José Mourinho was a man who exuded minimal joy when he closed the Premier League game against Tottenham Hotspur on Monday at Old Trafford.
The manager of Manchester United began his Friday-media line half an hour earlier – picking up some reporters – and offered staccato answers at his best during a short show that took 259 seconds.
The manager's screen came after a club insider told the Guardian that during the week there had been a bounce over Mourinho despite the defeat 3-2 defeat of Sunday & Hove Albion. He was also in a cheerful mood for the briefing, fiddling with a mannequin in the hallway outside the large conference room in the Jimmy Murphy center of the AON training complex.
The subsequent attitude of Mourinho can therefore be marked as the latest episode of the soap opera, the Portuguese and the United States. If the harsh tone was observed during the pre-season tour of the US, Mourinho's discontent concentrates mainly on the fact that in the summer window he is refused a preferred center and a star-midfielder in Paul Pogba who wants to leave.
Ed Woodward, the executive vice president of United, refused Mourinho the money to pursue Leicester City & # 39; s Harry Maguire and Jérôme Boateng of Bayern Munich, so the manager was asked if their relationship was right.
Cue a short answer. "Of course." Were there problems between them? "No."
The upside-down shock in Brighton followed an encouraging 2-1 victory over Leicester on the opening day. Pogba was in an all-action man-of-the-match form at Old Trafford, then admitted his attitude was not correct in the second game, a strange state of mind for an elite professional who won the World Cup with France in July and who wore the bracelet against Brighton. In the absence of the injured Antonio Valencia, Mourinho's move to make Pogba captain intriguing is the player's desire to join Barcelona – he also led the way for Leicester's defeat. It can be read as smart man management, a head coach who seeks to strengthen a key role for the well-being of the team.
Given this context, Mourinho's on the 25-year "wrong attitude" admission would have been interesting to hear. But no. Instead, Mourinho was again close to monosyllabic when he was questioned about how he thinks about it.
"Paul said [this]he has to answer for his words, "he said." If you want an explanation of Paul's words, you must take him and ask him. "
Another indication for Mourinho's attitude was given when someone wondered what his thoughts about Tottenham were. "I'm not going to comment," he said, and he might become the first manager to attempt to eradicate the simple "question about the game" that parrot all press officers when avoiding awkward problems.
Mourinho, however, replied to a follow-up of whether the quality of Tottenham was the best opponents to rebound against. "You have to play against 19 opponents on Old Trafford and away – you have to play against everyone, [so] I do not know if it is the right time, & # 39; he started. "The time has now arrived, the matches have been determined this way and we have to play Tottenham Hotspur in the second game at Old Trafford and then we go to Burnley and Watford twice in a row."
There was also the next exchange. Was it a difficult week? "No," he said. "[It is] difficult after that [any] match you lose, is always difficult, especially for people who really care about the job, about football professionals. But then you think about the next game. You do the same when you win, you have to continue and focus on what the future offers and when you lose you have to do more. "
What about the background noise after the loss? "Yes, but do not ask me, because I do not read", he said. "I do not know 10% of what's written about what comes on TV screens, so I'm not the right person to answer it."
Had there been an exaggerated reaction? "You are pessimistic, not me."
A recurring count against Mourinho's fans is United's playing style, with the view that it can be difficult. Yet he said: "I think we played well against Leicester and we won, I felt badly played against Brighton and we lost, I would like to play and win, it's good to play and win, no making mistakes – that's what we want. "
Mourinho has Monday Valencia and Nemanja Matic available after injuries. "I do not know because today it is still Friday," he said. "And we train on Saturday and Sunday, the race is Monday, making decisions on Sunday, but yes [Matic and Valencia are] training with the team, [Diogo] Dalot also trains with the team for the first time this week, so in terms of medical department they are almost free. "
If this were his most optimistic and imminent remark, Mourinho was back in hesitant mode on the subject of Victor Lindelöf and Eric Bailly as his first defensive central defense pairing.
"I do not analyze my players together with you," he said.