Why Jose Mourinho should never have been sacked as Manchester United manager

Since Sir Alex Ferguson left Manchester United in 2013 it has been quite a nightmarish ride for the fans who were so used to seeing multiple successes, good players and great games at the club.

It’s been a shock for United at how many plans have failed since Ferguson left. David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and current manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have all tried to put United back on the map. But the club are certainly going backwards albeit with a certain glimmer of light, which just about still shines in the halls of Old Trafford.

In the 6 years since United have won 3 trophies, 2 of them the Europa League and League Cup were won with Jose Mourinho in charge, and he also led the club to 2nd place in the league- their best ever finish post Ferguson. One wonders if United made a huge error sacking Mourinho? Of course at the time it did look like the best option. United were losing every week and misery seemed to be engulfed with the club. For reasons we will most probably find out in a players book Mourinho had lost the dressing room, but how is that different from the other coaches who have managed at the club.

When David Moyes arrived at Everton, then defender Rio Ferdinand admitted that he had no respect for the ex-Everton manager, this before Moyes had properly overseen his first game. Van Gaal seemed like an odd appointment, a brilliant one had it been the 1990s, but in 2014? The Dutchman was well past his sell by date, he lost some games you would have expected United to win but he did win the FA Cup as a parting gift. Solskjaer started well but has been a nightmare coach for the club, some of his buys have been inspired and he wants to do his best, but he simply looks like a small fish in a vast ocean.

Mourinho needed a clear out of players if he was to stay, and the one negative you could say about him is the special one is pretty useless at rebuilding teams and leaving some sort of legacy for the next manager. But what he does deliver are trophies, he just needs the sort of players that will train hard and work hard for him, that wasn’t going to be the case at United.

Records of Manchester United managers since Sir Alex Ferguson:

David Moyes win rate= 52.9%

Louis van Gaal win rate= 52.4%

Jose Mourinho win rate= 58.3%

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer win rate (so far) = 51.1%

10 Incredible Football facts which make you impressed!

Are you a dedicated football fan who enjoys sharing interesting football stories?
Prepare yourself for some astonishing stories and feel free to share them with your friends!

1. Mark Hughes played for Wales national team and Bayern Munich on the same day.
It happened in 1988 during qualifying matches.

Hughes had just signed the contract Munich and he was prompted to play against Wales. He shared the story: “I had dinner with Uli Hoeness who asked me what time the Wales match was. I told him it was around midday and he said That’s OK then, you can play in the evening as well. After the match, Hughes crossed to the other side of the Czech Republic to play against Borussia Monchengladbach. He said: “We actually flew over the ground and missed the first half, but I got there at the start of the second half.”

2. West Ham football player, Alvin Martin, scored a hat-trick against three different
goalkeepers in a match against Newcastle – Martin Thomas, Chris Hedworth and
Peter Beardsley.

3. Clie Allen scored 28 goals for QPR in season 79-80. After the season, Arsenal paid
more than a million for him but sent him to Palace after only three friendly matches.

4. Starting from season 1982, Bayern football players have at least one place at World
Cup Finals. The last in the row was Arjen Robben during World Cup 2010.

5. When Alex Ferguson came to Manchester United, Aston Villa football club was
better than red devils. By 1986, Villa took seven Premier League titles, seven FA
Cups, three League Cups, and a European Cup.

Before Alex Ferguson took over the team, Manchester United had won seven Premier League titles, six FA Cups, and a European Cup.

With Sir Alex in charge, Manchester United won the Premier League 13 times and now have a record total of 20 English League titles. What an amazing achievement for the Scottish manager! Lucky Nugget Casino NZ are a great way of entertainment for worldwide customers. If you want to test the option, we recommend progressive slots that bring life- changing prizes. Have a look at Lucky Nugget site for more info.

6. If you want to translate word Pittodrie (home of Aberdeen) in Gaelic, it will sound
like s*** heap or (‘place of manure’ or ‘hill of dung)

7. László Kubala was the only football player who competed for three national teams:
Spain, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary. This was the first player who had official
recognition of FIFA for the same thing. Former Real Madrid star Alfredo Di Stefano
also played for three national teams: Spain, Colombia, and Argentina but at a time
when Colombia football association was not recognized.

