Manchester United FC coach Jose Mourinho . / AFP PHOTO / SERGEI SUPINSKY
Jose Mourinho is under fire for his furious reaction to decisions that went against Manchester United in their controversial draw with Hull, but Phil Jones says his manager had every right to lose his cool.
Mourinho was in a foul mood after referee Mike Jones failed to clamp down on what he saw as Hull’s time-wasting or show Tigers striker Oumar Niasse a second yellow card for a high challenge on Marcos Rojo.
After storming out of a post-match television interview, he launched into an angry rant about perceived inconsistencies in a post-match press conference following Wednesday’s 0-0 draw at Old Trafford.
Mourinho claimed he is judged by a different set of rules to rival managers, alluding to his own stadium ban last season during his time as Chelsea manager, and the recent behaviour of his Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger and Liverpool rival Jurgen Klopp.
Wenger is serving a four-game touchline ban for abusive language and pushing an official against Burnley, while Klopp revealed he had apologised after screaming in the fourth official’s face during his side’s draw against Chelsea this week.
“You know clearly that I am different,” Mourinho said. “I am different. The rules for me are different.
“I am different in everything. I watched my team play in a hotel (when banned), I was forbidden to go to the stadium, my assistant had a six-match stadium ban and he didn’t touch anyone.
“Yesterday (Tuesday), one fourth official told a manager: ‘I enjoy very much your passion, so do what you want to do.’
“Today I was told sit down or I have to send you to the stands, so everything is different for me.”
– Paranoid –
Klopp refused to be drawn into a war of words with Mourinho, who has served two touchline bans this season, but hinted he didn’t believe the United manager’s complaints were valid.
“Maybe I was lucky with what the fourth official said because I’ve never heard something like this before. There are different ways to handle the situation,” Klopp said on Thursday.
“It is quite an emotional game and to switch off emotions is not that simple.
“We struggle — not only myself and Jose but Arsene Wenger and a lot of other people struggle.
“We are all different, sometimes we get a fine, sometimes not. It’s not what we want to do nor is it a tactic.
“It was worse with me when I was younger. I have already improved but I had no idea why he (Mourinho) spoke about me.”
Mourinho’s paranoid demeanour must be concerning for the United hierarchy so soon in his reign.
The former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss, who took over at Old Trafford in the close-season, has traditionally cut a more isolated and angst-ridden figure in the last months of his various jobs.
But, with United struggling to live up to his expectations, he already appears agitated and on edge.
United have fallen four points adrift of the top four after their third successive league draw and, with the title realistically out of reach, even a place in next season’s Champions League can’t be taken for granted.
With Mourinho’s frustration mounting, he might at least have been encouraged that his players share his pain and are determined to make amends.
“We said before the game that this was our chance to put some pressure on the teams above us,” United defender Jones told MUTV.
“We knew that teams around us would slip up and they have done, but we couldn’t capitalise on it.
“We’re bitterly disappointed. The lads are down in the dressing room, as you’d expect.”