Solskjaer, Mourinho Trade Barbs Ahead of Upcoming Meeting

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Ahead of their Premier League clash next weekend, Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho are engaged in a miniature war of words.

It started yesterday when Solskjaer, who replaced Mourinho as United boss in December of 2018 said the following after his side scored a strange and controversial come-from-behind 3-2 victory at Brighton & Hove Albion:

“Last season we had too many draws, so that is a big plus for us. You have to be happy Jose is not here to measure the goalposts.”

jose mourinho

Solskjaer made these remarks in a post match interview for television, and he was addressing Mourinho’s having complained about the goals being too small prior to his side’s Europa League qualifier victory over Shkendija Thursday night.

Here’s what Mourinho had to say today, ahead of his side’s draw with Newcastle United, which ended in extremely controversial fashion:

“I think Ole yes was so happy and surprised with what happened to his team that he had a joke. I understand that for him the dimensions of the goalposts are not important for him. What is important for him are the dimensions of the 18-yard box.

“He would never accept to play with a 17-yard box. I think he would prefer a 22-yard box. For him it would be better.”

The two sides will meet at Old Trafford next weekend, but there is still plenty to be said and done between now and then. Spurs will take on Chelsea in the fourth round of the EFL Cup on Tuesday night while United, in the same competition, have a rematch at Brighton.

Spurs also have a Europa League qualifier playoff on Thursday against Maccabi Haifa. Then you have the prematch press conferences for both managers ahead of that clash. Given Mourinho’s history of verbal feuding, one can expect more back and forth between now and kickoff.

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 Illustrated, Chicago Tribune and SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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