8. Jimmy Rimmer is a unique player which got European Cup winners with two
different clubs from England (Manchester United and Aston Villa)

9. Zlatan Ibrahimovic used to play for six clubs which won Champions League
Trophy. However, he has never won the same competition. Zlatan played for Inter,
Ajax, Juventus, Milan, Manchester United and Barcelona. What bad luck!

10. Giuseppe Bergomi participated in four World Cups but he has never played in
qualifiers. But how is that possible? The ex Italian defender used to play for the
national team in seasons 1982, 1986, 1990 and 1998. During the first qualifying
phase (1982), Bergomi was only 18 and he was not in the first squad. For World Cup 1990, Italy qualified as host and 1998 was too late for Bergomi when he received a
surprising invitation from the coach.

As you can see, football is always associated with interesting facts and stories. Make
sure to follow them all and learn something new.

Have Manchester United made a huge mistake giving Ole Gunnar Solskjaer manager’s job?


Let’s admit it we all believed that Manchester United made the right decision in sacking Jose Mourinho in December and bringing in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. After coming into the team the Norwegian with a smile wider than Manchester embraced the ethos of the club and they went on a 10 game unbeaten run which included knocking PSG out of the Champions League, the good times had returned to Old Trafford, or so we thought.

Since signing a 3 year permanent contract Manchester United’s form has dipped so bad, that it is worse than Mourinho’s first three months of the season and would place the club in 19th place in the league. A 4-0 loss at Everton was supposed to be the worst pick of the bunch. But how about drawing at bottom club Huddersfield or better still losing at home to Cardiff by 2-0 who had already been relegated themselves. It was Cardiff who were the first team to be beaten by Solskjaer’s United side winning 5-1 away from home just before Christmas, how things had changed.

One has to wonder if United have not performed a classic knee jerk reaction. Should they have waited until the end of the season to make a judgement whether Solskjaer was the right man for the job?

Mourinho no matter how talented as a coach he is had to go, he was never the perfect fit for the club that much was evident. And yet he left with the memory of winning the Europa League, the Carabao Cup and placing United in their highest position of 2nd since Sir Alex Ferguson left. Indeed since Mourinho was sacked United have taken backwards steps and will not be playing in the Champions League next season which has got to hurt.

Many would put the blame at the players, and it is clear that half of the first team squad could be sold on in the summer. Quality players who are simply not performing well for the club week in week out. Once the new manager syndrome eroded and the club dropped their first points under him, the confidence was taken from them like a sweet shop owner who forgot to lock the doors adjacent to a school.

What United have done in the cold light of day is replace a world class manager with a proven track record and trophies with a manager who wins trophies with Molde in the Norwegian league. Had Ole never played for United then he would never have been considered and this seems like the most fatal mistake for Ed Woodward and his United staff.

This isn’t to say that the future looks bleak. After all with a clear out of players that could do the club good, but the problem is that they will want to attract the calibre of players that are at Champions League level, a competition they are not in. Next season sadly looks like being a long and testing one for the club and it will be fascinating to see if Solskjaer can prove his doubters wrong and bring the results in.

How Gary Neville showed a lack of respect to Everton and most other Premier League clubs


There are problems at Manchester United but while everyone is pointing the finger at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, he is, not after five months in charge of the club the problem. The Norwegian was responsible for taking the club back to their free flowing football after the miserable opening the club showed in the first half of the season under Jose Mourinho, where they simply looked too afraid to play.

Results are going south- but it isn’t Solskjaers fault, not yet. Let’s not go and blame the same person that we were all full of praise for a month ago. Yes the honeymoon is over, players careers at the club are clearly on the line and a top 4 place looks in jeopardy. No matter a top 4 place was a distant dream before Solskjaer showed up, if anything he gave the Red Devils hope. His stay of execution from the media frenzy should at least wait until the middle of next season after he has been able to adapt himself more with the club, get his slippers under his desk office and of course splash the cash in the summer transfer window.

But there are problems at the club, and we can talk about the Glazer family all day, the players they have let slip through the net and Ed Woodward and his ill fated contract extension given to Jose Mourinho which cost the club a reporter £15m upwards.

