Jose Mourinho held his first press conference as Manchester United manager at Old Trafford on Tuesday morning.
During his first appearance in front of the media, the Portuguese coach fielded a number of questions, including the goals he's setting for next season, transfer activity, how he's going to deploy Wayne Rooney and even weighed in on the departure of Ryan Giggs.
One area that the coach was less happy to discuss, was his record with youth players. Mourinho has been widely criticised during his career as many believe he doesn't give his youth players enough playing time, and those same people suggest the Portuguese works towards short-term success, rather than building for the long-term.
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When he was asked about blooding United's youth, which is a philosophy the club have employed for a number of years, Mourinho gave a resounding answer:
"You know how many young players I promote to the first team from academies? 49. Do you want to know who they are? I can give you that. I never promote players because of need... I did it because of conviction and decision.
"I did 49. Some of them are big names, they are today CL winners in the Euros, playing for national teams and 49 is a lot. One lie repeated many times sometimes looks true, but it will never be true. 49. If you want the names, I give you the names."
And with that, he picked up a list, presumably with these 49 names on, that he had written in preparation for this exact question.
Rebuffed by Mourinho's blunt answer, journalists quickly turned their attention to Ryan Giggs, who left the club earlier this week to pursue a management career of his own. At this point, it must have seemed as if the 'Special One' and his academy record were in the clear.
But James Ducker, a football correspondent for the Telegraph, reveals that not all of the journalists were satisfied with Mourinho's response, and went looking for solid proof of his supposed 49 names.
He tweeted the following after Mourinho's press conference concluded:
What a coincidence. Now we may never know what was actually scribbled on that list. Perhaps it was a kind of shopping list? Potential players he wants to bring in this summer? Or maybe it was just a list of things he needs to pick up from the shops before he heads home later?
Of course, it was likely to be a list of players he claimed to have brought through respective academies at Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid. But the Daily Mail claim that there should only be 39 names on that list, after doing research into Mourinho's history.
Sadly, we will never know what was written on that now illegible list. But it wouldn't be far-fetched to wonder as to why Mourinho chose to wear his training top, rather than an expensive suit to his first press conference at United, unless he was expecting someone to tip water all over him.
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