Daniel Taylor at Old Trafford on 15 April 2018
José Mourinho said after the 1-0 defeat by bottom-of-the-table West Bromwich Albion that confirmed Manchester City as Premier League champions that he could “smell” a bad performance coming from Manchester United and that it left him questioning his players’ attitude.
Mourinho described United as “the masters in complicated football” and said they had been guilty of letting their 3-2 victory against Manchester City go to their heads, arguing that they would not be able to sustain a better challenge next season until Paul Pogba, among others, had started to show more consistency.
The United manager also gave a strong defence of his own record, listing some of his achievements with Chelsea, Real Madrid and Porto, after being asked how United could expect to overhaul Pep Guardiola’s team next season.
“I trust in my work,” he said. “I have no reason not to – eight titles and three Premier Leagues and the last Premier League was not 20 years ago. It was three years ago and I know how to win. I believe in myself but I don’t play.”
Jay Rodriguez’s second-half winner meant City securing the league title with five games to spare. “I don’t know if I was the first or second or third but I congratulated them face to face when I had the chance,” Mourinho said. “If I was in their position, I would be very upset if someone said they won because United lost against West Brom. They won because they were the best team and lost only a few points.”
Pogba was substituted after 57 minutes of United’s defeat and Mourinho did not make any attempt to conceal his unhappiness with the team’s performance and the inconsistency of his most expensive player. “Probably because I won eight championships, I was not in the moon with the victory against them [City]. It was only three points. That didn’t make me feel super happy and, in my opinion, it affected some of the people that were too happy. I have lots of experience because I won eight titles and I was not over the moon ... but I saw lots of people who were on the moon. During the week I was trying to fight that.
“With my experience you don’t titles with inconsistency. You win, of course, with quality, but with consistency in every level, not just the performance level but also the mental level. One of the things we have to improve is consistency.”