Manchester United Had No Personality Before Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Says Jose Mourinho
Jose suggested that the team lacked leadership and towering personalities of previous generations.
The Red Devils are desperately trying to become a relevant force in English football, having fallen out of the Premier League title race after Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.
Manchester United are yet to lose in the Premier League since October, but are still fifth in the table.
Jose has admitted that he has had to adapt to the new surroundings and the team needed an injection of a certain profile.
“Manchester United no longer has the super personalities of the likes of Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes or Roy Keane,” he told France Football. “There is Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick, who are the last faces of this generation, and there is a new group of players that has to adapt.”
“That’s why it was important for me to get Zlatan. In this team he had, without being English, without knowing the culture of the club, the personality and the profile to be more.”
“You have to adapt to the reality of the club, its needs and its demands,” he added. “It is called being intelligent. The priority is to establish relations of peace and love in a group, to create stability.”
“From a psychological point of view, the stronger empathy in a group, the more consistent the relationship between players, and the more you are ready. The “mind game”, which involves trying to manipulate someone psychologically via the media, is a way to create a state of mind, but it is most effective when you have a team full of personalities ready to absorb this kind of speech.”
“At Inter, I was like a fish in the water in this area. I had Marco Materazzi, Ivan Cordoba, Ibrahimovic, Diego Milito, Thiago Motta – guys who were willing to follow me everywhere . After that, it’s another thing to work at a club where players do not have the same profile. So before you go in a different direction, you first need to understand the people you work with.”
Jose Mourinho also spoke about how he has changed since first becoming a coach.
“Mourinho the man tries to be the opposite of what the manager is. He tries to be discreet, calm,” he explained. “Find the way to disconnect. I can go home and not watch a football game, do not think football. I can do it. At the beginning of my career, I could not. I was constantly connected, 24 hours a day. I had to find a form of maturity.”
“Today, I feel good with my personality as a man. I have matured, I am more peaceful. A victory no longer represents the moon, and a defeat means hell. And I believe I am able to transmit this serenity to those who work with me, to my players.”
“I have the same ambitions as I used to have. The same involvement, the same professionalism. But I’m more in control of my emotions.”