Jose Mourinho goes into ‘Rafa Benitez’ mode as he pulls out facts on paper to defend his use of Marcus Rashford
IT WASN’T QUITE a Rafa rant but Jose Mourinho had his piece of paper and wanted people to listen to ‘facts’.
Not least some TV pundits who he accused of having an obsession with him and of ‘compulsive lies’.
Jamie Carragher was no doubt in his sights after he had questioned the amount of game time Marcus Rashford got at Manchester United and even suggested the player should move to Everton.
The Manchester United boss was happy to witness Rashford scoring in each of England’s games during the international break.
He is not happy at the finger being pointed at him for an apparent lack of action for the 20-year-old back at his club and suggested there are other agendas at play.
Mourinho responded: “Some of the persons, everybody knows they have double salaries, they work also for the clubs and of course they are not independent and they conduct things in the direction they want.
“That’s obvious, human, is natural, not ethical but I accept.
“The ones that wake up in the morning and the first thing that comes into their mind is Jose Mourinho and Manchester United, I feel sorry for them.
“There are much more interesting things to wake up and think about than Jose Mourinho and football.”
Mourinho said he even expects pundits to criticise him for not playing Rashford at Watford today even though the player is suspended for three matches after being sent off at Burnley.
He said: “I think I can expect that Sunday I’m going to be highly criticised for not playing him because some of the boys are really obsessed with me and some of them have a problem with some compulsive lies, so I can expect that Sunday some of them will wake up in the morning and the first thing they think is Jose Mourinho.
“So I can imagine on Sunday I am going to be criticised for not playing Marcus but is not my fault, he’s suspended, so probably you should remind them he is suspended and cannot play.”
Mourinho came into his press conference at Carrington armed with statistics to back up his argument that he has given Rashford plenty of minutes on the pitch.
He said: “In season 2016-17 Marcus Rashford played 32 Premier League matches, 11 Europa League matches, including the final, three FA Cup matches, six League Cup matches and the Community Shield.
“He had 53 appearances but if you want to take to the mins of play, he played 3068 and if you want to divide that by 90 min matches, he played 34.2 matches of 90 min matches in 16-17.
“In 17-18, 35 Premier League matches, eight in Champion League, five in the FA Cup, three League Cup matches and the European Super Cup final.
“He played a total of 52 matches with 2,676 mins, if you divide that by 90, it gives you 29.7 matches, so with me, in two seasons, he had 105 appearances, 5744 mins, 63.7 matches of 90 mins, including five finals, so the people that is speaking about these minutes, I think they are a bit confused.
“Marcus Rashford is not Dominic Solanke, not Ruben Loftus-Cheek, not Dominic Calvert Lewin, he is Marcus Rashford, Manchester United player, with an incredible number of appearances and an incredible number of minutes played at the highest level in the best possible competitions.”
The slight problem is that the average of 90 minutes in 2016-17 should be 34.08 not 34.20, but hey what’s 0.12 of a match between a manager and player.
The more important figure from Rashford’s point of view, is EIGHT, because that is the number of games he has started since Alexis Sanchez arrived in January.
Mourinho was not in the mood to be tripped up, however, unlike at Wembley.
He was filmed falling over a red rope as he entered the stadium before the game against Spain.
Mourinho said: “People call me and ask me to fall at Wembley so they could speak about me.
“It was a good dive, no penalty, maybe a yellow card. I did protect my phones.”
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