Jose Mourinho was always the wrong choice for Manchester United boss. He had just come off of his worst ever season as a manager with Chelsea in 2015-16, losing seven more games in the first half of the season than he did in the whole of the season before. As a result, Mourinho came into his first ever season as Manchester United boss a lonely man,
whose reputation had been dented and was never going to be the same again, making this the wrong move for the Red Devils to make.
Manchester United spent big in the summer to bring in the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, Eric Bailly and Henrikh Mkhitaryan but that has only been enough to win Mou 52% of his matches so far, his second worst win % at any club he’s been at over the course of his career. As Mourinho continues to mis-manage players, diminish quality players’ confidence and act like a five-year old child on the sidelines, Manchester United sit 11 points off leaders Chelsea already, contributing to their worst ever start to a Premier League season. Even if his possession based football drove the fans insane, Louis Van Gaal would not have had this much of a torrid start to the 2016-17 English Premier League season especially not with Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in his lineup. So there’s only one thing left to do: sack Jose Mourinho. Think it’s too soon? Here are eight reasons why Jose Mourinho should be sacked as Manchester United boss tomorrow.
8. Outdated Tactics
Jose Mourinho revolutionized footballing formations back in his first spell as Chelsea manager when he deployed Claude Makelele as a deep-lying midfielder with Lampard on the left and Tiago on the right, changing the way the 4-3-3 formation would be played forever. This incredible switch up with Makelele playing so deep meant that any team that was playing in the then traditional 4-4-2 formation were always outnumbered in midfield. But the game has evolved since then and Mourinho has failed to adapt. Clubs like Southampton, Tottenham, Liverpool and Antonio Conte’s Chelsea now put very high pressure on every single player that gets in contact of the ball and so a very defensive setup with loads of possession at the back like the one that Jose Mourinho likes to play in just invites pressure to be put on his team, and has resulted in a host of shocking displays from the Red Devils. The footballing formations of today are the 4-1-4-1’s of this world and not only that but today you have to be flexible with your formations and Jose Mourinho’s stubbornness with his 4-2-3-1 even when it isn’t working is one of the key reasons why he hasn’t managed to get the late goals that he desperately needs. United have played with the 4-2-3-1 in 12 of their 13 Premier League matches so far and it has resulted in them winning just 5 games. In some of those games, like United’s 2-1 loss to arch-rivals Manchester City, Mourinho’s tactics were just shockingly bad and the Portuguese manager has been outplayed by far too many other managers in the league this season.
7. Horrible Off-The-Field Attitude
I never had a problem with Jose Mourinho until I started to listen to post-match interviews and hear the way that he talks to reporters and the press. Every single time his team loses, he blames it on someone else. In his second spell as Chelsea manager these claims ranged from the more obvious like blaming it on the referee to the ridiculous of claiming it was the ball boys’ fault. A host of other people have been responsible for Mourinho’s teams’ losses other the years including his players, the crowd and even the team doctor, but it’s never his own fault. This kind of egotistical attitude from Jose Mourinho is one of the main reasons why he fell out of favour as Chelsea manager and could very well play a role in his inevitable sacking as Manchester United boss as well. How are your players going to respond if you’re constantly slimming them to the press? Not well, I can tell you that much. He’s already damaged several players’ confidence this season from his post-match comments alone and if he’s not careful, that number will climb up to an insurmountable amount like it did at Chelsea and he’ll be sacked in no time.
6. Stupid Sideline Antics
In what must be some kind of record, Jose Mourinho has been sent to the stands a whopping three times this season in just thirteen games. Jose Mourinho has always caused plenty of trouble on the sidelines and nothing has changed since his arrival at the club. From cussing out fourth officials to kicking water bottles up in the sky, he has crossed the line on far too many occasions this season and it should this kind of behaviour simply should not be tolerated by the backroom staff. Sir Alex Ferguson would have never done anything of the sorts and must have been left shuddering every time Mourinho has acted rashly and been sent to the stands this season. Complaining about every single decision that goes against his team not only makes the 53-year old look silly but also sends the message to his players that that is the correct way to act as well. You see players like Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera and flying-elbow man Marouane Fellaini all arguing with every single decision that goes against United and a manager should be clamping down on that sort of thing rather than engaging in it himself.
5. Horrible Role Model
This is the man that represents Manchester United at the moment with the utmost authority at the club. Children and aspiring players around the world are watching his behaviour on the sidelines and probably getting the wrong idea of what the proper way to behave is. You see it today in youth soccer with kids as young as eleven arguing with every single decision a referee makes on a football pitch and Mourinho and other professional players acting this way only reinforces the idea that it is an appropriate way to act. His post-match interviews in which he always blames other people for errors he has made also sends the negative message to kids to never own up to their mistakes. Jose Mourinho’s off-the field and on-the field behaviour both send terrible messages to children, aspiring players and even his own players, proving just how bad of a role model he is to everyone.
4. No Plan B
As mentioned above, Jose Mourinho has stuck by his tried and tested 4-2-3-1 formation through thick and thin this season and has never shook things up an ounce to try and change their fate around. Even despite United’s poor start to the season, their worst ever to start a Premier League campaign, Mourinho has stuck with the 4-2-3-1 and it continues to fail him just as it did in his last season at Chelsea. What Mourinho has also struggled to do late on in games this season is find a way to go on and win a match when his team are clearly the better side but for whatever reason can’t buy a goal. This is something that Sir Alex Ferguson perfected in his reign as United boss, so much so that a term was even invented for it, Fergie Time. It’s not as though the United boss has an Olivier Giroud or Andy Carroll to throw on when things aren’t going his way but he has consistently waited far too long to shake things up and make substitutions and Marouane Fellaini isn’t a viable plan B that will win you a match. Only recently has Jose Mourinho even considered bringing game changers like Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Bastian Schweinsteiger back into the fold and his mis-management of these players has meant that even if they do/when they do get their chance to shine in the side that they are always going to be shadows of their former selves. Other than kicking water bottles onto the field, Jose Mourinho does not have a plan B and it has cost him on several occasions so far this season.
