Jose Mourinho’s declaration over “confidence problem” explains Man Utd failure

Former Chelsea striker Demba Ba has opened up on his relationship with Jose Mourinho – and may have offered an insight into why his tenure at Manchester United ended in failure

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  • 18:59, 14 Oct 2021
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Former Chelsea striker Demba Ba has offered an insight into ex-boss Jose Mourinho 's Manchester United struggles.


Mourinho managed the Senegalese striker during his second spell as Blues boss.

Ba was responsible for one of the most iconic goals in recent Premier League history after he capitalised gleefully on Steven Gerrard 's infamous slip to kill Liverpool 's title hopes back in 2014.

The striker, who retired from football last month at the age of 36, has opened up on his relationship with Mourinho after spending time together at Stamford Bridge.

And it could offer some insight as to why Mourinho failed to galvanise United during his two-and-a-half-year stay in Manchester.

Demba Ba opened up on Jose Mourinho's speech over confidence problems

Getty Images)

“He uses a lot of psychology on players, to see who are the strong characters," Ba revealed to The Athletic.

"One day he told us: ‘If you have a confidence problem, that’s your problem.’ I think the players he originally had — Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba, Michael Ballack — were tough guys. They responded well to that kind of management. The younger generation need more encouragement and support. Their self-esteem isn’t built up as much. They’re affected by social media and other things, they might not respond to pressure that well.

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“But Jose is the kind of guy who throws a bomb into the dressing room and sees who comes out alive. At Chelsea, it was like, which mask is he going to put on today? Will he be the happy one, the sarcastic one, the sad one, the angry one? At a point, you don’t mind anymore because you know, he’s just playing with you. He plays the game very well.

“Is he really like this? I don’t know. I hope that in my process of learning about the game, I’ll have an opportunity to meet him again. Did he give me a hard time? No, he didn’t. He didn’t give me anything, because I never played!”

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Demba Ba enjoyed a fruitful spell at Chelsea despite not always featuring under Mourinho

Mourinho was often criticised for his public criticism of players during his time at Old Trafford, with his comments on England defender Luke Shaw often making headlines.

The former Chelsea boss has said previously that he felt the United dressing room had 'lost its way' under predecessors David Moyes and Louis van Gaal, so it was necessary to push his players to 'the limit'.

The Portuguese boss won the League Cup and the Europa League during his first season at United, but his tenure is still regarded as a failure.

But he hit out at that accusation this summer when he was unveiled as the new boss of AS Roma.

Mourinho said: "I am a victim of how people look at me. At Manchester, three titles, and it was a disaster.

"At Tottenham, they didn't keep me for the final and, for me, a disaster. What is a disaster for me is a success for others.

"The criticisms? I have nothing to answer. My last three clubs. Scudetto with Chelsea, three cups with United, a final with Tottenham.

"What for me is a disaster someone has never done in their life. That's how it is. It's my fault."

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