Mourinho spent over two years as the guru in Manchester United and was unmistakably a key influence adding luster and sparkle to Marcus Rashford’s skills in bringing the striker up to superstar quality.
And Rashford has now spilled the beans about his former boss having taught the Red Devils how to win penalties.
Fresh after the recent ruckus stirred up by Jurgen Klopp on penalty spot kicks favoring the Red Devils in comparison with the Reds, it is hopefully not by sheer coincidence that United have won 20 spot kicks in the Premier League since the start of last season – compared to just 10 for their enraged Anfield rivals.
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp highlighted this fractious fact that’s been sticking out like a sore thumb in his face in a rant about United last week, after watching his side denied two strong appeals in a 1-0 defeat at Southampton.
Klopp’s Reds, whose side plays host to an energised United in a tantalising showdown this Sunday, have won 46 penalties in all competitions since his tenure at Anfield, while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have been awarded 67 in the same time.
United frontman Rashford has now seen it fit, for whatever reason, to disclose that United apparently have their former boss Jose Mourinho to thank for their proliferation of spot kicks.
The red-hot England ace, the youngest recipient of the Football Writers’ Association ‘Tribute Award” in recognition for his fight against child food poverty, said:
“There have been times when we have probably not got penalties.
“I remember when Jose was manager, there were five or six times where I should have had a penalty and Jose ended up saying to me:
“’If you are not savvy about the way you go down, then you are not going to get given it.’
“After that, we started to get a few penalties. It was something in terms of development you have to learn that and understand it.”
Rashford has also vlunteered information on how United stars constantly shout for penalties in training games at Carrington, adding:
“It is worse in training than it is in games!
“We are having arguments every day, shouting at whoever the referee is. As a forward line, we want to go and score goals. When you are making runs in behind or dribbling with the ball and if you see a challenge coming, you don’t want to get tackled because you are looking at an opportunity to score a goal.
“There is no way you are going to let somebody take the ball off you, so for me it is just a case of us wanting to score goals and the teams wanting to defend goals and penalties can happen.”
Well, looks like the blame for United being on the favorable receiving end of spot kicks shouldn’t be leveled just at the referees unable to detect a dive but also to the ‘Special One’, for being so deviously brilliant in coaching his charges to perfection in elevating the skill of diving to a fine art.