Jose Mourinho refused to talk to the media, including his club’s own in-house television station, after Manchester United ended the Premier League campaign with a 2-0 win over
United manager Mourinho had become increasingly angered with sections of the media in recent weeks at coverage of his team’s campaign.
With Wednesday’s Europa League final to come against
But United’s struggles in the league, and some tedious games particularly at Old Trafford, have seen a growing mood of disquiet, certainly among sections of the written and broadcast press.
Following the Palace win, United players performed a lap of appreciation for supporters, with club captain Wayne Rooney having played what could prove to be his last game for the club, picked out for a special ovation by Old Trafford fans.
But while the celebrations were ongoing, Mourinho made his way to a variety of press conferences for television, print and radio media, staying a matter of seconds in each case before leaving due to the absence of journalists.
Even MUTV, the most friendly of broadcasters in dealing with the club, was not immune from Mourinho’s policy as he snapped: “I’m in a final, let me go home, I’m in a final.”
Mourinho was reported to have left Old Trafford within 20 minutes of the final whistle.
An insight into Mourinho’s mindset could be gleaned from his programme notes before the game when he responded to former
“I have seen in the football media that certain pundits cannot understand why our players are tired,” wrote Mourinho.
“A pundit is not honest if they cannot forget their colours or if they try to hide the truth from their audience.
“It’s not my fault if their managerial career was very poor.”
Those critics will doubtless interpret Mourinho’s behaviour as a sign that the experienced manager is feeling the pressure ahead of the Wednesday final, where victory will guarantee United’s Champions League football next season.
But it also had the effect of detracting from the outstanding performances of a number of his youngsters, with four home players handed their full league debuts and Mourinho fielding the youngest United line-up in Premier League history, at an average of under 23 years of age.
One of those debutants, Josh Harrop, opened the scoring before Paul Pogba added a second and was replaced, along with Jesse Lingard, just before the interval to rest ahead of the final.
Later, with Rooney substituted to receive a standing ovation, Angel Gomes was brought on in the 87th minute and, at 16 years and 262 days, he became the club’s youngster player for 61 years since David Gaskell in 1956.
It was a game that Harrop, in particular, will never forget thanks to his debut goal, which followed a hat-trick he scored for United’s Under-23s in a victory against Tottenham at Old Trafford on Monday.