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Jose Mourinho: United's rivals "afraid" to talk about the title

Manchester United's manager thinks the Premier League is overflowing with cowards.

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The Premier League is back this weekend, and do you know what that means? That's right! Pre-game press conferences are back too!

Jose Mourinho does a little coaching, but most of the time he's a professional press conference holder, and his return to Premier League duty this afternoon went as might reasonably be expected. Which is to say, he spent much of his time taking swipes at various of his managerial colleagues.

We feel that we are candidates to win the title. ... [If] at the end of the season we are not champs because someone is better than us then great, that's football. But at Man United Football Club you cannot say differently, we have to fight for the title.

All very understandable ... oh, wait, there was more.

Not many more think the same way as us but they are afraid to say it. They prefer to play a defensive game in words. They prefer to say or to hide or to play defensively with the words, that's not our way. I don't think that's Man United. I think Man United has to say we want to win the title. We have all the respect for the others and maybe we don't win, maybe we arrive end of season and happy to finish top four. It depends on how season goes. But in this moment when I speak to you I speak to my players too, and I cannot speak differently.

But who might he have been talking about. Jurgen Klopp, who has "no idea" when Liverpool might triumph? Claudio Ranieri, who laughed at the idea that Leicester might retain the title? Or Arsene Wenger, who reckons "eight or nine" teams are in with a shout?

Wenger, obviously. Mourinho is not one of nature's more subtle subtweeters.