As the dust settles on news Jose Mourinho is to leave Manchester United, the question has to be asked; where United go from here? The interim period will see a caretaker manager put in place, with a decision on the club’s future following on in the summer, but where do the once-proud club go from here and, under the circumstances, was his sacking the right decision?
United are through to the quarterfinals of the Champions League, albeit priced at 50/1 to win in the latest football betting. Qualification alone is no longer seen as acceptable when their rivals all look to have a good chance of progressing to the final eight.
There’s a train of thought that he’s been let down by lazy, sulking players, but if that is the case, they’ve surely been applying themselves in the image of their manager. The writing has been on the wall since before the season started, Mourinho blasting his own players in a pre-season friendly to set the tone for the rest of the campaign.
Whenever he needed a result, he seemingly pulled one out of the bag, but there was never a consistency to United’s play and with Paul Pogba eating away at moral from the inside, the camp was never going to be happy. Jose might once have been the ‘Special One’, but when he came up against the expensive one, Mr Pogba, the business dictated there would only be one winner.
Whilst the timing is a little odd, defeats to both Liverpool and Manchester City have shown how far behind their two rivals they’ve fallen, two sides whom up until the departure of Sir Alex couldn’t get near the Red Devils. Sadly, Mourinho wasn’t able to create the dynasty that his employers so desperately want.
The future is once again uncertain, with a raft of names linked with the job early on, but the long-term goals at United have to be the main aim. It seems the board have written this season off, Champions League and all, and are going to patch up the holes until May, before looking to the next chapter.
David Moyes, Louis Van Gaal and now Mourinho have all flopped, all proven managers with good track records, but is that what United need? None of those players had a connection with the club, something that should influence any future decision.
When Zinedine Zidane took over atReal Madrid he had little first-team managerial experience, but he was a motivator as well as a club legend. That worked for the very best and perhaps it is something United should consider long-term.
There’s Ryan Giggs, a manager in the making who hasn’t been at the top level as a coach before but might be an inspired choice. Ole Gunnar Solskjær could well be in charge for the long term and he too could form part of a new era, one built as much on tradition as reputation.
They’ve tried the big names and big buys, now it is time for Manchester United to try something that the fans can identify with, whether Paul Pogba likes it or not.