Mourinho promises United won't hold back

Famed for his "parking the bus" tactics, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has warned that sometimes his bus can be a dangerous attacking vehicle too.
Famed for his "parking the bus" tactics, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has warned that sometimes his bus can be a dangerous attacking vehicle too. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON • Famed for his "parking the bus" tactics, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has warned that sometimes his bus can be a dangerous attacking vehicle too.

Ahead of today's Premier League away trip to Arsenal, the Portuguese told BBC Sport at his pre-match conference yesterday: "When we have the ball, we are going to attack with 11 players because the goalkeeper knows what to do when we have the ball, and when Arsenal have the ball, we will defend with 11.

"Because everybody has to defend and attack, especially in modern football. So for me you can say what you want, my goalkeeper needs to know what to do when his team has the ball, how to attack, and my striker needs to know how to defend and what to do, this is simple, for me it is simple."

United face a difficult tie at the Emirates as the Gunners are on a run of 12 consecutive home wins in the Premier League.

The task does not get easier next week when the Red Devils host CSKA Moscow in their final Champions League group match, before the big clash with cross-town rivals Manchester City at Old Trafford.

Mourinho, however, is only focused on Arsenal for now.

"I think I will always try to play the best possible team, even if the Champions League match was a must-win match," he said.

"I would go for the games one game at a time and I would go for the most important game now, which is the next one tomorrow."

BOTH EQUALLY IMPORTANT

For me you can say what you want, my goalkeeper needs to know what to do when his team has the ball, how to attack, and my striker needs to know how to defend and what to do, this is simple, for me it is simple.

JOSE MOURINHO, United boss, disagreeing that he knows only how to "park the bus".

Midfielder Nemanja Matic, who has been so influential this season since his summer move from Chelsea, is a doubt for the match.

Mourinho added that he does not know if Matic can play against Arsenal, but the Serb will travel with the squad for the game.

United are currently second in the league and eight points adrift of leaders City, but four ahead of the Gunners.

They have also been beaten on their last two league trips to Arsenal, without scoring a goal.

Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette was substituted at half-time because of a groin injury during the 5-0 thrashing of Huddersfield on Wednesday, while forward Alexis Sanchez was also replaced late on after feeling his hamstring.

Arsene Wenger expects Sanchez to be fit to face United, but said club-record signing Lacazette will "certainly be out" of the contest.

"Sanchez had a little hamstring problem, that's why I took him off, but I think he will be all right," the Arsenal manager said.

"We have offensive weapons, you know. We have Danny Welbeck, we have (Olivier) Giroud, we have Jack Wilshere who all came on. They are all offensive players."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 02, 2017, with the headline 'Mourinho promises United won't hold back'. Print Edition | Subscribe