Jose Mourinho blames Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag for Jadon Sancho struggles at Old Trafford

Jose Mourinho has openly questioned the management style of Erik ten Hag, specifically concerning the handling of Jadon Sancho at Manchester United.


The former United manager, Mourinho, has expressed his belief that Ten Hag bears significant responsibility for Sancho’s struggles during his time at Old Trafford. Sancho, who rejoined Borussia Dortmund on loan in January after two-and-a-half challenging seasons with the Red Devils, recently played in the starting XI for Dortmund in the Champions League final against Real Madrid at Wembley.

In an interview with TNT ahead of the Champions League final, Mourinho reflected on Sancho’s situation: “As a player, we know his talent. We saw what he could do; there are no doubts about it. What happened at Man United… if I look at my own history, sometimes I failed with players. Sometimes I couldn’t create the right empathy, I couldn’t understand the player’s DNA, and I couldn’t help players grow in the right direction. The majority of times, yes, I did it, but on some occasions, I couldn’t.”

Mourinho continued by emphasizing the importance of learning from these experiences. He mentioned, “I think sometimes we have to learn with experiences, which I always tried to do, to try to understand the nature of the player. Sometimes they have the talent but don’t have the mindset you want from a player. For sure, the kid [Sancho] made mistakes, that’s for sure, but for sure his manager was not able to get the best out of him.”

Mourinho also highlighted the complexity of a player’s performance, pointing out that many factors are involved. “Normally, it’s multi-factorial. Normally, it’s not just the manager, the player, the family, the agent, the club,” he elaborated. Reflecting on his own coaching career, Mourinho admitted that while he often succeeded in helping young players reach their potential, there were times when he failed. “For sure, even if it’s multi-factorial, we are part of it. For us coaches with more experience and many situations of déjà vu as we get older, we try to help the players in the right direction.”

In Sancho’s case, Mourinho believes that a thorough analysis is necessary. “I think in this case, they look at it and for sure they try to analyse what happened at Man United and what he found in Dortmund,” he said. This analysis could provide insights into the reasons behind Sancho’s struggles at Manchester United and the contrasting success he found upon returning to Borussia Dortmund.

Mourinho’s remarks underscore the challenges managers face in developing young talent, particularly when the players have immense potential but may not fit neatly into the team’s dynamics or the manager’s vision. His comments also suggest a need for introspection and adaptation among managers to better understand and support their players’ unique needs and attributes.

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