Jose Mourinho, coach of Manchester United, has been under pressure for a while now as the media continues to speculate when rather than if he will be sacked. Before United’s match against Newcastle United on October 6th, it was largely reported that a source from the Red Devils had revealed Mourinho would be fired regardless of the result. That rumor proved to be false, as the club came out to put down those rumors and support their coach.
Many reasons have been given for why he should be let go, but there are plenty of reasons why the Portuguese manager should be allowed to remain at the club.
The Values of Manchester United:
Manchester United are one of the most prestigious clubs in the world and have been for quite some time. They pride themselves on values and beliefs that have driven the team forward, especially under their legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson. In a football world where coaches are quickly let go if the results aren’t coming in, Manchester United historically placed faith and trust in a manager. Ferguson managed the team for 27 years and after his retirement in 2013, his replacement David Moyes was entrusted with a six-year contract. However, he was sacked before his first season had finished. Louis Van Gaal followed in the summer of 2014 and was given a three-year contract. The Dutchman was let go after the conclusion of his second season, after which Mourinho was hired.
If Manchester United want to avoid the reputation of a club that frequently fires their managers, then patience must be shown to Mourinho.
In addition, the support they offer the coach must also be improved. When Louis Van Gaal was fired, he wasn’t notified by the club, and instead discovered his fate through the media. That should never happen at any club, let alone one as big as Manchester United. The club must decide where they stand on Mourinho and let it be clearly known. If they are to persist with him, then come out and show their support for him. Don’t allow rumors spread and continue to grow as they have been. The reports that Mourinho would be fired resulted in United coming out and denying them and although it would be ridiculous to expect a response for every journalist that claims Mourinho will be sacked, the least that can be done is give a public statement reassuring the fans and the public of their confidence in the coach.
It’s not all Mourinho’s fault:
The issues at Manchester United do not all stem from Mourinho. During Ferguson’s reign at the club, part of his job that went largely unnoticed was his ability to delegate. Whether it was on the training ground or in the transfer market, Ferguson had the personnel around him that he could trust to handle the different roles at a modernizing club. Since his departure, things have changed. Chief Executive Ed Woodward has become more and more involved with the footballing decisions at the club. While Woodward may be a great businessman, he lacks the expertise and understanding of the game necessary to adequately run the footballing operations at United. Extending Mourinho’s contract last season was a mistake because he hadn’t shown enough progress to merit that extension. Mourinho now has more power when it comes to his position at the club, would now owe him a huge amount of money if they were to sack him. If the extension was awarded as a public show of support to the manager, the intentions may have been the right ones, but there are so many other ways to do that.
As a result of Woodward’s lack of ability to run the footballing affairs at United, Mourinho has also faced a constant battle to bring in the players he wants. Many will claim United has spent more than enough for Mourinho to be satisfied, but if a club is going to trust a coach, they must adequately support him with the necessary infrastructure. This doesn’t mean caving to every demand from Mourinho. However, when it comes to transfers, the club should do their best to get the players he feels will help the squad the most. That hasn’t been done and Mourinho can’t be blamed for that. The fans know this and haven’t turned against Mourinho. Instead, fans have begun to show their distrust and opposition against Ed Woodward.
Lack of coaching options:
Even if Manchester United were to fire Mourinho, there wouldn’t be a coach out there that perfectly fits the bill for his replacement. Zinedine Zidane would have been an ideal candidate, but his agent has rejected the possibility of the Frenchman managing United. Another option is Antonio Conte, who recently led Chelsea to a Premier League title. However, his football resembles Mourinho’s in that he emphasizes the defense and relies on counter-attacking football. Plus, he fell out with the Chelsea squad before he left and considering the reported issues in the United dressing room, that would be far from the best solution to the problem. Leonardo Jardim has recently been let go by Monaco but lacks the experience at a large club like the Red Devils. His style of football would certainly appeal to the fans and that would represent a positive change the players would certainly embrace. Nonetheless, Jardim remains a gamble. Reports have suggested United have contacted Massimiliano Allegri about coming to the club, but stylistically may be too similar to Mourinho and Conte.
In summary, there are no high-profile managers currently available that would seem ideal for the United job. If that’s the case, continuing with Mourinho who led United to second last season doesn’t seem that bad. Yes, they are currently in tenth place, but it must be remembered that this is only after nine matches in the league. There is plenty of time for improvements to be made.
Jose Mourinho is often portrayed as a man with his job on the line week in and out at Manchester United. There are plenty of reasons given for why he should be sacked, but there are so many reasons that are neglected for why he should remain at the club. Regardless of what Manchester United elects to do, their decision will be a major, not only for their progress on the pitch, but also as a club altogether.