By Paul Ejime
Whenever Jose Mourinho bragged that he was the Special One, his critics had always shouted him down.
But not many football managers in Europe can boast the type of limelight enjoyed by this Portuguese coach. And this is largely due to his no-love-lost relationship with the ever-vociferous British media.
Little wonder Mourinho’s sacking by Manchester United on Tuesday, December 18, after two and a half years, made headline news, including on the BBC.
Even on Wednesday, 24 hours later, the story competed for frontpage space with the unending Brexit menu in virtually all major UK newspapers.
From the “Sacked 1” of (the i), to “Mourin-go” (Metro), to “No extra-time…” (The Guardian), “Mourinho due £10 m pay-off (Financial Times), and “Jose’s £15 m Xmass bonus” (Daily Sun), among others, it was Mourinho all the way with his photographs to the bargain.
The sack was no surprise though, given Man-U’s worsening poor run after the club had ended last season 2nd on the League table.
This was after clinching the second-tier Europa Champions League trophy and the Carabao (EFL) Cup in Mourinho’s first year at Old Trafford following mixed results at Chelsea in previous seasons.
But in ongoing 2018/19 season it appeared that Mourinho, the serial winner had given his all to the Old Trafford club. Sadly, his best has not been good enough, even by his own very high standard.
As manager of a club with near global cult appeal, Jose should take the lion’s share of the responsibility. However, the blame for Man-U’s underwhelming performance goes beyond Jose’s sacking/departure. The reasons include the dysfunctional management strategy, including flawed transfer policy and lack of commitment by players.
Another important but overlooked problem is the high expectation on and over-hype of Manchester United capabilities as a club.
Throwing money at a problem is never the best solution.
The fans, supporters and management must lower their expectations and acknowledge the fact that the Alex Ferguson times as coach are over.
Also, football continues to evolve to the extent that today no club or nation should be dismissed as minnow!
Old Trafford must change management strategy/policy in accordance with the times. Players win games as a team.
Mourinho too, needs to update his style/skill in line with the dynamics of the money-spinning soccer world, where some players earn a whooping £500k a week!
Perhaps, he needs some time off to reflect, rejigg and retool. Given his illustrious antecedent, the 55-year-old will not stay too long on the unemployment shelf.
On the other hand, Man-U might require a longer time and genuine overhaul to bounce back, especially in light of the exploits across the road by their arch-rivals, Manchester City under Pep Guadiola’s titulage!
– Dec. 20, 2018 @ 3: 41 GMT |
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