MOURINHO HAD GROWN TOO TOXIC TO REMAIN ON THE JOB
Manchester United finally ran out of patience. The excuses, the friction, the dire football and most importantly the results all became too much to bear.
It’s clear now that whatever it was which made Mourinho such a compelling success over the last decade and half has dimmed. He could be missing his long-time No. 2 Rui Faria or struggling to adapt to a new generation of player who don’t react to his surly management style.
Whatever the problem, United have played as a reflection of their manager. A dull husk, with glory in the rearview mirror and no plan beyond immediate survival. He became almost a parody of himself towards the end of his reign. His selections bordered on the incomprehensible and his lineups often featured seven defensive players.
At Liverpool on Sunday he set the United team up to duck and cover with two right backs in his back five and little in the way of a plan for getting a goal.
United are not currently looking towards Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham as rivals for the Premier League title or the top four, they are looking at Wolves, Everton, West Ham and Watford.
The top six has become the top five with United, pathetically trapped in the purgatory of a pointless sixth place. For that Mourinho must shoulder the blame.
Yes, there are difficulties for managers working at a club as big as Manchester United. Expectations are beyond anything at any other English club. These fans have been fed success for nearly 30 years. Sir Alex Ferguson kept it going on his own for so long but there was nothing left behind to sustain it.
As such David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and now Mourinho have all walked in and been unable to improve things or satisfy the demands for a top level, attack-minded team. There were high spots along the way – an EFL Cup and a Europa League – but this is Manchester United. Those were trophies that Ferguson wasn’t interested in and yet they became the only thing Mourinho could cling to.
He harked back at different times to his successes at Chelsea, Inter and Real Madrid. He tried his best to remind people that no one was better than him. He left press conferences in bizarre fashion, reminding people that he used to be successful. And now his sacking, coming barely a week after his agent Jorge Mendes took it upon himself to tell the public that Mourinho would be going nowhere in an unprecedented statement.
He launched futile wars with the media – Paul Scholes in particular – and accused pundits of being jealous of his and Paul Pogba’s money.
Pogba was a useful ally at times like that, when it’s all about Mourinho protecting what’s his. But he cut the France World Cup winner adrift and is reported to have called him a virus in front of his team-mates. The club paid €100 million for his services but have seen little of that back in terms of Pogba’s value on the field.
It is difficult to imagine another manager in the league having such trouble in slotting Pogba into the team. But it’s not always about football with Mourinho. It’s about attitude and in his remarks to the press he clearly pointed out that Pogba – in his opinion – had the wrong one.
He insultingly deployed Scott McTominay in his place as some kind of anti-Pogba. He may not be able to play football like Pogba but he’ll damn well do what he’s told. That’s what it became. From one Calamity to the other. One train crash result to the other.
He was shown his result sheet for the season and was asked how he could turn it around by ED Woodword and Mourinho allegedly flipped. The meeting safe to say was short and The Special one got the sack..There’s no telling where next he will end up, Rumours say Madrid is interested. I doubt that. But time will tell