Jose Mourinho says he now has Manchester United set up in a position where the club can “go for it” in competing on all fronts this season.
Though United could only manage a sixth-place Premier League finish in Mourinho’s first season, he did qualify for the Champions League by winning the Europa League, while also winning the League Cup.
And as he prepares for United’s league opener against West Ham on Sunday, Mourinho told English newspapers that he feels he has now put his stamp on the club to the point where they can chase more trophies.
“I was thinking I needed three [summer] transfer windows, but after two I have a good group and the club as a football club is much better equipped,” Mourinho said.
“We are much better organised at every level — the medical department is better, the structure that organises the logistics is much better. The training routines are much better organised. We are much stronger as a team. I feel the club is much better so we go for it this season.
“We’re going to try to win the title. We’re going to try to give a hard fight to the top teams in Europe in the Champions League and, as you know, I always loved the English cups.”
Mourinho is more than eager to get started, though he vowed not to get too carried away.
“I look forward to the season with optimism, with enthusiasm. I want to play,” he said. “I want to play West Ham on Sunday, a difficult match. Then I want to go to Swansea, a difficult match. Then I want the Champions League to start.
“I want, I want! … I’m on fire … But I will behave on the touchline!”
Despite his excitement, Mourinho knows the challenge ahead will be difficult after local rivals Manchester City have dropped over £200 million on transfers this season, to go along with a host of other challengers.
“Manchester City have a fantastic manager, great spending, already very good players,” Mourinho said. “They’re equipped. I think Tottenham, without spending, are equipped to win the title because they have a fantastic team, fantastic manager, great stability.
“Arsenal the same. A great, experienced manager, the same team. They didn’t sell, as some were expecting, players like Mesut Ozil, Alexis [Sanchez]. They’re equipped. Liverpool, they’re equipped. Chelsea is the champion, lost some players, bought some players, they’re equipped.
“So it’s difficult to say which of us is better equipped. I just think the competition can be better than ever.”
United have spent too, most notably bringing in striker Romelu Lukaku, but Mourinho singled out the signing of of “perfect player” Nemanja Matic from Chelsea.
“When I joined last year I thought immediately that we needed a kind of Matic but there are not many,” Mourinho said. “But I was not thinking of it because I always thought I never like to go to players that are the impossible mission and I felt there is no chance [of Chelsea selling him].
“When this season I got the call that Matic wants to play for me, wants to play for Man United and we can make it happen, I thought, ‘it’s the perfect player for me.’ Not just for his qualities but also for my relationship with him, the way I know him.
“He’s one of those players with no question marks in front. He doesn’t need time to adapt to England. He’s one of those players that gives me what I like in players, which is consistency. So I think he was a fantastic signing for us.”