Jose Mourinho delivered his first official press conference at Old Trafford as Manchester United boss to a waiting throng of reporters.
Mourinho of course has been manager of United for the past six weeks but this was his first presentation and the press were eager to ask him as many insightful questions as they could. One of the hold ups for Mourinho being unveiled to the press was the European Championships, but as the tournament in France winds down the attention is already wavering towards the beginning of club football once again which kicks off in just over 4 weeks time.
Mourinho as expected was in great moods and he will be boosted by the clubs transfer activity which has already seen Zlatan Ibrahimovic arrive on a free from PSG and the capture of highly rated centre back Eric Bailley from Villarreal.
Mourinho talked about the clubs legacy, chances of winning the league, Ryan Giggs and Sir Alex Ferguson during his conference. Here are some excerpts:
On Sir Alex Ferguson:
“We will have lots of time to meet each other. He will always be welcome to the training ground obviously. We will have a lot of time to share our personal stuff – friends, family and life. His opinion is an important opinion for me. So many legends at this club love it. So many are in the punditry business at the moment – every one will be important whether I agree or not agree. I will always give a look to learn from what they give to me.”
On Ryan Giggs 29 years association with Manchester United ending:
“It’s not my responsibility that Ryan is not in the club. The job Ryan wanted was the to be manager. That’s not my fault – the owners and Mr Woodward wanted me. Ryan, for the moment, wants to be a manager. I decided years ago I wanted to be a manager. Many of us start as assistant coaches and a moment arrives to making a decision. Ryan could have been what he wanted – any important job but he made a decision where you need to be brave. It’s not easy – I had a contract at Barcelona in 2000 to be assistant for two more years. It was not easy for me. And for Ryan it’s not just the step of going from assistant manager to manager. It is also the challenge of leaving his house – it was 29 years, not 29 days. If I am hear and he wants to come back, I will never stop him. If one day the club wants him to be manager it will be the consequence of his achievements as a manager.”
Mourinho’s first fixture as Man Utd manager will take place on July 22nd when the Red Devils take on German club Borussia Dortmund in China. But many observers are looking forward to this years Community Sheild final where United will take on Premier League champions Leicester City in August and it is this game that will be seen as Mourinho’s first real test with his new club.