The Manchester United boss has made a bizarre and incorrect claim ahead of his side’s Premier League clash with the Baggies
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is very skilled at making excuses. He’s also very skilled at winning football matches and motivating players, but it is in pre- and post-match interviews where he really excels.
The Portuguese always fills newspaper inches with complaints about pitches, referees, opposition players, tactics, and anything else you can think of. Often his claims are merited, his criticisms justified, but his latest excuse does not hold up to scrutiny.
Ahead of United’s Premier League clash with West Brom, the Red Devils boss has complained to Sky Sports about the international break, and how it favours the small teams.
Chris Smalling and Phil Jones will both miss the game due to injuries suffered while away on England duty, provoking Mourinho to rant about the pointlessness of international friendlies.
However, in his argument, he feels that West Brom have a distinct advantage over United, because his side had 13 players go away to play for their countries.
“If you compare our situation with our opponents – West Bromwich Albion only had one player on international duty,” Mourinho claimed to Sky Sports.
“They had time to work, time to rest and prepare. It is going to be hard.”
In fact, West Brom had far more than one player on international duty – with 10 of their players featuring for their countries, just slightly less than United’s 13 internationals.
While United had Marcos Rojo and Antonio Valencia playing in South American World Cup qualifiers, the Baggies had Salomon Rondon in action for Venezuela.
Closer to home, Jake Livermore made his England debut, James McClean lined out for the Republic of Ireland and Jonny Evans, Gareth McAuley and Chris Brunt all started for Northern Ireland.
Hal-Robson Kanu played against McClean for Wales in a 0-0 draw, James Morrison and Darren Fletcher helped Scotland defeat Slovenia, and Nacer Chadli was alongside United’s Marouane Fellaini in midfield for Belgium.
Somehow when Mourinho was monitoring his players on international duty, he failed to notice that some of their team-mates and opponents were West Brom players in disguise.