Jose Mourinho has insisted that criticism regarding his use of tactics in the Champions League draw at Sevilla is unjustified.
Manchester United came away from the first leg of their last-16 tie with a goalless draw thanks in large to the heroics of goalkeeper David de Gea.
United managed just six shots all evening at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, compared to their opponents’ 25, with January recruit Alexis Sanchez cutting a frustrated figure in attack.
Asked about giving Sanchez defensive instructions, rather than allowing the Chilean forward to play more of a free role, Mourinho offered an angry response.
“I think you are all, or many of you, are in a new sport! In England, some guys say the wingers shouldn’t defend,” he told reporters at this post-match press conference. “The next time I see David Beckham I’m going to ask him: ‘David, when you were playing right wing at Manchester United, when the opposition left-back attacked, do you stay looking at the stands? Or do you come back with the guy?’
“I’m going to ask David that. And everybody knows that I’m not big friends with Roy Keane or Paul Scholes, but I will ask them: ‘When your team lost the ball, did you drop back? Or did you stay walking on the pitch?’ Because now it looks like all the good players have to play free, and when the team has the ball, which I think is such a stupid thing to say.
“When a team has the ball, you attack. When the team does not have the ball, you defend. It’s as simple as that, but it looks like now some guys are creating a new sport.
But I still don’t see it, because the winning teams, the top teams in the world now, not 10 years ago or 20 or 30, the top teams now, everybody works. Everybody has tactical discipline.”
Five of Man United’s past seven Champions League away