Five times Jose Mourinho didn’t get his wish at Man Utd as Mason Greenwood request leaked – The Mirror

Jose Mourinho spent two-and-a-half years as Manchester United boss before being axed in December 2018.

The Special One had long been touted as a man who would eventually take charge at Old Trafford.

He was appointed in the summer of 2016 and delivered three pieces of silverware – the last of which remains the club’s most recent honour.

However, Mourinho’s spell ended sourly as he struggled to keep pace with rivals Manchester City and Liverpool.

It was a defeat at Anfield that ultimately spelled the end for the Portuguese coach, who was squabbling with his own players and becoming increasingly outspoken.

Mourinho will have had gripes with how his United tenure ended.

He made several requests during his spell, not all of which were met with the green light.

We take a look at some of the occasions Mourinho didn’t get his way.







Jose Mourinho was dismissed at Old Trafford in December 2018



1. Introducing Greenwood

Mason Greenwood has become a major part of the first team under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The striker, hailed by many as the best finisher at the club, scored in United’s opening three games this term.

In his breakthrough 2019/20 season, Greenwood scored 17 times and Mourinho recognised that talent early.

He asked for a 15-year-old Greenwood to be introduced to first team training as he discussed the club’s young talent with Nicky Butt, then head of first-team development.

“He would ask me which players I wanted to move up. He asked, ‘Who is this kid Greenwood?’ when Mason was 15,” Butt told the Athletic.

“‘Bring him to train with us’, and I said, ‘We can’t, because he’s at school and there are rules and regulations’.”

Greenwood would make his debut in March 2019, less than three months after Mourinho’s sacking.





2. Not getting a centre-back

Mourinho signed central defenders during his first two summers as United boss.

First, Eric Bailly arrived from Villarreal in 2016 and immediately slotted into the first-team. Yet as time went on the Ivorian was in and out of the team with injuries an issue.

Victor Lindelof joined from Benfica the following year but only started 13 times in the Premier League in his debut season.

The next summer, a centre-half was again on Mourinho’s agenda, but he was left frustrated by the club’s failure to sign one.

Toby Alderweireld and Harry Maguire were both linked but neither arrived.

Later that season, after a 2-2 draw with Southampton, Mourinho lamented his lack of defensive options.

He told talkSPORT : “I have to bemoan that we had one central defender available to play a Premier League game, which is always a difficult game away from home against a team who has dangerous players in attack.

“The thing that I have to bemoan is that I had to organise a team with only one central defender. I have to praise the people who tried to do their best.







Harry Maguire was linked with Man Utd before his move to Old Trafford in 2019



3. Failing to land Perisic

From the summer of Mourinho’s appointment, United were linked with Ivan Perisic.

The Croatian, then at Inter Milan, was highly-rated by the Special One, who was keen to add a winger of his quality to the squad at Old Trafford.

“Perisic is the kind of winger that is different to the others,” he told Russia Today. “Normally you look at wingers and they are just fast and creative.

“But he is also physical, very physical. Fantastic in the air.”

Despite that, Perisic never moved to Manchester. He has since said he was “very close” to a move, insisting he couldn’t turn Mourinho down.

“But it didn’t happen. It was painful for me. But I don’t want to go into the details,” he’s told The Sun . “I only found out myself the real reasons two years later.”

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Paul Pogba and his manager endured a mixed relationship
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4. Public criticism backfires

For much of his early career, Mourinho had a way with players, whether it be an arm around the shoulder or a public challenge.

Nowadays though the latter doesn’t seem to fly.

The Special One was vocal in his criticism of several players at Old Trafford but didn’t get the desired reaction.

Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial have both spoken out against Mourinho whilst Paul Pogba has also questioned his tactics.

“What I have now with Ole is different because he wouldn’t go against the players,” the Frenchman said in a Sky Sports interview. “It’s not like you put them on the side and they don’t exist any more. I think that’s the difference between Mourinho and Ole.

“Once I had a great relationship with Mourinho. Everybody sees that and the next day you don’t know what happened. That’s the strange thing I had with Mourinho. And I cannot explain to you because, even me, I don’t know.”

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5. Silverware vs style

Mourinho has always been about winning trophies, and you get the sense he didn’t like being questioned whilst he was doing so.

Those in attendance at at Old Trafford were by no means on the edge of their seat. They perhaps looked on enviously at the style of play implemented at Man City or Liverpool.

But in Mourinho’s first year, he claimed silverware while United’s rivals didn’t – and he made it clear that criticism of his team went too far.

United speak of traditions that involve attacking football, whereas Mourinho was a pragmatist.

After the 2017 Europa League victory over Ajax, he said: “In a bad season, in a season where sometimes I felt that my team was the worst team in the world, in a season where I felt like the worst manager in the world.. we managed to win three trophies.

“We go to the Champions League by winning a trophy, not by finishing second or third or fourth.”


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