José Mourinho has branded Frank de Boer the “worst manager in the history of the Premier League” after the Dutchman questioned the Manchester United manager’s handling of Marcus Rashford.
De Boer lasted only five matches at Crystal Palace before being sacked in September. He lost each of his four league games without managing a goal and won a Carabao Cup match.
After Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Liverpool in which Rashford scored United’s goals, De Boer said it was a “pity” Mourinho was the 20-year-old’s manager.
In answer, the Portuguese said: “I read something, some quote from the worst manager in the history of the Premier League – Frank de Boer. He had seven matches, seven defeats [sic], zero goals. What he was saying was not good for Marcus Rashford to have a coach like me because the most important thing for me is to win.
“If he was coached by Frank he would lose because he lost every game. I try to give the best to the kid. I have to be honest and give the credit to the people of the academy that was responsible for his formation, to Mr [Louis] Van Gaal [Mourinho’s predecessor] who was responsible for his first season. But if you go to his numbers and how many matches he played with me last season and this, I would say probably he’s in the top five players with most matches in the two seasons.”
De Boer, working as a BT pundit, had said when discussing Rashford, who was making a first league start in 2018 against Liverpool: “It’s a pity that the manager is Mourinho because normally he’s an English player you want to give him time and he can then make mistakes. But Mourinho is not like that. He wants to get results. If he has one or two not good games, he puts him out. He’s a player, he’s very young, he needs games, but he’s so talented. You want to see this player every week.”
United host Sevilla in Tuesday night’s Champions League last-16 second leg with the tie poised at 0-0, meaning the Spanish club will go through on away goals in the event of a score draw.
Mourinho believes United will have a chance of winning the trophy if they progress. “I think we’re not one of the best teams in the competition but when a team arrives in the last eight, anything can happen,” he said. “When you’re in the last 16 it looks really far but in the last eight you start smelling [the] semi-finals.”
Paul Pogba remains a doubt with a leg injury picked up in training last week. Mourinho said he did not know whether the midfielder would be available but Pogba had trained after the open part of Monday’s session closed.
Michael Carrick has confirmed he will retire at the end of the season. “There comes a time, whether you like it or you don’t like it, that your body tells you it is time to stop playing football,” he said. “That’s pretty much where I’m at. It’s something that you have got to accept.”
Carrick is set to join United’s coaching staff in the summer. “It’s kind of been sorted out but we’re still talking about it so there is nothing to totally confirm yet,” he said. “It’s looking likely.”
The 36-year-old expanded on the heart condition he suffered in September. “I had a problem during the Burton [EFL Cup] game in the second half,” Carrick said. “I had a few tests after that and the same problem came back on the Sunday of that week in training.
“I had the procedure the following week. It took a little while to get over. There were some times there, two or three days, when I wondered whether I would carry on playing or not; is it worth it or not? But that quickly passed and I got back fit. I wanted to finish on my own terms so I was determined to get back fit. I’ve been training hard and we’ll see what happens.”