Alas what we need to speak about is United’s self worth, its feeling of superiority over other clubs, even though the trophies have dried up and the best of times are clearly behind them. Not everybody associated with this great and infamous club is guilty, but one person stepped forward on Sky Sports at the weekend and he was ex player Gary Neville, seen as a genuine club legend, and make no mistakes he was.

Neville was being interviewed for Sky Sports and was obviously very angry at United’s showing, wanting a clear out of players. All of that was quite understandable. What wasn’t was when he mentioned that Everton’s players had run 4km more than United’s in the first half and once he said it he repeated ”Everton”! as if it was such a shock. What Neville did in that split second was show a complete lack of respect for the clubs values.

Attacking a teams physical fitness is not the same as attacking their quality, and it seemed a very privileged thing to do as Neville did. It demeaned all of Everton’s hard work and it felt like an extended attack on the teams that year in and year out do not have the financial spending power of United, the teams that finish 7th and below in other words.

United are a quality team despite this season and despite their indifferences since Sir Alex Ferguson retired nearly 6 years ago. They are also a team attached with class and etiquette just like all of the major European superpowers.

But in that moment Neville arguably tossed that away and showed a club in his view that are self privileged. Neville is an excellent pundit and his knowledge of the game in England is second to none, he can do better than that, one hopes that he recognises it.

EPL Game of the Weekend – Man Utd vs Southampton

lukakuWhen Man Utd parted company with Jose Mourinho back in December and brought in club legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on a caretaker basis, many assumed this was little more than a nostalgia act – a chance to see Ole back at the club for a time while the hierarchy went about searching for a permanent successor to the Portuguese boss. However, in the time since Solskjaer’s return, United have gone on a run of 13 wins in 16 matches, tasting defeat only once – and this run of form has led many to assume that the 46-year-old will be given the job on a permanent basis at some point between now and the start of the 2019-20 campaign. This past weekend, the Red Devils welcomed Southampton to Old Trafford in what would turn out to be a modern-day classic game. Continue reading

Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer should be permanent Manchester United manager- what are the club waiting for?

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In 2 months Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer has done to Manchester United what three other managers and five years could not do, he has them playing the Manchester United way again so why haven’t the board announced him as United’s permanent manager?

What Solsjkaer got the job the whole mood shifted at the club one that had been moody, downbeat and not playing to their strengths under Jose Mourinho. But now it was like the mid 1990s again. Hardly anyone could have believed United would have been able to catch up to Arsenal and Chelsea and are now in 4th place. In December United were 9 points behind Arsenal, now they are a point above them and make no mistake they will fire even more ahead in the coming weeks/months.

But the United board just aren’t trusting him yet. Their argument will be that this is just the beginning- but what manager has done this well? David Moyes Louis van Gaal and even Jose Mourinho showed weakness in their first few months in charge of the club. While it is true that this incredible run will end at one point for the Norwegian, the players love him and respect him and he does have a future at the club. The worry will be if United bring in a big name and it doesn’t work out.

Zinedine Zidane may have been on most fans thoughts to come to United but we have to remember he had problems in the past with the likes of Ronaldo and especially Gareth Bale at Real Madrid, even if he was successful. The key for Solsjkaer’s success is that he is ready for his teams to play attacking football but is also ready for man management. He is happy to love every player that wears United’s famous red jersey and feels like the first proper United man in the dugout since Sir Alex Ferguson said goodbye back in 2013.

It feels that Ed Woodward and co are going to wait to see how United reach against PSG in the Champions League and feels very unfair. Nobody would have thought that United were going to win the Champions League this season. Surely now it was all about a top 4 place and deep runs in a cup. United are still there in the FA Cup and they should do well against PSG, but if they fail the manager should not be judged in this way. Let’s remember that 60 days ago he was in charge of Molde in Norway and dreaming of this job.

Give him the position, his blood and DNA belong at United and Old Trafford. Don’t let the excuse of him finally losing a game, which is going to happen be the moment that the hierarchy make the 4th mistake in 6 years.

Marouane Fellaini leaves the Premier League with no title but he gave so much more


And so that’s it, after spending 10 and a half seasons in England’s Premier League the Belgian Marouane Fellaini has left to join Chinese club Shandong Lueng. But how will Fellaini’s legacy be remembered in England?

