Why Jose Mourinho must leave Manchester United
After Manchester United's shock 3-2 defeat to Brighton on Sunday, the media outlets were full of reasons for why Jose Mourinho needs to be sacked as Manchester United manager and it seems that United fans are losing patience with him as well.
It was the latest in a long list of sorry performances from United under Mourinho, oddly often against the lesser rated teams. Last season, United lost against all three of the promoted sides away from home (the first time in 25 years of the Premier League that had happened) and also suffered an embarrassing defeat by West Brom at Old Trafford.
The performance against Brighton was one of the worst yet under Mourinho. All three goals Brighton scored, were down to embarrassing mistakes, with Bailly and Lindelof (who were both signed by Mourinho) having a shocker. United again looked insipid going forward and really the 3-2 scoreline flatters United, not Brighton who were comfortably the better side.
Perhaps the worst thing about the defeat was that it was no surprise- limp performances devoid of any attacking threat have become the norm under Mourinho at United. Seasoned United fans would say it was never like this under Ferguson in the good old days and they may have a point.
As a United fan, it's actually hard to remember the last time that United played well in a game. It would probably be the second half of the 3-2 win against Manchester City, when the Reds recorded an improbable 3-2 win after being two goals down. However, that was a one-off result and too often the Reds have played poorly, particularly against the so-called 'smaller' sides.
In the Sir Alex Ferguson era, teams were beaten before they even got on the pitch as they were intimidated by the sheer wealth of attacking talent that United possessed. These days it seems that any side can beat United, particularly ones that show some courage and determination like Brighton did against United on Sunday. The players' attitude was poor, Brighton wanted it more and fully merited their victory.
The blame for United's poor performances has to mainly lie with Mourinho. He's fallen out with many players and the United players rarely look happy on the pitch. Mourinho's ultra- defensive tactics seem to have stifled United's attacking players, Martial and Rashford in particular, both of whom have under-performed under the Portuguese.
Last season, Mourinho attracted a lot of criticism for the style of football that United were playing, a negative brand of football similar to when Van Gaal was at the club. However, that style of football mostly got results, even though United ended the season trophyless, they still finished second, the highest they've finished since Sir Alex Ferguson left.
That was a credible finish in the league and maybe Jose might have not had so much criticism had United actually won a trophy. They really should have won the FA Cup against Chelsea but never even remotely looked like scoring as they limped to a 1-0 defeat.
That performance highlights everything that is wrong at United under Mourinho. Defensive lapses, a lack of creativity from the midfield and an increasingly one-dimensional approach in attack. As mentioned before, United have lost the fear factor and have become a shadow of their former selves.
If this carries on, United may well go the same way as Chelsea in 2015/16, when a collapse under Mourinho led to him being sacked after losing 9 of the first 16 games of the season. When Mourinho was sacked, Chelsea were hovering around the relegation zone and something similar may unfold for United unless something changes. As they have looked defensively vulnerable against both Leicester and Brighton.
Mourinho has been in charge for two years at United and has never looked as a strong competitor for winning the Premier League title, which is what he was brought into do. If this debacle carries on, it's hard to see him lasting until the end of the season.
Some pundits expect him to be sacked before Christmas and that looks quite likely at the moment, especially as he clearly did not have the club's backing in the transfer market in the summer.
In all fairness, Mourinho has actually made some good signings as United's manager, Pogba, Matic and Lukaku have all been solid buys. It's not his record in the transfer market that's the problem though, it's his tactics and refusal to change them which are the issues.
It would probably be for the best if Mourinho left, then United could actually hire an attacking manager and bring the club back to its traditions (such as Zinedine Zidane). Hopefully then it would be a pleasure to watch Manchester United (like it used to be), instead of a chore it is under Mourinho now. The game against Brighton was particularly painful to watch.
United's dry spell has gone on too long and it's time something changed. For the club to become successful again, it seems inevitable that Jose Mourinho will have to be sacked as United's manager.