5 reasons why Jose Mourinho failed at Manchester United
Mourinho will bounce back. At 56 years old, there is still more than enough time left for him to stick two fingers up at those saying he has become irrelevant at the top level. Be it a return to Inter Milan or Madrid (or even Chelsea, whisper it softly), or the Bayern Munich job that looks very vulnerable, Mourinho will still be very much in demand now he is out of work.
However, his reputation has taken its greatest dent to date. Being ushered out of the door and replaced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United will have been a humbling experience for the 'Special One', who once announced that he was more concerned about bird flu than he was his Chelsea team being caught in the league.
Since bursting onto the scene with his champions league triumph at Porto, for the past 15 years, Mourinho (and his long assistant, Rui Faria) has been a game changer wherever he has landed. Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Chelsea again.
The cycle was simple but inevitable. He turns up, quickly assembles a title winning side, then implodes after a couple of seasons, clashing with the board before moving on, usually involuntarily. He's charismatic, argumentative, and incredibly entertaining.
The Jose that United fired a few weeks ago was a pale imitation of the one most of us are used to; he seemed to be ageing much more rapidly, he seemed much less playful in interviews, and, most crucially, his team were a long way away from delivering results on the pitch. United are the first club in Jose's career that he should honestly look back on and feel disappointed with what he achieved. These are the five major reasons why.
#5 Pep Guardiola and Manchester City (and the rest)
For a few seasons there, competition at the top end of the league dried up a bit. Barring Aguero’s goal in 2012 and Gerrard’s slip two years later, 2011-2017 saw a series of titles won essentially at a canter, as one team soared above the rest by early February and cruised to the title. Even Leicester won the league in the end by 10 points.
These teams also were generally humiliated every year in Germany or Spain in the Champions League semi-finals. Now though (coinciding with the new TV deals), there are at least five top quality teams competing for the title every year.
Right now, Tottenham and Chelsea are competing for a top four spot, with teams that arguably could have won titles five years ago, and Liverpool have developed arguably their greatest team since the eighties.
The biggest problem Mourinho has faced though, by far, is Pep Guardiola and Manchester City. Pep has built the first team to acquire 100 points, with arguably the greatest midfield the Premier League has ever seen. It’s easy to forget that, without that City team last season, United would probably have won the title.