Jose Mourinho has suggested that possession football is not always the most effective style of play, in what appeared to be a subtle criticism of Pep Guardiola.
Guardiola has often been praised for the possession-dominated style of play his teams adopt, while Mourinho was well-known for having organised, defensive sides.
But speaking to The Coaches’ Voice , Mourinho appeared to hint at a belief that Guardiola is lauded too much for his methods.
“Many people believe that the team with more possession is the team that is more dominant,” Mourinho said. “But that depends on the way you look at it.
“A team without the ball can still have control of the game. For some coaches, that style (possession) I think is more a matter of public relations and image.
“It is the team that scores the most goals that wins. And that is, for me, the fundamental point of the game.”
Mourinho has not been in a job since he was sacked by United in December, although he has recently been linked with a return to the Premier League to take charge of Arsenal if they decide to part ways with the under-pressure Unai Emery.
The 56-year-old has won major titles in Portugal, England, Italy and Spain, and said the secret to his success in so many different countries is to adapt to each different club individually.
“You require flexibility to adapt,” he said. “Sometimes you have to go against your own ideas and choose the correct manner to have success, depending on the reality of the club and the competition. Even socially you have to understand the necessities, the objectives and motivations.”