Jose Mourinho Responds to Gary Neville Remarks: 'He Doesn't Know My Philosophy'

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJanuary 20, 2019

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 16:  Jose Mourinho the head coach / manager of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United at Anfield on December 16, 2018 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Jose Mourinho says ex-Manchester United defender Gary Neville "doesn't know" his philosophy after the player-turned-pundit said the Red Devils shouldn't hire another manager like "The Special One."

Mourinho was sacked by United in December but has recently made a string of appearances on beIN Sports (h/t Liam Corless of the Manchester Evening News). Host Richard Keys referred to recent comments from Sky Sports pundit Neville suggesting United shouldn't appoint another manager whose philosophy runs against that which the fans have grown up watching. 

Mourinho replied: “He doesn’t know my philosophy.”

The manager was then asked what his philosophy is but turned the conversation toward what kind of club he would like to join, or seemingly more so the kind of budget he would like:

"It depends. I would love to go to a club and to be in conditions to do what Jurgen [Klopp] and Pep [Guardiola], for example, they do.

“You look through the team that Liverpool started today (against Crystal Palace) - how many players were there before Jurgen arrived? A couple.

"And when Pep was not happy with the four full-backs he had, and in the summer [2017] he bought four full-backs that he liked. And when he bought a goalkeeper like Claudio Bravo and he was not happy with Claudio Bravo and the next season he bought Ederson."

He continued that Liverpool boss Klopp retained the trust and confidence of his board at Anfield despite winning "absolutely nothing for three-and-a-half years." The Reds now lead Manchester City at the top of the Premier League by four points.

Mourinho—who turns 56 on Saturday—brought up Liverpool's spending in recent years and the signings they made to turn back into title challengers even though he himself spent £400 million in just over two years, per Goal: 

Neville was a team-mate of United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and will have been pleased to see the club's improvement under an old ally.

The Portuguese discussed what he'll look for in his next position, saying he won't start negotiations "without knowing exactly what the club wants and what the club has to give in terms of structure and in terms of the club objectives."

Reports of low morale in the United changing room and an alleged divide between him and record signing Paul Pogba have hurt Mourinho's reputation somewhat as a manager. However, he rebuffed those claims with examples of such reports that weren't true, via ESPN FC:

It also hasn't helped Mourinho that Solskjaer has won his first seven games in charge and has United playing their best football for many months; Mourinho, in contrast, won two of his final eight games at Old Trafford. That's despite the fact the Norwegian—who made 364 appearances for United under Sir Alex Ferguson—has inherited the same group of players his predecessor had to work with.

Ben Haines of 90Min Football recently appeared on BBC 5 Live Sport and offered international management as a safe haven for Mourinho after he's been sacked at his last three clubs—Real Madrid, Chelsea and United:

United were always bound to struggle to replace the sheer influence Ferguson had at United following his retirement in 2013. But other managers who have tried their hand—David Moyes and Louis van Gaal—perhaps endeavoured more than Mourinho to at least preserve the team's identity despite their failures.

There's no arguing against the improvements the Red Devils have made since Mourinho's departure, though the tactician continues to defend his approach as successful—when in the right environment.

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