JOSE MOURINHO is a “very defensive coach” who sets teams up to frustrate the opposition, says Barcelona icon Xavi.
Manchester United manager Mourinho has come under fire for his often defensive-minded tactics at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils have a tendency to play pragmatic football – something Mourinho mastered in the early years of his career at Porto and Chelsea.
Mourinho’s style frustrated fans at Inter Milan and Real Madrid, yet he still delivered trophies at both clubs.
In particular, Mourinho masterminded Inter’s 2010 Champions League victory, where they beat Bayern Munich in the final after knocking out Xavi’s Barcelona in the semis.
In recent weeks his United side have been given more freedom to express themselves, leading to the 3-2 win over Newcastle and 2-2 draw with Chelsea.
Yet Xavi – a figurehead of Barcelona’s tiki-taka style of football mastered under Pep Guardiola – is not a fan of Mourinho’s tactics.
“Mourinho is a very defensive coach,” Xavi told Corriere dello Sport.
“Playing against his Inter (in 2010) was not easy. That’s his style, and he put it into practice at Chelsea and Real Madrid too.
“He takes care of all the details, he closes the gaps and he doesn’t give you much.
“I prefer another style of football.
“I’m not criticising, but I don’t like playing like that and my teams will never have that kind of attitude.”
Jose Mourinho joined United in the summer of 2016 having been sacked by Chelsea just months after winning the Premier League with the Blues.
The Portuguese boss has been given over £350m to spend on new players but United are still without the Premier League trophy they crave.
Mourinho’s men face Juventus in the Champions League tonight knocking a victory will provide a major boost in their efforts of making the knockout stages.