A day after he took on his critics in a news conference diatribe, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho took aim at his players after a lackluster performance in their 2-0 FA Cup win over Brighton and Hove Albion FC at Old Trafford in England on Saturday.
Mourinho had made little direct criticism of his team after Tuesday’s poor display in the Champions League defeat by Sevilla or on Friday when he defended his work and questioned assumptions about United’s heritage.
However, this time his anger was firmly directed at the majority of his players.
“I didn’t like the game. I think we deserved to win because I think the game was in control for the majority, we scored two and they didn’t score, but we didn’t play as I prepared the team to play,” he told BT Sport.
Mourinho singled out midfielder Nemanja Matic, who created the first goal for Romelu Lukaku and added the second himself with a late header, as one of the few players he was satisfied with.
“Many, many times Matic was an island of personality and desire and control, surrounded, not by water, but by a lack of personality, class and desire,” said the former Chelsea and Real Madrid manager.
Asked whether he had seen a positive reaction from his players after the Sevilla loss, he said: “I didn’t have the reaction from all of them. I had the reaction from some of them. And because some of them were mentally strong enough and with the football quality to play, was the reason why we won.”
Mourinho showed particular anger that his demand in training for a quicker and more incisive transition game had not been carried out in practice.
“When I spend two days working on this and then I arrive here, attacking players hiding behind defenders, not wanting the ball between the lines, defenders playing just square passes and taking 10 to 12 passes to get from one line to another line I have to feel frustrated,” he said.
“Because I think as a coach the biggest frustration is not the result because sometimes a bad result can happen,” Mourinho added.
“We prepared the team to be more aggressive, to attack the last line much more and that connection between defenders in possession and attacking players didn’t work. I want more personality in the team,” he said.
As well as Matic, Mourinho praised young midfielder Scott McTominay, although even those words were peppered with criticism of others.
“McTominay lost more passes today than in all the matches he played together, but he was a Manchester United player. And for me a Manchester United player is a player that, when he plays bad, he gives to the team,” he said.
DRIVING AMBITION: ‘I was excited by playing at the Olympics ... Who knows what’s going to happen? Hopefully, I could have a chance to win a medal,’ Tiffany Chan said After just three tournaments this year, a chance of Olympic glory postponed and two weeks alone in quarantine, golfer Tiffany Chan could be forgiven for feeling sorry for herself. Instead, Hong Kong’s first LPGA Tour player is sporting a broad grin and taking the positives from the game’s COVID-19 shutdown, determined to establish herself in the fiercely competitive world of women’s golf. The talented 26-year-old kept herself fit physically and mentally during the lockdown, and is happy to be back on the fairways since the easing of coronavirus restrictions last month. “When I came back to Hong Kong [in March], I actually did
Eleven-year-old skateboarder Sky Brown, who is hoping to become Britain’s youngest Olympian next year, fractured her skull and broke bones in her left hand after falling from a ramp during a training session in California. Brown posted a video of the accident on Instagram, but reassured supporters that she was fine. “I don’t usually post my falls or talk about them ... but this was my worst fall. I just want everyone to know that it’s OK — don’t worry, I’m OK,” she said. “I’m going to push boundaries for girls with my skating and surfing. I’m going for gold in 2021
It is the land of the world champions, but is it really a soccer country? That is the question that some in France have been asking this week while its European neighbors work to bring the sport back after the COVID-19 shutdown. Debate has raged ever since Ligue 1 decided in late April to bring a premature end to the season with 10 rounds of matches unplayed. By contrast, two weeks have passed since the Bundesliga restarted, while Italian Minister for Sport Vincenzo Spadafora on Thursday confirmed that Serie A would return on June 20, and La Liga and the English Premier
A feel-good campaign allowing fans to have cardboard cutouts of themselves at Australian rugby league games has been hijacked by pranksters, with a notorious serial killer among those making an appearance — while one TV show edited an image of Adolf Hitler into the crowd. The NRL launched “Fan In The Stand” to coincide with the sport’s return at the weekend after its season was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Supporters are barred from stadiums under strict health protocols, but can pay A$22 (US$15) to have their photograph printed on a life-size cutout and placed in the stands of