Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has come out to defend himself in the wake of his side’s shocking exit from the Champions League at the hands of Spanish club Sevilla on Tuesday.
The Reds Devils were shocked 2-1 at Old Trafford by the Spaniards after they previously held the visitors to a 0-0 draw in the first leg of their round of 16 tie.
Ahead of Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup quarter-final clash against Brighton at Old Trafford, Mourinho insisted he is going nowhere, despite United fans reacting angrily to their last 16 exit, and mocked the club’s recent “football heritage” in defending himself.
“I say to the fans that the fans are the fans and have the right to their opinions and reactions but there is something that I used to call football heritage,” Mourinho said in his pre-match conference on Friday ahead of the Brighton game.
“The last time United won the Champions League which didn’t happen a lot of times, was in 2008. In 2011 they reached the final, in 2012, out in the group phase, when the group was almost the same group we had this season – Benfica, Basel and Galati from Romania.
“Out in the group phase in 2013, out at Old Trafford in the last 16, when I was on the other bench. In 2014, out in the quarter-finals.
“In 2015, no European football. In 2016, comes back to European football, out in the group phase, goes to Europa League and on the second knockout out of the Europa League.
“In 2017, play Europa League, win Europa League with me and go back to the Champions League. In 2018, win the group phase with 15 points out of a possible 18, and loses at home in the last 16.
“So in seven years with four different managers, once not qualify for Europe, twice out in the group phase and the best was the quarter-finals – this is football heritage.
“If you want to go to the Premier League, the last victory was 2012-13 and in the four consecutive seasons United finish seventh, fourth, fifth and sixth.
“So in the last four years the best was fourth. This is football heritage. It means that when you start the process you are here, you are there or you are there – it’s heritage.
“And if the fans that I will always respect, always respect, if the fans and many of them are the ones you speak with, many of them are the ones I speak with and I am very lucky but the ones who speak with you are very disappointed and the ones I speak with know what is football heritage, know what is a process.”
Mourinho further read some stats to back up his position.
“Those stats are real. I give you a couple more, in the last seven years the worst position of Manchester City in the Premier League was fourth,” he stated further.
“In the last seven years City were champions twice – three times because in one week or so they will be champions again – and they were second twice. That’s heritage.
“Do you know what is also heritage? Is that Otamendi, De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Silva, Sterling, Aguero, they are investments from the past, not from the last two years.
“Do you know how many United players that left the club last season? See where they play, how they play, if they play.
“That’s football heritage and one day when I leave the next United manager will find here Lukaku, Matic, of course De Gea from many years ago.
“They will find players with a diff mentality, quality, background, with a different status, know-how.
“You go to the Champions League quarter-finals like today and there are four clubs that are always there, always there. Barcelona is always there in the past seven, eight years, Madrid, Juventus, Bayern Munich and then of course appear now and again, another club like my Inter, like some other clubs like Monaco last season.
“But the ones that are always there is for some reason and the good thing for me and the amazing feeling for me is that I am exactly on the same page as the owners, as Mr Woodward, Mr Arnold, we are on exactly the same page, we agree on everything, on the investments, that we have what we have, the investments that we are going to do will be season after season, we are exactly on the same page, so life is good. I have an amazing job to do.
“I’m not going to run away or disappear or to cry because I heard a few boos, I’m not going to disappear from the tunnel, running immediately, the next match I will be the first to go out.
“I’m not afraid of my responsibilities. When I was 20 I was nobody in football, I was somebody’s son, with a lot of pride, and now with 55 I am what I am I did what I did because of work and because of talent and my mentality.
“So they can be together, I understand that for many many many years was really really hard for the people who doesn’t like me, here he is again, here he wins again.
“For 10 months I win nothing, the last title that I won was 10 months ago, I beat Liverpool, Chelsea, I lose against Sevilla and now is their moment to be happy. I learn that in my religious formation, be happy with others happiness, so be it, I am a really happy guy.”