Jose Mourinho branded some pundits compulsive liars amid criticism of the way he is handling Marcus Rashford.
The Manchester United manager arrived at his weekly press conference armed with a raft of statistics related to Rashford’s development
That came after Jamie Carragher suggested the 20-year-old should seek a move elsewhere, prompting another astonishing rebuke by Mourinho, who claimed pundits are ‘obsessed’ with him.
Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has fiercely defended treatment of Marcus Rashford
The 20-year-old impressed for England as pundits questioned how Mourinho has used him
CARRAGHER QUOTES ON RASHFORD
‘I don’t see Marcus Rashford ever displacing Romelu Lukaku so long as he is there, but Lukaku was at Chelsea and he had to come away from there and go to Everton.
‘He ended up top scorer and then got his move to Manchester United.
‘Everton is a club where someone like a Rashford knows he can play every week.
‘Last season, he played poorly against Brighton, Mourinho had a pop at him and Lukaku went straight back in the next game. That is the problem he will always have.’
Jamie Carragher was speaking on Sky after England’s win over Switzerland
‘I can expect that on Sunday I’m going to be highly criticised for not playing him at Watford tomorrow because some of the boys are really obsessed with me,’ the Portuguese said during a monologue of over four minutes on the suspended Rashford.
‘Some of them have a problem with some compulsive lies, so I can expect some of them will wake up on Sunday… and always the thing that comes to their mind is Jose Mourinho.
‘Some of the people everybody knows have double salaries, they work also for the clubs and of course they are not independent and they conduct things in the direction they want.
‘That’s obvious, human, is natural, not ethical but I accept. I feel sorry for them, there are more interesting things than Jose Mourinho.’
Mourinho unveiled a piece of paper detailing the games and minutes Rashford – who has started eight games in all competitions since Alexis Sanchez’s arrival in January – has played under him.
To prove he is not mishandling the striker, Mourinho gave reporters a list of his own statistics
‘In the season 16-17, Marcus Rashford played 32 Premier League matches and 11 Europa League matches including the final. Three in the FA Cup,’ he added.
‘He had 53 appearances. But if you want to talk minutes, he played 3068 minutes. If you want to divide that by 90 then it is 34.2 matches of 90 minutes in 16-17.
RASHFORD FOR UNITED THIS SEASON
Premier League starts: 1
Sub appearances: 2
Fouls won: 3
Passes attempted: 38
Pass success rate: 81.6%
Tackles won: 4
‘In 17-18 he played 35 Premier League matches, eight Champions League, five FA Cup – including the final – three League Cup and the Super Cup. He played a total of 52 matches with 2676 minutes.
‘Divide that by 90 minutes and it is 29.7 matches. So in all, 105 appearances, 5744 minutes, 63.7 matches of 90 minutes – including five finals.
‘The kid is a good kid, a good player, knows what United did for him, starting in the academy, then Mr Van Gaal’s support, my support, club’s support, new contract, new shirt, and selected every single match, since I was here, he was never one day out of selection because of my decision.’
Mourinho also suggested he is doing far more than his Premier League rivals to develop young English talent.
‘So the people who are speaking about these minutes are a bit confused,’ he said. ‘Rashford is not Dominic Solanke, he’s not Ruben Loftus-Cheek, he’s not Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
‘He’s Manchester United player Marcus Rashford with an incredible number of minutes played at the highest level. At the highest level. In the best possible competitions.
‘United supporters – for you, and just for you – this is what we’re doing with Rashford, (Jesse) Lingard, (Luke) Shaw, (Scott) McTominay.’
The Portuguese was at Wembley on Saturday to see Rashford score for England against Spain