Manchester United: Was Jose Mourinho right about state of club?

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Jose Mourinho spent two and a half years in charge at Manchester United before being sacked in December 2018

Jose Mourinho has won two Champions Leagues, eight league titles and 10 cup competitions.

So when, the day before Manchester United’s opening game of the season against Leicester in August, the then manager said he regarded finishing second in the previous campaign – 19 points behind champions Manchester City – as his greatest managerial achievement, few took him seriously.

Wind the clock forward nine months.

The gap to City has grown to 32 points. Mourinho is no longer United boss, sacked and replaced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. After a brief renaissance, they have slipped to sixth and failed to qualify for the Champions League for the third time in six seasons.

So, while it was felt at the time that Mourinho was being unnecessarily downbeat by highlighting the brilliance of being runners-up, was he right?

Was this, in fact, merely one example of Mourinho telling it how it really is? And if so, how do United put it right?

I’m too young to retire – Mourinho

‘Time has spoken’

Mourinho knows his assessment of that last full season as Manchester United manager drew incredulity. But he meant it, repeating it recently in an interview with French newspaper L’Equipe on 15 May,