Just days after Manchester United’s 3-1 defeat at the hands of Liverpool at Anfield in December, Jose Mourinho was relieved from his duties at Old Trafford.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was appointed as interim manager before the festive period and things improved drastically under the Norwegian.
Their good run of form included overcoming a 2-0 first leg deficit against Paris Saint-Germain and registering a 3-1 victory at the Parc des Princes to qualify for the Champions League quarter-final.
Mourinho has given a lengthy interview to French newspaper L’Equipe and he was asked how his former club were able to eliminate Thomas Tuchel’s side from the European competition, and used the opportunity to settle accounts.
He said, “I do not want to explain. I think I know the reasons, but I do not always do my analysis publicly. Manchester United, I do not want to talk about it. And I have the feeling that I do not need to talk, that time gives explanations: no need for the former coach to talk about it.
“For MU, this victory is a bit “out of context”, even though we won in Turin in the group stage. For Paris, I think that I know some reasons, tactical and mental.”
Manchester United’s win over PSG, coupled with the impressive form until March saw them appoint Solskjaer as their permanent manager. Since then, things have gone downhill for the 20-time English champions as they’ve managed only two wins in the past 12 matches played across all competitions.
They finished the season in sixth spot and will miss out on next season’s Champions League. After Mourinho was sacked, one thing he’s alluded to repeatedly is the lack of structure at United.
He further stated: “From Manchester United, I mean only two things. One is that time has spoken. Two is that the problems are still there.”
Asked whether he’s been a ‘victim’ of Paul Pogba, Mourinho insisted not: “No, no.”
Pushed to elaborate, he added: “The problems are there, you can imagine that these are the players, the organisation, the ambition, I only say that I cannot say yes when you ask if Paul was the only one responsible.”
L’Equipe wanted to know if his relationship with Anthony Martial was ‘comparable to the tensions’ he had at Real Madrid with Karim Benzema: “With Karim, it was not a conflict, I just wanted to help the player – an incredibly talented player – change his mindset, help him reach his maximum. To become a killer, a determined striker. I really enjoyed working with Karim.
“He (Martial) is a boy with a different personality. The thing I can say is that I hope he will reach a level commensurate with his real potential.”