5 reasons why Manchester United sacked Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho got sacked by Chelsea on 17th December 2015. Three years down the line, history has repeated itself as the Portuguese parted ways with Manchester United. The writing was on the wall for quite some now with the Liverpool defeat coming as the final nail in the coffin.

Looking back at his two and half year managerial stint at the Theatre of Dreams, the only silver lining was the League Cup and the Europa League title in his first season. The situation has only gone worse with each passing season.

Jose criticized the board after a disappointing transfer market and even fell out with some of the players. On top of that, his team selection and philosophy were questionable as United got battered by Manchester City, Liverpool and Spurs this season.

Under Mourinho, United had the worst start ever in the Premier League and looked destined to not qualify for the Champions League next season. Though there are numerous factors as to why the board decided to sack the manager, here is a look at five of them.

#5 Questioning the club’s heritage after the Sevilla defeat last season

United was knocked out by Sevilla from the Champions League last season.

Manchester United won two trophies during Jose Mourinho’s first season at the club. Despite finishing sixth in the league, there was a belief around Old Trafford, that the Portuguese could bring glory days back to the Theatre of Dreams.

The second season began with excitement as United looked favourites to challenge City for the league title. However, as the season progressed, inconsistency crept in, and eventually, the Red Devils were out of the title race by February.

The Champions League was still a hope for the fans as United faced Sevilla in the round of 16. It was a tie which favoured the Red Devils as many believed United would cruise through to the quarterfinals. However, things didn’t go as planned, and Jose Mourinho’s side was knocked out in the round of 16 itself.

The defeat infuriated the manager who questioned the club’s heritage, and the ability to win big trophies. The statement didn’t go down well with the fans who believed Mourinho was tarnishing the image of the club.

#4 Humiliating defeat to arch-rivals Liverpool and Manchester City

Jurgen Klopp's side humiliated Mourinho at Anfield

Whenever Manchester United faces Liverpool or Manchester City, there is always a historical significance attached to the game. These fixtures are more than just three points. It interlinks the emotion and passion of the fans.

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City have been the trendsetters in the Premier League for the past couple of the seasons. Despite United delaying City’s league celebrations last season with a thrilling 2-3 victory at the Etihad, this campaign it was walk in the park for the home side.

The defending champions dominated proceedings from the word go. United, conceding three in that match which could have been more had the Cityzens taken all their chances.

Similarly, in the last game against Liverpool, the home side had almost six times as many attempts as the Red Devils. It was one of the worst performances by Manchester United under Jose Mourinho. The defeat took United nineteen points behind Jurgen Klopp’s side which itself is an embarrassment for the 13-time Premier League Champions.

#3 Continous moaning about the transfer market

Mourinho wanted a central defender in the summer

Manchester United finished second in the Premier League last season as the manager looked to strengthen the defence to fight for the league title his campaign. It’s believed that Mourinho shortlisted few central defenders in the summer, most notably Toby Alderweireld of Tottenham Hotspur and Harry Maguire of Leicester City.

However, the board decided not to back the manager with any more funds as the players bought in previously didn’t do much to improve the squad. In his two and half seasons at the club, Jose Mourinho had already spent more than 300 million on transfers without any significant outcome.

The unsuccessful transfer market irritated the Portuguese who didn’t leave any stone unturned to take a dig at his side’s weak defence. Mourinho’s negative attitude towards his players has reflected in the team’s performance as well with the players committing far too many defensive mistakes than it was hoped for.

The broken relationship with the board made his exit more imminent.

#2 Negative style of play

The fans got frustrated with watching negative football

Manchester United has always been a club whose foundation is built on eye-catching football. From Sir Matt Busby to Sir Alex Ferguson, everyone believed in the philosophy to entertain the crowd through the performances.

The retirement of Fergie started a new transitional phase at Old Trafford where both David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal failed to succeed. The appointment of Jose Mourinho was a desperate attempt to win trophies more than anything else. The former Chelsea manager is known for his defensive tactics which have paid dividends all these years.

However, the fragile United back line didn’t help Jose’s cause, and he was reluctant to adapt to a change in philosophy. His pessimistic football against the big sides has drawn immense criticism from the footballing world who cited Mourinho was a man from the past.

His tactics agitated the fans who wanted to see quick passing, high tempo football at Old Trafford.

#1 Fallout with the players

Pogba and Mourinho didn't see eye to eye.

The primary role of a manager is to keep the dressing room hungry and motivated. Jose Mourinho is a serial winner who won major trophies wherever he has managed.

His appointment at United was to ensure that the Red Devils could win the Premier League again for the first time since Fergie’s retirement. However, one thing that the board might not have thought about is Mourinho’s third season syndrome.

In his third season, Jose generally falls out with his players. Previously in case of Real Madrid and Chelsea, he lost the dressing room which led to his dismissal. At United, the Portuguese fell out with one of the most expensive players in the world, Paul Pogba. Footages circulated of a suggested spat between the manager and the world cup winner on the training ground.

Apart from that, he also criticized Luke Shaw and Antony Martial for their performances. The England International was almost cast out by Mourinho, but he fought his way into the good books of the manager.

Other players like Bailly and Valencia were reportedly unhappy with his philosophy. All these culminated into a miserable dressing room which eventually led to poor performances.

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