For the game yesterday against Newcastle it seems that Jose Mourinho went out of his way to be kind and even complimented the Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez.
During his press conference for the game, Jose said that he had always had huge respect for Rafa as an excellent manager and his criticism of him had never been personal.
But we remember that Jose criticised Rafa’s wife long ago, for allowing him to put on weight and that seemed to be personal to us.
And to give some credit to Jose, he knows Rafa was unsuccessful; at both Inter-Milan and Real Madrid where Jose had some great success – but he didn’t bring any of that up.
Maybe he’s impressed with the loyalty and guts Rafa had shown by staying at Newcastle when we were relegated.
And with very little money the Spaniard has still created a decent side.
After the game, Jose was also complimentary to Rafa who had Newcastle organized and produced an excellent first 30 minutes when we were 1-0 up, and it could have been more.
But we couldn’t keep it up and that coupled with some poor defending and some undoubted class from the Manchester United players – especially from the returning Paul Pogba – saw the Red Devils eventually win the game 4-1.
Rafa Benitez and Jose Mourinho – before the game
Ater the game Jose Mourinho was still complimenting Rafa as he had this to say:
“We didn’t start well,” “But I don’t blame my players. I blame in the positive sense. I blame Benitez.
“He’s very experienced, very intelligent.”
“Their team was very well organised. They started very well, creating us problems. We couldn’t play sometimes in our defensive areas.”
“But the goal was like a wake-up call, and the team reacted very, very, well and very strong.”
We just couldn’t keep up our good form early on – but what’s really worrying is the poor defensive play, with all of our four back culpable for some of the four goals.
Rafa’s right when he says he has to improve the quality at every single position on the Newcastle side.
We hope he gets to do that in the January transfer window.