José Mourinho is like Floyd Mayweather, uses defense as a weapon: Gary Neville

The former Red Devils defender believes Mourinho is a master tactician like Mayweather who uses defense as a weapon to full effect

Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho is like Flyod Mayweather says Gary Neville Reuters

Manchester United manager José Mourinho is outsmarting opponents on the football pitch in the same way Floyd Mayweather ground down rivals in the boxing ring, according to former United defender Gary Neville.

Some United fans have been left disappointed after their free-flowing and exciting football of the early season was replaced by defensive and tactical displays, such as the one in Saturday's 1-0 win over Tottenham. Mourinho was heckled by United fans during his side's 1-0 victory over Tottenham on Saturday before he hit back by shushing them after the final whistle.

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But United legend Neville, speaking on Sky Sports, compared Mourinho's approach to that of Mayweather, who would often sit back, avoid being hit and wear down his opponents during his undefeated 50-fight career, according to the Dailymail.

Undefeated 15 time world champion Mayweather was branded boring by critics throughout his career for making patience and skill, at the expense of entertainment, the calling card of his career.

Mayweather, whose 50th and final - so he says - opponent was Conor McGregor who used his cunning and guile to sit back, avoided being hit and wear his rivals down over 12 rounds to be arguably the best of all time.

"I would say Pochettino and Klopp have reputations for being wonderful attacking coaches but Mourinho is a bit like Mayweather," Neville said on Monday Night Football, as per the Mirror.

"Mayweather was called boring at times where he used defense as a weapon and let others tire themselves out.

"Klopp in that game the other week didn't feel like he could fully go for it because he thought Mourinho could do him with a Mourinho masterclass. Tottenham lacked the belief to really go for it because I think it gets into their heads. 'I can't get done on the counter attack, he'll do me'.

"He deserves more respect. That little shush was 'be quiet, I'm going to do it my way and we are going to win my way'." Neville said.

But United will have to keep winning if they are to bridge the five-point gap to rivals Manchester City at the top of the Premier League.

Mourinho's next focus, however, is Tuesday night's home Champions League meeting with Benfica, where a point will take United into the knockout phase.