Fellaini was bought by Everton’s David Moyes way back in the summer of 2008 and he immediately became a regular fixture in the Everton side, helping the club to top 6 finishes and they reached the 2009 FA Cup final, eventually losing to Chelsea 2-1.

Fellaini became instantly recognisable with his permed out hair, which looked as if he had just had an electric shock, but he was giving his opponents that kind of treatment in midfield, let’s just say you knew he was in the middle of the park and he certainly had that physical side to his game- the Everton fans duly loved him. Still there seems to be a myth that he was always receiving red cards, which simply isn’t true and he was given his marching orders less than 4 times in his career in England.

Once David Moyes had joined Manchester United in his ill conceived move, spurred on by a retiring Sir Alex Ferguson one of Moyes’ first purchases was to bring Fellaini to Manchester. At first it seemed short sighted, perhaps the Belgian was only good enough on a level for Everton. But over 5 seasons later he actually proved his worth to the United side.

Countless times it was Fellaini’s goals that got Manchester United out of trouble, where they have mostly belonged since Ferguson departed the club back in 2013. In his first difficult season he didn’t even score a goal and injuries also plagued him. But in his second season that changed and he netted 7 times. Under different coaches a lot changed for him and the trophies finally started to come in. The FA Cup under Louis van Gaal and then the League Cup and perhaps his most important trophy to date the Europa League with Jose Mourinho followed suit.

Fellaini leaves England with no Premier League title of course, but at least he ended up winning 4 trophies with United. He’s also very much proved his worth as a player, scoring crucial goals, and the key reason United are still in the Champions League was because of his goal against Young Boys in the group stages, otherwise United could well have been out of the competition.

His quality and worth to both Everton and Manchester United has been of great significance and he survived so many different coaches throughout the years. Him leaving feels like a small slice of Premier League memory ending and he richly deserves his move away to China. Although at just 31 one does wonder if he still had a few more seasons in him at the very highest level. That may never be found out.


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can’t lose as manager of Manchester United

Manchester United legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer so utterly famous for his last minute goal against Bayern Munich in 1999 that won Manchester United their first ever Champions League has been named as caretaker manager of the club.

The decision seems like the perfect one. United need a warm hug not trophies right now as the Red Devils will look to try and stabilise themselves throughout the remainder of the season. Whilst some have said that sacked manager Jose Mourinho could talk down to players, Solskjaer is the opposite. Indeed the main reason he is the perfect pick isn’t because he is a successful coach but because he is in love with the club where he won a multitude of trophies over 11 glorious years.

The board love him, the fans love him, will the players? The ones that don’t if that is the case will perhaps be highlighted as the very same ones that gave Mourinho problems. But there has to be some hope that Solskjaer is the man that United need at this moment in time.

For the Norwegian it isn’t a surprise at all that he accepted the clubs offer to join them when they came calling. He has often been quoted at his club Molde for talking about the good old days at United and still refers to Sir Alex Ferguson as the boss. His time with the club left something dear in his heart. Plus let’s be honest here Solsjaer can’t lose.

Initially he will be at the club until the end of the season, when United as expected will hire one of the top coaches in European football. In that time what can Solskjaer do wrong? The club should pick up momentum and Solskjaer is the very opposite of Mourinho, he will inject confidence in the players and tell them what they want to hear, that should project back onto the football pitch, because make no mistake United do have a good team underneath that black cloud.

So this appears to be a win-win situation for the former club legend. Look at the evidence. If the bad to average form continues, Mourinho may well feel vindicated and Solskjaer can say, “what me?” This is the former manager’s fault and I’ve just arrived. But if United perform better then he has just as he did as a player made that super sub piece of magic work once again.

Football is filled with irony, and it will come back this weekend for Solskjaer. United will play Cardiff away from home. The same club and only won in Britain that he has managed before. He will be looking for some sweet science from United’s best players to get off to the best possible start.

Lessons from Manchester United (Mike Phelan visits Burnley College)

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Former assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, Mike Phelan has certainly been keeping himself busy since his days at Old Trafford came to an end.

Always known as a deep, logical thinker, with a thirst for learning and the requisite man-management skills to get his point across to the footballing elite, Phelan might’ve been out of the spotlight but he’s never been out of touch.

