What Mkhitaryan & Smalling had to say about Jose Mourinho

By Tom Canton

Published: May 4, 2021 3:32 pm

Last Updated: May 4, 2021 3:34 pm

Mourinho’s tricky reunions

With the news that Roma will be appointing Jose Mourinho to become their new manager at the start of the 2021/22 season, narratives are already being written as to the future or some of the players at the club.

The club are delighted to announce an agreement has been reached with Jose Mourinho for him to become our new head coach ahead of the 2021-22 season.

— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) May 4, 2021

Mourinho is not unfamiliar to tenuous relationships with players. Therefore when moving to a new team there is always the possibility that a reunion with some of his less favoured ex-colleagues can happen.

This could be the case at Roma with both Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Chris Smalling, whom the Portuguese coach managed at Manchester United, both adorned with the shirt of the Giallorossi.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 16: Jose Mourinho, Manager of Manchester United looks on during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United at Anfield on December 16, 2018 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

‘It was very hard’ says Mkhi

Former Manchester United, Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund attacking midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan played under Mourinho during his time at Manchester United and was sold by the coach.

His minutes at Old Trafford diminished and was replaced by Alexis Sanchez.

The Armenian international described how it was difficult under the Portuguese coach but how he also learned plenty during his tenure.

“It was very hard but I learned a lot as well,” he said.

“I learned how to defend, how to help the team. It was not only about scoring goals and making assists.

“It was more about the team winning so it doesn’t matter who scored, we had to win together. It didn’t matter who made the assist we must always be happy that we won the game.”



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