Jose Mourinho insists Manchester United fans “have to love Marouane Fellaini”

Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United have gotten off to an impressive start to the Premier League campaign. It cannot be termed as a perfect performance but it indeed was a perfect result for the traveling Reds this afternoon. With a poor pre-season campaign, everyone knew that the team is rusty and needs some more time to get going, which was the case to a certain extent. But the three goals, one of which was majorly due to terrible errors from the AFC Bournemouth defense, and the dominant win is certain to make Mourinho happy and also Zlatan Ibrahimovic who expressed his satisfaction while speaking post-match.

“The team did good. It was a difficult game. In the first half we weren’t 100% but we had more space in the second half and could play our game.

“It’s important to start good. It [being new to the league] is not easy. Everything is new for me, my team-mates, the clubs, the environment. i just play my game.

“I try to do my job and help my team. The first objective is to win, it’s also good if I score. But it’s the same importance whoever scores.”

The manager showered praises on the debut goalscorer too

“It’s incredible how Zlatan Ibrahimovic has never won the Golden Ball. He wants to win the Premier League, not the Golden Ball.

“This guy [Zlatan] is more than a player. For the next two seasons I think he can be phenomenal for the team and the Premier League.”

When asked about his thoughts on the game, the Portuguese did not go over the top with praises but certainly expressed his contentment and pleasure on his team’s performance.

“I am very happy. Bournemouth always start with great intensity but we kept our control. We weren’t surprised and then we started playing.

“In the second half we had a bit more confidence. But you make a mistake in the Premier League and you get punished [when Bournemouth scored]. Instead of going for a bigger result you have to try to control. We went for that and were always in control. I’m happy with the team.”

The United manager also spoke about how the team was down on morale but is willing to fight it out for the fans

“I met a sad squad in my first day, a squad not happy with their situation. But I found immediately a team who want to work and win matches and titles, as well as making fans proud.”

Overall, though, the manager saw good signs all around and seemed only positive going forward.

“The three points, the quality of our attacking football, the quality of our control, the quality of us defensively – we were very compact. It’s three points against a very difficult opponent and I don’t think there’s any doubt we deserved to win.”

One player who has been under scrutiny and amongst the favorites to leave the club, ever since Mourinho signed, is Juan Mata. But the pre-season and these past couple of matches, he has shown why he is an asset to this team. Although the goal should be more attributed to defensive failures of the opposition, Mata was rewarded for his smart run. The manager, too, knew, that it being the first goal, was crucial in the game going ahead.

“One goal changes the picture as in the beginning of the second half they tried to put more pressure on us, which opened more spaces. The opening goal is always important – it doesn’t mean you win the match but on a psychological level it brings the confidence up and the team could play very well in the second half.”

Another player, who has always been under criticism recently is Wayne Rooney and in spite of his goal, he was not at his best today. However, he still maintained that he has what it takes to still be successful at such a huge club.

“I thought we won it with a bit of style in the second half. One down, 37 to go.

“We have made a real statement bringing in four great signings and the new manager. There is a lot of excitement from ourselves and the fans.

“I’ve not had to prove anything to anyone. I’ve been playing a long time. I believe I’m good enough to play.”

But the comment of the evening came in with regards to the most “hated” footballer in this current United side, Marouane Fellaini.

“[Eric] Bailly and Daley [Blind] played well, the midfield players had an unbelievable complement for each other. With [Marouane] Fellaini I always have the feeling that he was not loved by the general Red people. But if he plays like he’s playing now, they have to love him because he’s being so important for us.”

With the next game coming up, only in five days, on Friday, the players do not have a lot of time to relax. But it is going to be a grand spectacle at the Theater of Dreams with Mourinho’s first Premier League game at Old Trafford plus Paul Pogba’s grand entry onto the scene. Next few weeks are going to be exciting, to say the least, and most of United fans can’t wait for it. Let’s hope it goes Red Devil’s way like it did today.

Written by Chinmay Padhye


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