Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho feels his start at Old Trafford has been hindered by Louis van Gaal’s legacy, according to a number of British newspaper reports.
Mourinho, who took over from Van Gaal in the summer, is under pressure early on in his United career after suffering three straight defeats in all competitions.
He wants his players to think for themselves and believes that jars with Van Gaal’s two years in charge of the side, according to the Daily Mail and the Daily Mirror, with the Dutchman implementing a rigid system for which he received regular criticism.
The Portuguese, for example, is keen for his full-backs to press and move forward, something that, according to The Times, contrasts with Van Gaal’s ideology of sideways passing.
Speaking in August, Mourinho had said: “My teams are different to Mr. Van Gaal, and it is a difficult situation to change the dynamics. It would be easier for me to have 20 new players and start from zero.”
The former Chelsea boss raised eyebrows this week after he publicly criticised left-back Luke Shaw for his part in their 3-1 loss to Watford on Sunday.
The Daily Telegraph reports that the club’s players have been shocked by Mourinho’s comments and their confidence has been hit, although The Guardian and The Sun report the manager has the club’s backing.
The Guardian added that Mourinho’s methods are seen as similar to those of former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, who enjoyed so much success at Old Trafford, winning numerous trophies including 13 Premier League titles.
Mourinho’s chance to return to winning ways comes on Wednesday night when his team face League One side Northampton Town in the EFL Cup third round.
The Sun reports that under-fire captain Wayne Rooney could be left out for Saturday’s Premier League match at home to champions Leicester City.
Gary Neville responded to the Telegraph report by saying on Twitter: “Leaks already after one bad week! Embarrassing!!”
The former United right-back then said the report had the look of something written using information from inside the club, adding: “Absolutely not . However I can sense a piece that’s had info passed on and one that’s speculative!”