Gary Neville: Why Man United manager reminds me of Floyd Mayweather

The former Manchester United defender likens Jose Mourinho to one of the world's greatest-ever boxers, Floyd Mayweather

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho Photo: The Sport Review

Gary Neville has likened Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho to one of the world’s best-ever boxers Floyd Mayweather.

The Red Devils boss was criticised for his negative tactics in Manchester United’s goalless draw with Liverpool at Anfield as the visitors refused to attack Jurgen Klopp’s leaky defence.

Manchester United produced another cagey performance in a 1-0 win against Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend as the Red Devils returned to winning ways following a 2-1 loss to promoted side Huddersfield Town.

The 20-time English champions have still managed to score 23 times in their opening 10 games but have only netted two goals in their last three Premier League outings.

Mayweather won his 50th professional fight thanks to a technical knockout against Conor McGregor in Las Vegas in August as the American fighter continues his reputation for “using defence as a weapon”.

Former Manchester United defender Neville believes Mourinho shares a similar philosophy with the world champion boxer.

“Mauricio Pochettino and Jurgen Klopp have got wonderful reputations for being attacking coaches,” Neville told Monday Night Football on Sky Sports.

“But Mourinho is a little bit like [Floyd] Mayweather at times. Mayweather is called boring at times, where he uses defence as a weapon, let’s people punch themselves out.

“Jurgen Klopp in that game a few weeks ago didn’t feel he could fully go for it, because he felt: ‘He’s going to do me, I don’t want to get done by a Mourinho masterclass.’ And I think Tottenham lacked the belief to go for it on Saturday.

“I think he gets into [the coaches’] heads, and has them thinking: ‘I can’t get done on the counter-attack here, he’ll do me’. And that’s a great coach, to think he can have other coaches spoiling their tactics. So in some ways I think he does deserve more respect, his record is unbelievable.”

Manchester United finished in sixth place in the Premier League table last season but won the League Cup and the Europa League in Mourinho’s first campaign at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils are in second place in the Premier League table and five points adrift of leaders Manchester City.

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