Usually when Manchester United manager José Mourinho—who has been presiding over a plummeting team full of star players who hate him—is backed up against a wall of his own failings, he reacts by talking some insane and/or defensive shit or by storming away in anger. In his pre-match press conference today, however, (which he abruptly moved from the usual afternoon time slot to 8 a.m. local time), he seemed almost defeated. Grouchy, naturally, but resigned.
The recorded portion of the press conference lasted just three and a half minutes. The above video picks up a few seconds late, so here’s the full transcript, from Manchester Evening News:
Reporter: Good morning, I was going to ask you why we’re here so early but that seems like a waste of a question the way things are going at the moment. Why are things not working as you would like them to work here at Manchester United?
Mourinho: For many different reasons.
Can you tell us some of those reasons?
Press person, off screen: can we move onto the game please?
Jose, you’ve had a great home record everywhere you’ve been as a manager, how important is it to return to that this weekend against Newcastle?
Very important. I know we are in the beginning of October and we look to tables all around Europe and in many of the leagues the tables in September, October don’t reflect what is going to happen in a few months later or even in the end of the season. But we are in a position that we can do much better and to do that we need points, points that we lost especially in the last two Premier League matches with one point out of six. And we know that to improve that position we need to win these three points.
But we know that our opposition also need the points. Very, very, very good coach, a team that is always very well organised against especially the teams of the first part of the table, where their manager is very bright on his analysis of the opponent’s qualities and to try to stop them. The results they had against the top teams didn’t get them points yet this season but gave them very, very close results and very difficult matches for the opposition. So we expect a difficult match.
You’ve not won at home since the opening day, I guess it’s important to repay the fans and an important time to do it before the internationals?
Yeah, that’s true. Only one defeat at home all season, only one defeat in the last seven matches but not victories at home in the past three matches, three draws, not the feeling of the defeat but not the happiness of the victory. So is important for us to try and win this match on Saturday.
Jose, you’ve gone four without a win, the club’s only gone five without a win once since 1999, do you accept that kind of run for a club of this size is not good enough?
Yes, I accept.
And are the fans assured that you’re doing everything that you can to try and turn this around?
Mourinho’s power has always stemmed from his chest-thumping arrogance and borderline delusional belief in his own abilities, which never allowed him to admit fault or countenance criticism. Today, that was gone.