3. Disturbed Pscyhe
Whether everything that happened at Chelsea did the damage or whether Mourinho has just always been this way, the Portuguese manager is a very disturbed man at the moment and he doesn’t carry himself with the same kind of confidence and persona that he used to. These days when he talks to the press there’s a real sense of defeat about the tone of his voice compared to when he used to be energetic and lively in the press conference room.
Part of the reason why I think Mourinho has struggled to behave this season is down to his loneliness. The ex-Porto manager lives inside of the Lowry Hotel alone and has done so ever since moving to United, with his wife and two children still living in London (The Sun, 2016). On top of that, getting into the psychology of it all, Mourinho has never lost this much in his life. He is used to winning. He won 22 major trophies in just 15 seasons before it all started to go wrong at Chelsea in 2015-16 and so after his slippery slope into despair began last year, he must have found it hard to adjust to it all. Jose Mourinho is not used to losing nor is us he used to having to come back from losing positions. So now that it is happening more and more and more, he doesn’t know how to deal with it and it’s only damaging his psyche further and further.
It’s no secret that Mourinho isn’t exactly a happy man. He’s not the cheerful ball of energy that Jurgen Klopp is for example, but if his team are ever going to start to perform to the level they are capable of, he needs to get this all worked out and start believing in his own abilities again.
2. Publically Slamming Players
Earlier this month Jose Mourinho slammed Luke Shaw and Chris Smalling for being injured. That’s right, not for playing badly, but for something out of their control, being injured. Turns out, Chris Smalling had a broken toe, while Luke Shaw was still feeling the effects of the broken leg he suffered last year that he did tremendously well to recover from both physically and mentally. These comments not only surprised Shaw and Smalling as their injuries were serious but hurt them as well and at the moment it looks unlikely that either player will be back in United’s lineup anytime soon despite being arguably United’s two best defenders. This is just one example of a multitude of ridiculous comments Mourinho has made this season to damage his players’ confidence.
Mourinho has also slammed the likes of Marouane Fellaini, Jessie Lingard, Wayne Rooney, Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan this season and I can’t emphasize enough how bad man-management this is. You would never hear Jurgen Klopp or Mauricio Pochettino or say Chris Coleman say the types of things that Mourinho has said in the press about his own players and there is no way that in any way, shape or form that this kind of negativity is going to help them to play better. Luke Shaw for example wasn’t playing brilliantly at the time. He had two relatively poor games back to back against City and Watford and in both matches looked out of sorts. But instead of instilling a belief in the man who has just recovered from a broken leg that he can and will do better in the future, he drops him and criticizes him behind his back and knowing Mourinho probably to his face as well. Since then Luke Shaw hasn’t been able to get back into the team and even if he does eventually work his way back into the side it’s hard to see him having the same kind of impact on United’s setup that he did at the beginning of the season in August because of the manager’s poor treatment of him.
1. Mis-Management of Key Players
What do Kevin de Bruyne, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Juan Mata all have in common? They were all outcast by Mourinho the moment he walked in the door despite the season before he arrived being one of the very best players in world football. Henrikh Mkhitaryan epitomized everything that was good about Borussia Dortmund last season as he led them to a second place finish in the table with 11 goals and 15 assists in 37 appearances, picking up the German Bundesliga Player of the Year Award. Manchester United is Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s boyhood club, so you can imagine how much it meant for him to leave Borussia Dortmund for the Premier League giants. But what does Jose Mourinho do? He shatters his confidence. He ridicules one of the hardest working players I can think of for his work ethic in training, refuses to play him and in the only game that he decides to start him in, pulls him off at half time, blaming the Armenian for United’s poor start against City in their 2-1 loss when the only one to blame was Mourinho himself. Henrikh Mkhitaryan is still determined to fight for his place at United but even now that he has been given his chance to play a peripheral from the bench, the attacking midfielder noticeably does not have that same goal scoring touch that he used to have due to that lack in confidence.
Mourinho did the same thing with two-time Chelsea Player of the Year Juan Mata when he sold him to United without even giving the Spaniard a chance to show his worth at Chelsea. As a result, his confidence was shot for two whole years, never fully looking like his old self and it is only now that Mourinho has finally shown faith in him that he is rediscovering the kind of form he exhibited at Chelsea in the two seasons before the manager arrived.
As mentioned above, Mourinho has also slammed players like Luke Shaw and Chris Smalling for being injured, damaging their confidence in the process and has even publically shamed his captain Wayne Rooney and star player Paul Pogba for their sub-par performances at times this season. On top of that, Martial has gone missing this season, Depay can’t get a game, Schweinsteiger was treated like a sick puppy and Rashford has now not scored in his last 10 games for Manchester United in all competitions. Mourinho just does so much to mis-manage his players and it has resulted in a team full of players lacking in confidence and a team lacking in cohesion, fight and motivation to win matches.
Jose Mourinho is not the man he used to be. He’s a damaged, lonely soul who treats top players like sick children and is stuck in his own stubborn ways. Jose Mourinho should be sacked as Manchester United boss. There are far too many better alternatives out there. The Portuguese manager was always the wrong choice to become United boss and should be sacked as soon as possible before things start to get worse.