Jose Mourinho took a dig at the rest of the clubs in the top six, as he stated that he will always put trophies ahead of finishing in the top four. Tottenham, Manchester City, Liverpool will all finish the season without a trophy, while Arsenal could join them if they lose the FA Cup final. United made eight changes at the weekend for their trip to White Hart Lane and it is evident that their manager has one eye on the Europa League final. The following comments were reported by the Mirror:
“I don’t know other clubs, I don’t know the way they think, I don’t know what is important for them. We, Manchester United, for us it’s more important to win titles than to finish top four.”
This could be considered a comment directed especially at Arsenal, as Arsene Wenger has often talked about the top four being as good as a trophy. The problem with this quote is that Mourinho is setting himself up for a fall, as he has sacrificed the opportunity of finishing in the top four, therefore he must win the Europa League final to reach the Champions League. There will be a lot of pressure on him and the players in Stockholm. Defeat would mean that the club have failed this season and Mourinho would come under a lot of scrutiny as a result.
The change of approach in the league has given an opportunity to Wayne Rooney as he attempts to prove he still has what it takes to play at the highest level. The 31-year-old has been on the sidelines this season, but he played the entire 90 minutes against Tottenham and faced a lot of criticism throughout the match, especially from Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness, as reported by the Mirror. The England international hit back at the doubters with a late goal to get his side back into the game.
It will be interesting to see what the future holds for Wayne Rooney as he will be unlikely to play a prominent role at Old Trafford again. He has lost a yard of pace and is unable to influence matches as he once did. However, there were signs on Sunday that he could still have something to offer in the Premier League. His experience and winning mentality would be a good addition to most clubs, especially those with ambitions of challenging in the top eight, such as Everton, West Ham United and Newcastle United. If he can accept that he is no longer the player he was and accepts a move down to a lower club, there could be more to come from the 31-year-old in the Premier League.
Don Balon report that Pepe could be a possible target for Manchester United as Jose Mourinho needs to strengthen his defence and already has a good relationship with his compatriot from his time in charge at the Bernabeu. The centre-back wants to leave Real Madrid to join another Champions League club, but the only offers currently on the table are from Inter Milan and China. If United were to make their move, they would be favourites to sign the defender.
This would be a good signing for United as he has experience playing at the highest level and has won the Champions League more than once. It would be a short-term buy, but he would improve their back four and help out some of the younger defenders in the squad. Also, it would be a relatively low-risk transfer as everyone is aware of the Portuguese international’s qualities.
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