In Brief

Man Utd boss Jose Mourinho moans over World Cup absentees

Many United stars are missing the club’s pre-season tour of the United States

Mourinho the ‘Sulky One’

Manchester United take on AC Milan tomorrow in California in the International Champions Cup and already Jose Mourinho is moaning.

The United gaffer says that his side are at a disadvantage compared to their Premier League rivals because so many of his players are still on a post-World Cup break.

Mourinho led his squad Stateside for their pre-season tour without such key names as Romelu Lukaku, Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard, all of whom starred for their respective countries in Russia.

Consequently, the ‘Special One’ was more like the ‘Sulky One’ when he appeared before reporters ahead of Thursday’s eagerly awaited clash with Milan.

‘I’m not happy’

Asked if he was happy with how the tour was progressing, Mourinho told Sky Sports: “Of course I am not happy… I don’t have the majority of the players that are going to be in the squad on 9 August, when the [transfer] market closes and we can make the squad official for the season.” 

Although he said he was pleased with “the evolution of the matches”, Mourinho was dismayed by the fact so many of his star names were missing in America, particularly when he looked at his Premier League rivals.  

He added: “If you look to the players Chelsea and Liverpool have in pre-season, especially these two teams but also Arsenal, I think if you compare, you see the difference of the situation.”

While he conceded that Manchester City and Tottenham were in a similar boat to United, Mourinho said that they will be at a severe disadvantage when they play Leicester City in their league opener on 10 August.

“When I look to Leicester, if I’m not wrong, only [Harry] Maguire and [Jamie] Vardy, were in the World Cup in the final phase,” said Mourinho. “I think a team that is working for six weeks minimum, with only one central defender and one striker missing, it is clear how much better the situation is for them.”

Scholes: Pep would be different

Meanwhile Mourinho’s mood won’t have been improved by an interview given to beIN Sports by Paul Scholes. 

Fast gaining a reputation as an acid-tongued analyser, the United legend made clear his displeasure with the club’s playing style under Mourinho.

“It’s a team that grind out results rather than impress you, but that’s probably what he’s happy with,” said Scholes.

“Last year was a disappointing year. You don’t have any divine right to win a trophy, but the way they performed in the league wasn’t really the standard required. Every year that Manchester United don’t win something it’s a disaster and that will carry on until he tries and wins the league.”

And Scholes then put the boot into Mourinho by comparing what United have become to the brand of blistering football played by Manchester City. He said: “If [Pep] Guardiola was manager of Manchester United he would hate what he was seeing and it would be different.”

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