Rio Ferdinand has offered an apology to Jose Mourinho over how he judged the manager’s tenure at Manchester United and says the Portuguese has been vindicated over his comments about the issues at the club.
Mourinho finished second with United in the 2017-18 Premier League season but was sacked a few months later with the side sitting in sixth position, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer brought in to replace him initially on a caretaker basis.
Speaking after his dismissal, the 59-year-old told beIN Sports in 2019 that his second-place finish was ‘one of the best jobs of my career’ because of issues ‘behind the scenes’ that people were not aware of.
With United about to have their fourth manager since Mourinho was sacked – with Solskjaer, Michael Carrick and Ralf Rangnick all having had turns in the dugout before Erik ten Hag takes over this summer – Ferdinand feels Mourinho’s criticism of the club’s structure and hierarchy has been proven right and believes he deserves more credit for the job he did.
Speaking on his Vibe with FIVE YouTube show, Ferdinand said: ‘I think Jose Mourinho’s quote has aged so, so well. And me for one, I would apologise maybe to some extent in terms of the way you kind of looked at him and judged him.
‘I still think there were flaws in some of the ways he handled people and handled some of the situations that he was involved in.
‘But in terms of looking behind the scenes, that [quote] he said in 2019 on finishing second in the Premier League, that has aged so well.
‘We can see that there’s been stuff going on that’s wrong behind the scenes, but at that time we didn’t know the extent of it. Obviously Jose Mourinho did.
‘He wanted to get rid of numerous players and he wanted to bring in certain players, and obviously big wages and contracts were handed out to certain players and he’s thinking, “Woah, woah, woah, what’s going on?!”
‘He could see the flaws in certain individuals, he could see the flaws in the way the club was set up, he wanted to change things and he wasn’t probably afforded that.
‘Listen, I’d love to have half-an-hour talking to Jose just about his time there, just to work out where he was at with a bit more detail than we’ve actually ever seen, and then gauge it to where we are now – that would be very insightful.’
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