Spells at Norwich City as first-team coach and caretaker manager were followed by a short, ill-fated sojourn at Hull City that never shared his ambitions.

Indeed, ambitious is probably the one word that best sums up Phelan.

Following the return from a successful spell as the sporting director of Australian A League side, Central Coast Mariners, he will be concentrating on his master classes, being delivered at Burnley College.

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On Tuesday, December 18, Phelan will share his thoughts and experiences on a variety of subjects in which he has specialised over his career.

They include; Elite coaching, Sports technology, Leadership, Working with world class athletes, Winning in sport, Media and The wider business of sport (transfers, legal, agents).

Phelan speaks from a position of authority and knowledge, having spent all of his career thinking outside of the box in terms of how he’s able to get the very best from those he’s had the privilege of training. Players such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney among others.

Different, some would say innovative ways of working have been embraced, as well as retaining a keen interest in the psychological side of many sports, not just football.

It’s that willingness to be open to new ideas and thought processes that have allowed Phelan to evolve on a personal and professional level on top of remaining as relevant today as he was when he sat alongside Sir Alex.

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His CV charts consistent professional success in one of the most fiercely competitive areas of employment, and with such a vast array of transferable skills, the opportunity for students and professionals of all walks of life to be able to listen to, and learn from, Phelan is one not to be passed up.

On Tuesday, there will be a practical around 9:30/10 am start with the academy players, followed at 11:30 – 12:30 by a lecture and short presentation and then a Q and A.

Ongoing throughout the day will be a live virtual reality experience at https://rezzil.com/ where you can experience or be tested against benchmarks from elite footballers.

Peterborough University College has already had the pleasure of Mike’s expertise when delivering a master class earlier this year. You can read about it here.

If you’d like Mike Phelan to offer a master class at your school, for students or group of professionals, please get in touch here: david@sensiblesoccer.co.uk

Is Jose Mourinho on a losing battle with Manchester United’s stars?

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Manchester United somehow and finally qualified for the knock out stages of the Champions League as a last minute goal from Marouane Fellaini was enough to see out Young Boys a team that at Old Trafford United were expected to score 3 or more goals against and ease into a victory.

Instead and yet again United underwhelmed and yet a victory is a victory and Mourinho punched the air with delight. He didn’t mind a 1-0 win, but there has to be serious doubts over this United team. One does get the feeling that Mourinho is trying to mould this side into the great Inter Milan team that he coached for 3 seasons. A dogs of war side that won 3 Serie A titles in a row and a famous Champions League title, their first for 45 years. The problem is that there was a major difference between that team and this United one, which was the players believed in Mourinho’s project and had thick skin.

Thick skin has been quite the subject this week too as Luke Shaw who Mourinho wants to be his lieutenant in the side just like Javier Zanetti was all those years ago at Inter said in a recent interview that you need thick skin to be in this side. He is absolutely right because Mourinho unlike most coaches will publicly criticise you if you don’t perform- Shaw included. His methods seem alien in a footballing world where the megastar player has been pampered too. Are Mourinho’s methods right? One could believe there is no definite answer, except they are his way of approaching things and he isn’t going to change now after all of the trophies he has won.

Romelu Lukakau the striker who has faded this season has stuck up for Mourinho lately, suggesting that players need to man up, and Mourinho himself has said that if some players are nervous they should just watch United’s games on the TV.

But Mourinho isn’t blameless in United’s start to the season, which forgetting the odd very good result, not losing to Chelsea away from home and victory over Juventus in Turin and has not been a good start to the new football campaign. After all he was the one that bought Paul Pogba, a player he is clearly at odds with and can’t seem to work with him. The other is Alexis Sanchez, an outrageously talented footballer who now plays like a journeyman under Mourinho he plays one week and not the next tactics.

Manchester United have not been the club we know since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 and it does feel that whatever Mourinho will try with this club just won’t stick. Of course he has won the Europa League and League Cup with them, so is by far the most successful coach at the club since Ferguson left. But that is going on for 2 seasons ago now.

United have zero chance to win the Premier League this season and the big one for them now is the Champions League. It is where the teams concentration and priority will be focused on. After all if they can beat the tournament favourites Juventus away, then why not? For now United are not a club worth watching, which is the saddest aspect of Mourinho’s time here.