Jose Mourinho has started the mind games with David Moyes by claiming he has ‘inside information’ on Manchester United’s struggles under their new manager.
The Chelsea boss, who is preparing for Sunday’s Barclays Premier League clash with the champions at Stamford Bridge, claims to have spoken with Sir Alex Ferguson about United’s difficulties.
Mourinho said: ‘My feeling, which is based on years of communicating with Sir Alex and some inside information, is Man United are not happy, but they are calm.
‘They trust David. David trusts them. I don’t think David is under pressure. The pressure is something virtual. It is something that comes from the media as a consequence of nothaving the best results. The most important thing in all of this is not the pressure that comes from the outside, it’s the reality of the inside.’
Moyes has had a turbulent start to his career at United, who are five points off a Champions League place.
Mourinho had been tipped to take over from Ferguson at Old Trafford when it emerged that he would be leaving Real Madrid last summer, although he always maintained Chelsea were his first choice.
He has a close friendship with Ferguson and the pair met at the Lowry Hotel in Manchester for afternoon tea before Real’s Champions League clash with Manchester City last season.
Mourinho recognised the difficulties facing former Everton manager Moyes, who was in France last night watching Bordeaux play Paris Saint-Germain.
‘The manager is calm and they are thinking this is our manager for the next two, three, four, five years,’ he told London’s Evening Standard. ‘So they’re all together and are going to rebuild again a big team. The bad results will finish
.‘They will get back on track, although it is probably too late to win the league because they’re too many points behind the leader.’ United are 11 points behindArsenal with 17 games to play and they only emerged from a tricky run of fixtures with a win over Swansea at Old Trafford last Sunday.
They drew 0-0 with Chelsea in a dreadful game at the start of the season but Mourinho’s team are now on the charge in the Premier League, having won their last five games in the league to lie only two points behind their London rivals.
Despite winning titles with Chelsea, Inter, Real and Porto, Mourinho believes capturing the title this year would top the lot.
He believes Manchester City, who were beaten 2-1 by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in October, are the best equipped team in the league.
Mourinho added: ‘It would be my greatest achievement if we beat them to the title this year.‘We were champions before but we were the team to be champions, the team to attack the title, especially in our second season when we killed it from day one.
‘This is a team in development and if you win titles in this time, it is not handed to you. It would be a super achievement. But we are not worried about that right now, just thinking about improving every day.
‘City, in terms of power of the squad, are in another dimension. You can’t compare their situation with any other club. Some people disagree or some managers feel they shouldn’t say it but I say what I feel. City are different.’
Mourinho also believes that of all the major European leagues it is the Premier League that provides the toughest challenge for a coach or a player.
He said: ‘For me the situation is clear — the best place to develop is in the most difficult league. In England, you don’t do 100 points, you don’t score 125 goals unless Manchester City can do it this season. But normally the evolution of a player needs difficulty and the difficulties help the development of a player. You reach your maximum with difficult situations. The big push comes.
‘Of course it is easier to succeed abroad. You go to Spain and there are two big clubs (Barcelona and Real Madrid); you go to Germany and they have one big club (Bayern Munich) and a little bit more. In Italy now there is one big team (Juventus are eight points clear in Serie A), although obviously more than one big club. So it is easier to succeed.
‘If you are an attacking player and go to Barcelona or Real Madrid, it is easier to score 50 goals than if you’re playing in England.‘Of course, these clubs are a big attraction. You can’t blame a player. As a manager I had that instinct, too. I wanted to go to Madrid myself. So if a player has thatfeeling it’s very understandable. But I keep thinking in my case, where I enjoyed it most is where the competition is. It’s high here. If I was a player I wouldn’t leave the Premier League.’ – Daily Mail