Jose Mourinho produced an impassioned harangue in defence of his use of Marcus Rashford at Manchester United in today’s press conference.
The 20-year-old, who only has one start this season, scored in consecutive games for England over the international break.
Rashford’s success in front of goal under Gareth Southgate has prompted many into calling for him to move elsewhere for more game time.
And Mourinho, as he likes to do, launched a powerful response, reminding journalists of Rashford’s number of appearances – especially in big games – under his tutelage.
3️⃣2️⃣ Premier League matches
1️⃣1️⃣ Europa League matches including the final
3️⃣ FA Cup matches
6️⃣ League Cup matches including the final
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) September 14, 2018
The 55-year-old has done it again. His press conference ahead of Tottenham Hotspur grabbed headlines for lasting only 259 seconds. This time around, his answer to the question about Rashford was 279 seconds long, replete with key numbers which struck at the heart of claims the Englishman had been underused at Old Trafford.
None of that Mourinho has said here is wrong. In fact, he is spot on: Rashford has started in two finals under Mourinho and made over 100 appearances since the Portuguese joined in June 2016. As he noted, Rashford is no Dominic Solanke. Rashford is no Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
The genius behind this, as always, is not the content of what he said, but how it was delivered – methodically, from a script, imbibed with a feeling of vengeance, of wanting to prove a point. Mourinho has once again made this all about him, about a particular moment. He has successfully distracted everybody from the fact that there is a massive game for United tomorrow.