Jose Mourinho departed Manchester United in December 2018 but the issues that led to his departure haven’t departed and are still lingering in Solskjaer’s regime. Jose Mourinho took the almost-same squad to 2nd place last season and the Portuguese has asserted that it was his biggest achievement despite winning the Champions League with Porto and Inter.
In addition, he took a dig at Solskjaer’s apparent good guy persona, saying that ‘nice guys become puppets’. However, Solskjaer – in his brief spell at the club – has shown enough fortitude to drop players as necessary and is expected to perform major surgery on the squad in this transfer window to get in the right kind of players too.
“Generally, the players can feel a certain erosion, especially when you ask a lot of them,” Mourinho told L’Equipe. “When I say that the second season [when United finished second behind Manchester City] was fantastic, I say it because the potential and the objectives were met.
“I really squeezed, like an orange, to achieve them. When you have a very professional group of players who are ambitious, hard-working and talented, at a structured club, you don’t have that erosion. When you are almost alone, in that you don’t have the support of the club close to you, while certain players go somewhat against the coach, who is the nice guy? I don’t want to be the nice guy, because the nice guy, after three months, is a puppet and that doesn’t end well.”
He added: “I said nine or 10 months ago that after winning eight championships, finishing second with United may have been my greatest achievement. Now people understand. About United I want to say only two things: One is that time has spoken. Two is that the problems are still there.”
“The problems are there, you can say that these are the players, the organisation, the ambition, I only say I cannot say yes when you ask if Paul was the only one responsible,” he said.