Gary Neville has compared Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho to boxing great Floyd Mayweather.
The former Man United captain hailed Mourinho for causing Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino to be scared of the Reds’ counter-attacking ability, mastered by Mourinho.
The Portuguese manager has shown there are few better than him at ruthless counter-attacking football. It’s become known as the Mourinho masterclass.
“He’s come in here to win the league, he’s got to win the league,’ Neville said on Sky Sports.
”He’s a little bit like [Floyd] Mayweather, Mourinho.
“Mayweather uses defence as attack, lets people punch themselves out. And Jurgen Klopp knew he didn’t want to get done by a Mourinho masterclass.
“And Tottenham on Sunday, they like to really go for it and believe, but Mourinho gets in their heads.
“And that is a great coach, to think he can have those other two coaches [Klopp and Pochettino] spoiling their tactics.”
While Klopp, in particular, may bitterly claim that United play defensive and boring football, in reality, the Liverpool boss matched Mourinho’s tactics in the two sides’ 0-0 draw. Klopp refused to make attacking substitutes despite his post-match claims that Mourinho had played for the draw.
Mourinho described he and Pochettino’s tactics on Saturday in United’s 1-0 win against Spurs as “trying to win with one eye on the thief”. It was an excellent summary of playing against big teams, knowing that one error or one brilliant counter-attack could decide the game.
It is Mourinho’s trick, what he has great success using, and it paid off on Saturday.