Jose Mourinho Fires Back at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for Cup Competition Comment

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It’s looking likelier by the week that Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will lead his club to both a second place finish in the Premier League and a Europa League title this season. The last man to accomplish both those feats in the same season at Old Trafford is Jose Mourinho, who did it in 2017.

The two managers will clash tomorrow when United visit Tottenham Hotspur, and ahead of the meeting we have a miniature war of words going on between the two coaches.

Manchester United at Tottenham Hotspur FYIs

Kickoff: 4:30pm Sunday April 11, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Starting XI Predictions:   Tottenham    Manchester United

Team News:   Tottenham    Manchester United

League Position, Form:  Tottenham 6th, 49pts DWLWW   Manchester United 2nd, 60pts WWWDD

Odds: Tottenham (+185) Manchester United (+140)  Draw (+235)

Solskjaer, still yet to win a trophy since he replaced Mourinho at Old Trafford, recently drew criticism over his claim that winning cup competitions is “sometimes an ego thing for managers and clubs.” This was read by many to be a thinly-veiled swipe at Mourinho, although the Portugese himself has still failed to win a piece of silverware at his current club.

In his prematch news conference yesterday, Mourinho responded to this jab, by saying the Norwegian’s “big boss” Sir Alex Ferguson would not be on board with Solskjaer’s notion about the value of cup competitions.

“It is his opinion,” Mourinho said yesterday.

“I am pretty sure that his big boss Sir Alex has a different opinion about it. But I respect what Solskjaer thinks. I think different and [there should be] freedom of thinking, freedom of ideas.”

“If that is the way he thinks, that’s fine for me. It is not a problem for me. It is not being disrespectful for anyone. But I believe, I repeat, that his big boss and the biggest of Premier League history has a different view in relation to that.”

Ferguson retired in 2013 after having accumulated the most decorated career in football history. He won 38 trophies during his 26 years leading United, and the club haven’t strongly contended for the Premier League or Champions League titles since he stepped down.

They were top of the table in January, for a couple of weeks, but that lead quickly dissipated, and they faded fast from the title chase.

They are strong favorites though to win the Europa League competition this season, and they have a 2-0 advantage on Granada, after the road leg, of their quarterfinal tie.

jose mourinho

As for Mourinho and Tottenham, they have progressed to the EFL Cup final, which will be staged two weeks from tomorrow. It’s the only trophy they have a chance to win this season, but they’ll have to get past juggernaut Manchester City, who are in contention for a quadruple, in order to achieve it.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports IllustratedChicago Tribune and SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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