Jose Mourinho has found support from a former Manchester United star, with Paul Ince backing the passionate Portuguese in an ongoing battle with Rio Ferdinand and Paul Scholes.
A number of ex-Red Devils have taken to criticising the class of 2018-19 and their under-fire boss on a regular basis this season, with standards considered to have slipped at Old Trafford.
Mourinho’s manner, both on the touchline and behind the scenes, has been called into question, with his antics sparking debate again on Tuesday as he celebrated a dramatic winner from Marouane Fellaini against Young Boys.
Ferdinand claimed the United boss was looking to make himself the centre of attention by slamming a container of water bottles to the ground, while Scholes branded the performance in a narrow Champions League victory “awful” and Michael Owen said the Red Devils have been “average for some time”.
Ince believes the constant criticism is unfair, telling Paddy Power: “Jose Mourinho is an emotional man, he has been all his career. We know that – but, at the minute, everything he does, everybody is jumping on it, trying to make it a negative story.
“Pundits likes Rio Ferdinand and Paul Scholes, the ones who keep having a go at Mourinho and United all the time, they’ve not managed, they’ve not had to make the big decisions.
“I understand they have to have opinions – I’ve done both roles, I can see it from both sides – but they don’t know what it’s like to be in that situation as a manager.
“Let’s have it right: there was nothing wrong with Mourinho’s reaction to Marouane Fellaini’s winner against Young Boys in the week.
“When the pressure is on, and the pundits are sharpening their knives, and you can see it happening in front of you as your team is drawing 0-0 with Young Boys after drawing with Palace, to get a last-gasp winner is incredible.
“In Turin, after the Juventus game, I agreed that he didn’t need to go on the pitch – irrespective of how he felt he’d been treated by the Italian fans – because it was such a great comeback from the boys, he should’ve just let them take the glory.
“But the one on Tuesday night was completely different. His reaction totally makes sense to me.
“If I was playing for Jose, and had looked across and seen that reaction, I would’ve been absolutely buzzing. This is a manager who wants to win, who has got passion.
“I’m all for Mourinho doing that, there’s nothing wrong with showing your emotions.”
Ince added on a testing period for all concerned at Old Trafford: “It’s been difficult for Jose, and I don’t think people are recognising this. Since Sir Alex left, it hasn’t worked out – David Moyes and Louis van Gaal took the club backwards five years.
“Mourinho has been playing catch-up since he arrived.
“People expected him to come in and wave a magic wand, but they’re so far behind the likes of City, Liverpool, and Tottenham, who have had their teams for a period of time.
“It’s an incredibly tough job.”