Gary Neville gives his backing to Jose Mourinho
Gary Neville believes there is a “disconnect” between Jose Mourinho and the Manchester United board after a tumultuous summer transfer window.
Mourinho said he was looking for more reinforcements during pre-season, and expressed his displeasure with the United hierarchy at the business that was – or was not – being conducted.
Following United’s 2-1 win against Leicester on the opening evening of the new Premier League campaign, Mourinho continued to hit out at the board, telling Sky Sports: “For us, it will be a difficult season because I had my plans for many months and I find myself in the beginning of the Premier League with the market closed.
“I find myself in a situation which I did not think I was going to be in. I think it will be the last time I speak about it. It’s finished, the market is closed and no more talk about it.
“Probably football managers should now be called head coaches. We have big, multi-functional coaching staff and we are more the head coach than the manager. That’s the way football is going.”
6:07 Mourinho says he was pleased with United's opening day win over Leicester and also touched on why he didn't land his preferred transfer targets
Former United defender Gary Neville believes the relationship between the manager and the board is becoming increasingly disjointed, and says Mourinho should be backed.
“There seems to be a disconnect between the board and who Jose thinks should come to the club,” he said on Friday Night Football.
“It’s intriguing because Jose’s talking about the lack of influence managers have over signings and sporting directors, heads of recruitment having a bigger say. I actually think that’s the way football should go and that coaches should concentrate on football.
“But who are the people in the boardroom telling him that his signings aren’t right? United haven’t got a sporting director. Sir Alex Ferguson and Bobby Charlton aren’t being consulted.
“About three or four weeks ago when Jose handed his list to Ed Woodward, it was at that point he was calling on the board and I questioned privately what he was doing. But in the last few days, I can see exactly what he was doing.
“I think he thinks the board have let him down. They maybe thought the likes of Ivan Perisic and Toby Alderweireld – who I thought was a certainty – are a bit old. But get the players in. Jose was bought here to win. You can’t three-quarters build a house, you have to finish it, you can’t hold back.
“The club since they sacked David Moyes have been on a roundabout, reacting to things without a long-term strategy. Jose Mourino is a great manager – one of the best in the world over the last 15 years – but you have to back him all the way through and it looks to me at the moment like the board have just retreated a little bit.
“They’ve gone into reverse and said this doesn’t quite fit our philosophy. That philosophy went out of the window five years ago. You’ve now got to deal with the fact the philosophy you’ve got is to win and stop a long period of not winning.”