Sky Sport’s Sunday Supplement panel discuss whether Manchester United were right to part company with Jose Mourinho.
The Portuguese was sacked by United on Tuesday morning after a face-to-face meeting with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward at the club’s Carrington training ground, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer taking over until the end of the campaign.
So, was the 55-year-old harshly dealt with by United, or was his time up at Old Trafford?
Ian McGarry (former chief football writer at The Sun and The Daily Mail)
The decision was taken after the game at Anfield on Sunday as they could not see performances improving. There was no back-up plan to sack Mourinho before the end of the season until that conference call with the Glazers on Monday evening. They said ‘pull the plug’, Ed Woodward agreed and then they have the surprise meeting at Carrington on Tuesday.
Mourinho gave his players too many excuses to fail, whether he was lambasting them publicly or privately, pulling them up for social media posts, or the things he said in press conferences.
And if you do lose the dressing room, then you cannot expect the players to not think this failure is not my fault. And ultimately it is the manager who pays the price with his job as you cannot sack a whole team.
I do have some sympathy with Mourinho as some things went against him in terms of recruitment and you obviously cannot legislate for Paul Pogba and Mino Raiola stirring things up on an almost weekly basis behind the scenes.
I do not think it is his methods that are out of date though, but his man-management style.
Last time I saw him was in the tunnel at the Amex after Brighton had beaten United 3-2 at the beginning of the season and he looked physically smaller and the aura has gone.
Paul McCarthy (former sports editor at News of the World)
It is his leadership (that was the problem) – if you are an England player under Gareth Southgate, or a Man City player under Pep Guardiola, or a Liverpool player under Jurgen Klopp, these are managers who understand you and young people’s mentality.
Whereas Mourinho is the old-fashioned school teacher and what I say goes and that is a big culture shock, which you can see reflected in the Man Utd players.
If you went into his office at Cobham, it was like a shrine to himself – there are pictures of him all over the walls, books are all about Mourinho, all the magazines on the table had Mourinho on the front cover.
It was like ‘look at me and how successful I have been’ and I have never been to another manager’s office like that.
Patrick Barclay (former chief football correspondent at The Times)
I think he has become unhealthily consumed by his own ego. Sir Alex Ferguson’s ego was just as big as Mourinho’s, as was his fear of failure.
The difference is everything Fergie was doing, good or bad, you got the impression it was for Man Utd. It was not, it was for him as well, but you never got that impression.