Manchester United manager José Mourinho has given an exceptional interview to France Football, which we intend to publish in full tomorrow upon the magazine’s release in English.
Here are some highlights from the interview itself:
On his philosophy as a manager:
You need to know how to adapt to the reality of the club, what it needs, what it demands. That is called being intelligent… The priority is to establish relationships founded on peace and love in the squad, to create stability. Manchester United no longer has the super personalities of Giggs, Scholes or Roy Keane.
There is still Rooney and Carrick, who are the final faces of that generation, and a new group of players must adapt. That is why it was important for me to bring in Zlatan. In this team, he had, without being English, without knowing the culture of the club, the personality and the fit to be more than just a simple player.
In England, the clubs are so powerful financially that the market is open to all. Take the example of Bayern in Germany. You know when they started winning the title every year? When, the summer before, they bought Borussia Dortmund’s best player! Götze, then Lewandowski the following year, then Hummels last year.
I am arriving in a club with a great and prestigious history, that can no longer continue to decline in this way. No club in England, whether it is Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City can dominate in a permanent way. Power has been divided. Everything is more difficult: buying, winning, building.
Mourinho the man who tries to be the opposite of what a manager is. He tries to be discreet, calm. To find a way to disconnect. I can come home and not watch a game of football, not think about football. I can do it. At the beginning of my career, I couldn’t. I was permanently connected, 24 out of 24 hours. I had to find a form of maturity. Today, I am happy within my personality as a man. I have matured, I am more peaceful. A win no longer means the moon, a loss no longer means hell. And I think that I am in the process of transferring this calmness to those who are working with me, my players. I still have the same ambitions as before. The same involvement, the same professionalism. But I am more in control of my emotions.
From a psychological point of view, the stronger the empathy is in our squad, the more consistent the relationship is between the players, and the more ready you are. The “mind game,” which involves trying to manipulate someone psychologically via the media, is a way of creating a state of mind, but one that is most effective when you have a team full of personalities and one that is ready to absorb this sort of talk. At Inter, I was like a fish in water in this domain.
I had Materazzi, Cordoba, Ibrahimovic, Milito, Thiago Motta… guys who were willing to follow me everywhere. Aside from that, it is another thing to work in a club where the players do not have similar characteristics. So before taking a direction, you first have to understand the people you are working with.