Jose Mourinho claims he was accused of BULLYING at Man United because he changed a player at half time – and insists coaching is 'different' now, having once hooked Nemanja Matic off after 28 minutes at Stamford Bridge as he 'did anything to win'
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Jose Mourinho claims he was accused of BULLYING at Man United because he changed a player at half time – and insists coaching is 'different' now, having once hooked Nemanja Matic off after 28 minutes at Stamford Bridge as he 'did anything to win'

Jan 26, 2024

Jose Mourinho claims he was once accused of bullying at Manchester United after substituting a player at half time, as he opened up on how coaching is ‘different’ nowadays. 

The Portuguese manager, who won three Premier League titles with Chelsea across two separate spells at Stamford Bridge, quickly stamped his authority on the English top flight after joining the west London club in 2004.

Mourinho led Chelsea to Premier League glory during his first two seasons in charge, impressing with his tactical approach and no-nonsense style of management.

He returned to win Chelsea the title again in 2015 and later joined Manchester United, clinching the Europa League and League Cup during his two-year spell at Old Trafford.

Reflecting on his years in Manchester, Mourinho revealed how times have changed drastically between his first Chelsea spell and latter years in the Premier League.

Jose Mourinho claims he was once accused of bullying at Manchester United after substituting a player at half time, opening up on how coaching has become 'different' in the modern era

Jose Mourinho claims he was once accused of bullying at Manchester United after substituting a player at half time, opening up on how coaching has become ‘different’ in the modern era

The boss, who was at United between 2016 and 2018, didn't reveal who made the accusation

The boss, who was at United between 2016 and 2018, didn’t reveal who made the accusation

Speaking to The Obi One Podcast this week, Mourinho claimed that he was once accused of bullying after substituting a player at half time.

‘When I was at Man United, I changed a player at half time. I made a change and was accused of bullying,’ he said, choosing not reveal the player.

Suggesting how times have changed since his first stint in England, Mourinho hinted that managers now must consider players feelings when making tactical decisions.

Mourinho referenced how he took off Chelsea’s half-time substitute Nemanja Matic after just 28 minutes at Stamford Bridge against Southampton in October 2015, insisting that he was ‘doing anything’ he could to win the match.

‘With Matic at Stamford Bridge, he was on the bench. I put him on minute 45, I take him off around minute 70. That’s education, that’s coaching. That’s doing anything to win. I had to (make the) change,’ he said. 

‘I laugh about these times but it’s different times (now). Even to be a dad, you have to be a different dad to how your dad was to you. You have to change according to the world.’ 

Mourinho, who is now head coach of Serie A side Roma, was speaking on The Obi One podcast

Mourinho, who is now head coach of Serie A side Roma, was speaking on The Obi One podcast

Mourinho explained how he used to do whatever he could to win matches while at Chelsea, referencing that he once took off substitute Nemanja Matic after just 28 minutes in 2015

Mourinho explained how he used to do whatever he could to win matches while at Chelsea, referencing that he once took off substitute Nemanja Matic after just 28 minutes in 2015

‘I used to say really bad things to these guys!’ Mourinho added, referring to his first spell at Chelsea.

Interestingly, on Sunday night, Mourinho – who now coaches Serie A side Roma – substituted one of his players just 18 minutes after introducing him at half-time. 

Midfielder Renato Sanches made way in the 64th minute of their clash with Bologna, with the player showing no signs of injury.  

Later in the interview, Mikel shared how his former coach once furiously threw drinks bottles off a massage table, prompting Mourinho to remember another ‘unknown’ story from his Chelsea days.

Mourinho added: ‘One day, I kicked (the massage table) wrong and I did it with my shin, so I was in big pain. I wanted to cry but the guys were looking at me. So I had to bite my finger while thinking, “I’ve broken my shin!”‘

Despite admitting he was wounded by the substitution in 2015, Matic urged that he ‘stayed professional’ with Mourinho in the wake of Chelsea’s 3-1 defeat.

He told the Mirror: ‘I felt terrible to be subbed to be honest. I am a man first of all and, of course, I felt bad at that moment. But as you know, I didn’t react, I stayed professional.

‘Normally some of the players react to that and cause some problems but as you can see I didn’t react and showed respect for the coach and for the club and my team. It was very hard. You have to play and see how it feels.

Matic teamed up with Mourinho again in 2015 before reportedly falling out with the manager

Matic teamed up with Mourinho again in 2015 before reportedly falling out with the manager

Renato Sanches was stunned after being substituted after just 18 minutes on Sunday night

Renato Sanches was stunned after being substituted after just 18 minutes on Sunday night

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‘I knew I did the right thing when I sat on the bench. I knew I did the right thing and I am proud that I didn’t react.’

Matic, who later joined Mourinho at Manchester United, teamed up with the Portuguese boss again at Roma in the summer of 2022. 

The defensive midfielder only lasted a season in Rome after falling out with Mourinho, who was reportedly unimpressed with the player’s attitude in training.

Matic has since made 12 appearances for Rennes, having moved to the Ligue 1 club last summer.


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