shield, League Cup and Europa League.
He brought in four new players last summer — Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Paul Pogba — and sources have told ESPN FC he is planning four more this summer, with Benfica centre-back Victor Lindelof set to be the first.