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Manager Analysis

Was Jose Mourinho the Problem at Man Utd?

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It’s been 6 months now since Jose Mourinho was sacked as manager of Manchester United, but I’m still not confident it was the right decision. Certainly, there were issues which Jose Mourinho created, but these issues have the potential to reappear, regardless of the manager. I’ll explain below.

 

The sacking was correct

Jose can be a difficult manager to work under, with a long list of players who have struggled to please him. Such players are Paul Pogba, Luke Shaw, Juan Mata, even Eden Hazard during Mourinho’s 3rd season. They were classic cases of player power, but players seemed to win.

Mourinho has a very old school approach where he criticises individual performances, hoping for the player to bounce back in terrific form. However, in modern football, players prefer the ‘hand around the shoulder’ method, nurturing them as-if they are infants. Not all players, but some.

Jose’s living situation left me completely astonished, as he lived away from his family. He was given the Lowry Hotel President Suite, to help him settle in Manchester. However, after a good performance finishing in 2nd place, it emerged that he had no plans to leave the hotel. The media tend to take a dislike to Mourinho anyway, but as soon as this news was released, his commitment towards Man Utd was questioned. Rightly so.

Surely if he had plans to reign in Manchester just like Sir Alex Ferguson did, Jose would want his own humble abode. Whether the media actually got into the Portuguese managers head and annoyed him is remained to be seen, as they were running articles about him having 3 year plans at every club. It does ring true though, the Mourinho meltdown tends to occur in the 3rd year!

It’s also worth admitting that Jose had a relatively old fashioned tactical method, which he refused to alter or adapt. In truth, it wasn’t ‘bad’ tactics, but more-so boring and quite hard to watch, as often it would be a 1-0 scoreline, where they are struggling to hold on. If you compare Jurgen Klopp’s Gegenpress, or Guardiola’s Tiki Taka, they are miles apart. Liverpool & Man City fans couldn’t wait for their games to kick off, whereas United fans couldn’t wait until full time!

For all the entertainment, it’s worth noting that Jose actually has the more impressive trophy haul, he has won more trophies during his first season at Old Trafford than Klopp or Mauricio Pochettino have earnt during their entire careers at Liverpool & Spurs.

 

The sacking was a BAD decision

For all of Mourinho’s bad traits, you cannot accuse him of having no passion. Albeit, it caused some conflicts with his own players, but Mourinho is an Elite manager, who expects consistent, top level performances. His passion was also on show during the Champions League game vs Juventus. For the entire game, Juventus were chanting against Mourinho, but when a tactical masterclass earnt Man Utd the victory, Jose entered the pitch, with his hand cupped to his ear, asking the Juventus fans who they were booing. It led to a bust up with Chiellini, but it re-ignited the fans belief in Mourinho. It was a great comeback. Credit to Mourinho, as he managed to beat a strong Juventus side, with a bang average United team. Which leads me onto the next point, Transfers.

Did Ed Woodward fail Jose Mourinho?

In the Summer of 2018, whilst other clubs were adding talent to their ranks, Man Utd were failing to secure their targets. It was widely reported by the press that Jose Mourinho wanted to completely overhaul his defensive line, as this needed the most work. He also wanted to add a right winger, looking at Willian & Ivan Perisic His top targets were a new pair of centre backs, he personally highlighted Kalidou Koulibaly & Godin. Whilst Godin wouldn’t be a player to build the squad around, he would provide the leadership required to make the team much stronger. With Jones/Smalling/Lindelof/Bailly, whichever pair may start, it seems like chaos at the back. This chaos was to be added even further with Diogo Dalot & Luke Shaw accompanying wing back positions, there was no single player which could provide the leadership mentality. This was one of the failings, but was it Mourinho’s fault that his requests weren’t delivered? I don’t need to speak for Koulibaly, who is becoming one of the most sought after defenders in football. It’s rumoured that a £70m bid was rejected.

Conclusion

Jose Mourinho is not finished as a manager, but he does need to adapt to the modern style of player. No longer can he single an individual out for their errors, he must add sensitivity to players that require it.

Unfortunately, the job at Man Utd was just too big. He managed to get them some trophies, aswell as getting into the Champions League by winning the Europa League. However, the Media really caused problems for him, which led to fans disliking their own manager. It wasn’t long before Ed Woodward decided changes were needed, when realistically, he was the main problem for Mourinho.

If Mourinho had his transfer targets, we could already been into Year 2 of the Man Utd rebuild. Instead, OGS has the reins now, and Man Utd start the rebuilding process once more.

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Manager Analysis

Chris Hughton – Club Safe, Manager Sacked

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Brighton and Hove Albion have sacked Chris Hughton, just 24 hours after the curtains closed on the Premier League 2018/19 season.

Chris Hughton did succeed in keeping Brighton in top-flight football, confirming their safety after their 36th game. Cardiff, Fulham & Huddersfield Town were all relegated, after disappointing campaigns. Chris managed Brighton for over 4 years, which is one of the largest spells in the English leagues. However, it’s no longer.

His last game for Brighton wasn’t an easy one, being tasked with the mission of playing vs Man City. To make matters worse, it wasn’t a ‘normal’ City team, it was a super-charged Man City, who had to win to secure the Premier League title.

Brighton took the lead, but Man City ran out as 4-1 winners. The title celebrations began at the Amex Stadium & it was all too much for the club chairman Tony Bloom, who said;

Chris has done an excellent job over the past four and a half years,  First stabilising our club, reaching the play-offs in his first full season, securing our first ever promotion to the Premier League, and retaining our status in two successive seasons

Tony admitted it was a very hard decision to sack a manager who has fulfilled his targets, but the form which Brighton had in the 2nd half of the season was a huge cause for concern. Brighton managed just 3 wins from 23 games, which is not good enough for a Premier League side.

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