Manchester United decided to sack Jose Mourinho because they were unhappy with a lack of progress in form, style of play and development of their young players.
United released a statement on Tuesday morning confirming they had parted company with Mourinho after two-and-a-half years and that an external caretaker manager would be placed in charge until the end of the campaign.
The MEN understands that United were concerned that Mourinho’s ego was jeopardising the harmony at the club, where he stripped Paul Pogba of the second captain’s role in September. A recent team meeting was also cited by a player as the tipping point in the squad’s relationship with Mourinho.
Ironically, Mourinho said in September: “Manchester United is bigger than anyone and I have to defend that.”
United believe they sufficiently backed Mourinho with £358.7million in the transfer market on 11 players during his time in charge and that they expected a greater measure of progress within that timeframe.
United bought Eric Bailly, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba in a £145.3m spending spree in Mourinho’s first summer transfer window in 2016 and £140.9m on Victor Lindelof, Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic in his second. That figure plummeted to £73.2m in the 2018 transfer window and ended without two of Mourinho’s priority targets, which caused considerable unrest between the manager and the board.
Alexis Sanchez also arrived in the January transfer window, a move that caused the wage bill to inflate by 12.3 percent. Sanchez, currently injured, has had a dismal year with United and speculation has swirled over his future.
Against Liverpool, The Reds had 36 attempts at goal to United’s 11 and United have a goal difference of 0 nearly halfway through the Premier League campaign. The United players are believed to have wanted a change of manager as far back as September partly due to the rigid set-up in games.
A source said that the United hierarchy were also unhappy with the development phase of young players under Mourinho, a concern that was raised by United supporters before Mourinho was appointed in May 2016.
Mourinho took Tahith Chong, RoShaun Williams, Mason Greenwood, Angel Gomes and James Garner on the pre-season tour in the summer. Gomes, Axel Tuanzebe, Scott McTominay, Josh Harrop, Demetri Mitchell and Joel Pereira were the six academy graduates who made their debuts under Mourinho.
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