The debate surrouding José Mourinho's future has been fierce in recent weeks, so two of our writers debate between themselves whether or not he should be afforded any more time in charge of Manchester United.
Stay- Sesha Subramanian
Manchester United, mildly put, have stumbled out of the gates this Premier League season. Off the field issues with Paul Pogba, incoherent and inconsistent transfer dealings and insipid performances on the field are a sharp contrast to other top sides in the league, including cross-town rivals Manchester City. Many have called for the manager – Jose Mourinho – to be sacked. In my view, this is misguided.
José is not at fault for what is happening at United. In the summer, he identified where United’s main problem was and asked for a centre-half to strengthen the position. He was then subsequently denied Harry Maguire and Toby Alderweireld among others. And now it is somehow his fault that United seem weak in defence – a defence that troubled successive managers since Sir Alex left? That doesn’t seem like fair criticism.
Mourinho is also not responsible if Paul Pogba thinks that he is bigger than the rest of the club. Mourinho emphasises disciplined football on and off the field and that means everybody doing their due diligence. If an attack-minded midfielder like Frank Lampard can thrive in Mourinho’s system, there’s no reason other than poor attitude why Pogba cannot.
Manchester United right now are caught in limbo. They are stuck between the old system of Sir Alex where he decided what players he wanted and a European system of delegation where a recruitment team is in charge of the transfer market. They need a coherent strategy on how to approach the transfer market and have it correlate with their style of play and ambitions. The onus to do that is not on Mourinho but goes above him to Ed Woodward.
Go- Jack Dugan
The situation at Manchester United is toxic. The world’s most famous club has been embarrassed on and off the pitch by their manager. José Mourinho’s side have been miserable, archaic and downright dull, and he appears to be light years away from “the special one” promised to Man United fans.
Despite a star-studded squad worth in excess of £600 million, Mourinho still manages to play a rigid, defensive style of football, which is more like watching Morecambe than the most decorated club in English football. Regardless of anti-football tactics, results have been unacceptable, including a 3-1 loss to West Ham suggesting José has lost the dressing room and his ability to grind out results. Though I agree that players have not put in the performances, you cannot blame them for the deflating effect a manager has when he constantly slates them in the media. Mourinho’s eternally glum tone breeds negativity at the club leaving a rotten atmosphere.
Undeniably, Mourinho was once a great manager, after all he has won two Champions League titles. However, his methods have been eclipsed by a new age of fast, fluid attacking football engineered by likes of Guardiola, Sarri and Klopp. Manchester United are a team with a wealth of promising young players and almost limitless funds, and all they are missing is a manager who can bring hope and energy back into the side. Now a sleeping giant, the only way for them to become a winning force again is by sacking José Mourinho, the new “specialist in failure”.