Manchester United, arguably the kings of the Premier League, made a bold move on the 18th of December, firing Portuguese manager, Jose Mourinho. After a two-and-a-half-year period, the Red Devils decided he didn’t bring enough success to the table. It wasn’t all about the club’s lack of success though. Mourinho had multiple arguments with key players and created a negative image in the media for United. There are a ton of factors when firing a manager including both how his team performs on the pitch and how he presents the club to the media. Unfortunately Mourinho failed to live up to the expectations of his contract.
Jose Mourinho’s attitude and style has always been unique. Although everyone has their own personality and managing style, but nothing compares to Mourinho’s take on football. To Mourinho, nothing matters more than his own coaching achievements and how people talk about his success in the media. If the team wins, the success falls on him, if the team loses, it’s the players’ fault. Mourinho’s always looking for more opportunities to improve his trophy case–whether it’s the Europa League, or the Premier League, everything is his. He deals with the media accordingly, and when he isn’t in a winner’s mood, often reporters won’t get much from him other than attitude.
Mourinho’s coaching style is known throughout football as defensive to the point of being very boring, and while that isn’t the worst way to play, it hasn’t been working out for United. Mourinho looks for a goal early in the game then “parks the bus” by bringing two Center Midfielders deeper in the pitch to make six defenders as opposed to four so he can lock down his half. This hasn’t changed since the start of his manager career in 2003 with Primeira Liga powerhouse Benfica. Star players of Manchester United, particularly Paul Pogba, haven’t benefited from this defensive style. Pogba has a greater role as a dynamic Center Midfield and has an outrageous shot goalkeepers dread. Paul has been moved to the Center Defensive Midfield role and isn’t being used the way he should be since he came off a 105 million Euro deal from Juventus. Pogba isn’t the only player who hasn’t performed under the spotlight–Rashford, Martial, Sanchez, Smalling and others too haven’t been living up to expectations.
Not only has Mourinho lessened the chance of star players reaching their potential but the sacrifice hasn’t brought the success and hardware it was intended to either. Manchester has only one UEFA Europa League Title, one League Title, and one Community Shield, which isn’t impressive at all.
Now Manchester United are moving in a new direction, filling the open manager spot with former striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer while they look for a permanent replacement. Already, Manchester’s stars have played a more of predominant role, bringing the team success. The Norwegian manager brought back a huge victory, 5-1, against his former team Cardiff. Solskjaer is the only manager to produce a 5 goal match in the Premier League since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Manchester may be in 6th place in the English Premier League, but they have made it into the Round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League. This will be a great test for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer since he has no experience into the Champions League. United will play against Neymar, and Ligue 1 title holders PSG as they look to make it past the Round of 16 and hopefully add a fourth Champions Title to their massive trophy case.