Mourinho's sideways dig at Manchester United?

Jose Mourinho Chelsea

In light of Chelsea's big win on Monday, did Jose Mourinho have a swipe at David Moyes' Manchester United?

As David Moyes' Manchester United lurch from one defeat to another in 2014, the man they reportedly snubbed in favour of him is in a good moment.

Jose Mourinho ensured he is once again the flavour of the month by leading his Chelsea side to a win at Manchester City on Monday night, the first Premier League side to defeat them at the Etihad all season.

After the game when discussing his team, Mourinho uttered a line which could very easily look like a dig at United, intentional or not:

He said: "It's not good for the evolution of team to be playing 10-15 points behind leaders, or playing Europa League."

Sadly for United fans this is exactly the situation they find themselves in.

Having finished the 2012/13 season top of the table, 16 points clear of Arsenal, United suddenly find themselves 15 points behind the Gunners who sit top.

The Red Devils sit seventh, seven points off a Champions League spot, presently occupied by Liverpool.

Mourinho is right, in that by finishing the season outside the top places makes it more likely stars will want to move on, and more difficult to attract players in.

It also leads to talk of a lack in confidence among players during the season, who begin to question themselves and don't play to their potential - something we are seeing at United right now.

The 'Happy One's last assertion, that playing in the Europa League could be detrimental to the club's development is one many sides will agree with, for instance Newcastle United who really struggled last season to balance it with the Premier League.

One of the reasons Liverpool are in a good position right now is they have not had the distraction of playing in the Europa League, featuring on a Thursday night before quick turnarounds to play on Sundays, against teams who often have rested up for the week.

While United will still harbour belief they can finish inside the top four spots, if they do miss out, as Mourinho indicates, actually finishing outside the Europa League positions may be of benefit to them heading into next season.

United fans, how important is finishing in the Europa League if the club miss out on the Champions League?

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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