Jose Mourinhos damning Man Utd verdict rings true after Brighton capitulation

Ralf Rangnick apologises to fans after 'unacceptable' 4-0 defeat to Brighton

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Jose Mourinho raised eyebrows when he boldly claimed that his fairly modest achievements at Manchester United ranked amongst the “best” of his trophy-laden career – but United’s latest collapse has given Mourinho’s brutal verdict some validation. Ralf Rangnick’s side slumped to another humiliating defeat after being thrashed 4-0 by Brighton on Saturday evening.

United’s latest catastrophic result means the club can no longer qualify for next year’s Champions League – and also ensures that the Red Devils will accrue their lowest ever points tally in the Premier League era. But this shouldn’t come as a major surprise; United’s powers have waned significantly in recent years, and even a string of high-profile coaches have been unable to halt their steady decline.

Mourinho has one of the most impressive resumes in football – but even he was unable to restore United’s fortunes. He did, however, manage to guide the club to a second-placed finish before he was given the boot by the Old Trafford hierarchy; something he claimed was one of his best achievements in football.

Speaking back in 2019, he told BeIN SPORTS: “”If I tell you, for example, that I consider one of the best jobs of my career was to finish second with Man United in the Premier League, you will say, ‘this guy is crazy.’ He won 25 titles and he is saying that a second position was one of his best achievements? I keep saying this because people don’t know what is going on behind the scenes. And sometimes we, in this side of the cameras, analyse things with a different perspective.”

Mourinho was not only ridiculed at the time for his comments, but he was also accused of failing at United, with many believing the club would prosper without him. However, that hasn’t come to pass; United’s struggles have continued long after his departure.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did manage to provide some respite by guiding United to a second-placed finish last term, but the Norwegian was also at the helm for the start of United’s implosion this year.

Rangnick – one of Germany’s most esteemed tactical coaches – hasn’t fared much better after picking up the reins on an interim basis late last year. There are higher hopes for Erik ten Hag, but the structural chaos that Mourinho mentioned is still present.

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Saturday’s remarkable second half capitulation at Brighton should illuminate that fact. There are still things fundamentally wrong at Manchester United, both on and off the pitch, and the club will struggle to better the accomplishments of Mourinho until they are finally amended.

United have made moves to clear the deck ahead of Ten Hag’s arrival by axing a number of off-field personnel, but the deep-rooted issues that Mourinho alluded to could take years to resolve. The former Chelsea chief took the flack for his blunt warning, but that doesn’t mean that Ten Hag will not pay the price for the shortcomings that were highlighted by Mourinho.

It’s up to the Dutchman and United’s new-look hierarchy to finally try and resolve them. The man who highlighted them was ridiculed for claiming a top-two finish as a success – but nobody at Old Trafford would turn that down right now.

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