Jose Mourinho once again stressed that finishing second in the Premier League with Manchester United was one of his “greatest achievements” as a manager because people did not know “what goes on behind the scenes.”
The 55-year-old, to the relief of every Man United supporter, was sacked prior to Christmas after overseeing the club’s worst start to a season in 28 years.
And with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer steering United back in the right direction, producing a kind of football which seemed impossible under the previous regime, Mourinho has travelled to Qatar for some punditry work on beIN Sport.
His most noteworthy quote was the implication that United were a dysfunctional club, and that finishing second with the players and resources at his disposal was a fantastic achievement.
Jose Mourinho: "I consider one of the best jobs of my career to finish second with Manchester United in the Premier League…I keep saying this because people don’t know what goes on behind the scenes." #mufc pic.twitter.com/XJZoVFHce7
— The Peoples Person (@PeoplesPerson_) January 17, 2019
Like any poker mental game, Mourinho is the king of bluffing and to a lot of United fans this sounds like nothing but hot air attempting to justify his time at United as an overall success.
Contextualising your failure to make it not seem like failure became a Mourinho trademark over 2018. It was just one of the many symptoms which stemmed from the default atmosphere of gloom and scarcity engendered by Mourinho and transmitted to his players.
I’m sure Mourinho is right about some structural problems at United, because there certainly are some.
But the fundamental takeaway from this interview is this: Mourinho chose, for whatever reason, to see the negative in everything at United, which bred further negativity, whereas United’s current boss chooses to see the good in things.
Why, then, should anybody be surprised to see United winning again? The clouds cast by Mourinho were dark ones which sunk deep. The sun is peering through once more.