While Liverpool are in the thick of an incredible title challenging season, Manchester United are once again struggling. Despite their second-place finish last season, Jose Mourinho’s side are the ones who have fallen away this campaign. Indeed, the dreaded “third season collapse” has become predictable under the Portuguese manager, regardless of where he goes.
Records aside, former Liverpool left back John Arne Riise, says there’s only one winner between Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp if given the choice of whom to play under.
”You mentioned him [talking negatively] in public about certain players. It’s something that is weird and strange. But he might have his reasons for doing it,” Riise told ESPN FC, while promoting his new autobiography Running Man.
”I don’t think people should question Mourinho and his tactics, but it looks weird from the outside.
”I would rather play for Klopp at this time than Mourinho [because] of how they are as a manager. But I think the results speak for themselves also. Mourinho is a great manager, but I’m more on the Klopp side.
”I have no problem admitting that I think Mourinho is brilliant, even though I played for Liverpool and Rafa [Benitez] was somebody else. I personally love football and have no problem saying certain things about other teams or coaches. Mourinho, I think, was brilliant.”
Heavy emphasis on was. Clearly Mourinho is still a brilliant manager, but his heavy dose of negativity wears thin quickly no matter where he goes. And he consistently has a big fall off in results after his first two years in charge at a club.
Of course, the Norwegian is also looking at this through Liverpool-tinted lenses.
“I think Liverpool is way ahead when it comes to style of play, the players they have and the passion they play with.
”I’m glad I’m a Liverpool fan, not United fan at the moment. I have a few friends who are United fans and they are really upset at the moment because not just with the team performances, but how they play football.”
Indeed, we’re glad too.
While United can claim silverware under Mourinho—the League Cup and Europa League—his tenure as boss can hardly be considered a success. Whereas Klopp lost those exact two finals—and a Champions League final to boot—his humor, positivity, and playing style (not to mention steady improvement, year after year), give him far more leeway than Mourinho will ever have.
Riise is obviously coming at this from a biased perspective, but if it is something former players are noticing, surly it’s not lost on current players. Time and time again we’ve seen Kloppo land his transfer targets, even when facing heavy competition from bigger (or at least better financed) clubs.
Klopp might come up short again this season. But at this point it’s clear that he’ll have a much better season than Mourinho’s United, regardless of tomorrow’s outcome. And Liverpool are far better poised to continue that success than United are to regaining their domestic supremacy.