Should Manchester United Sack Manager, Jose Mourinho?

| August 29, 2018 12:00 am PDT
Jose Mourinho and Manchester United

Ever since Jose Mourinho was appointed as the Manchester United manager, there have been doubts if he’s the right man for the job. After all, the Portuguese specialist has the reputation of someone who’s capable of taking the maximum in the short term, but who’s not capable of building a lasting legacy.

A good example of that is the fact that Mourinho has reached his 4th season at the same club only once in his entire career. Usually, he stays for 2 or 3 years, and then things go downhill, which results in him leaving or getting sacked.

His first season at the helm went rather well, as Manchester United won the League Cup and the Europe League. Everyone expected a proper title challenge in his second one, but Pep Guardiola’s Man City swept the competition.

The Red Devils did reach the second place and an FA Cup final, but they didn’t win a trophy. On top of that, the style of the side was criticized by many of the supporters, and some of the players, most notably Paul Pogba, don’t seem happy with their manager.

It went from bad to worse for Jose, as the transfer window this summer was hardly what he expected. The Portuguese manager wanted a couple more players, including one or two center backs, but he wasn’t supported by the board.

This is the reason Mourinho seemed unhappy during the pre-season, and the start of the EPL campaign is not looking good, either. After an unconvincing win against Leicester, Man Utd lost two in a row, including a 3-0 humiliation at the hands of Tottenham this Monday.

I don’t think the board or the supporters of the club were happy with this performance, and the atmosphere at Old Trafford is getting worse by the minute. Sure, it was a bright start and a decent first half, but the side completely collapsed after the interval.

This raises the question of if Jose Mourinho must be sacked right now, or if Manchester United should wait at least until the summer to get rid of the manager.

The soccer world is torn apart, as you will find people backing both options. I will try to explore all the possible angles and share my opinion. Of course, I will also explore some betting opportunities related to the Mourinho case.

Why Should Jose Mourinho Stay?

Let’s start with some of the arguments that suggest that Manchester United should give the manager more time and back him up.

The Squad Is Not What Mourinho Wanted

It’s not a secret that Jose Mourinho wanted to strengthen in the summer. The manager felt that Manchester United needed at least one more center back, and judging by the performances since the start of the season, he was right.

Ed Woodward and the board didn’t back him, which was their main job.

A club of this magnitude and financial power should be able to find a way to sign at least one player in a position where the manager felt it was needed.

In a way, the problems with the squad are not entirely the manager’s fault. He wanted more players, and he didn’t get them.

It Sets a Dangerous Precedent

Manchester United has the reputation of a club that’s willing to give its managers time to build. The most obvious example is Sir Alex Ferguson, but one could argue that even the likes of David Moyes and Louis van Gaal were allowed to work for long enough before getting sacked.

As we can see in Manchester City and Liverpool, this is the way to go. Obviously, you also need the right manager at the helm, but even the likes of Klopp and Pep Guardiola needed time.

I’ve said a couple of times already that the Spaniard had by far the best squad in the English Premier League in his first year but was miles behind in the title race.

If Mourinho gets sacked by United right now, it will send the signal that the club is no longer willing to wait. That the immediate results are more important than the long-term success of the club. This will certainly discourage some of the best managers out there from joining the Red Devils.

Instead, they will get one-season wonders and journeymen who are only there to win some trophies and leave.

Mourinho’s Achievements Are Not as Bad as People Make Them

One of the main arguments against Jose Mourinho is that the team hasn’t performed well under his guidance. Is this fair?

Manchester United is a big club and everyone around takes success for granted, but it’s very harsh to say that Mourinho has failed.

Mourinho earned two trophies and a place in the Champions League in his first campaign. In the second one, Man Utd finished second, only behind a record-breaking Man City side that was the best in the entire history of the competition.

On top of that, this is the best finishing position of the club since Sir Alex Ferguson left. Sure, there was no trophy at the end of the day, but it wasn’t the tragedy some make it, either.

Why Should Mourinho Get Sacked?

Obviously, there are some reasons to believe that Jose Mourinho should stay, but there here are the main points when it comes to the leave option.

He Already Spent a Fortune on the Squad

Many argue that Mourinho has only himself to blame for the squad at his disposal, and I can easily see why. The Portuguese manager has spent a fortune on new players in his first couple of transfer windows, so moaning about the quality of this group is like taking shots at himself.

The likes of Lukaku, Paul Pogba, Alexis Sanchez, Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, and many other players were signed after Mourinho arrived. On top of that, the last two players on this list are center backs. If they are not good enough for the club, it’s Jose Mourinho’s fault in the first place.

After all, the board spent a couple hundred million in the past couple of years, and it’s only natural to expect results. Sure, Man City is way too strong, but the Red Devils should be at least close to them after all the money spent.

This is obviously not the case, and by the looks of it, it will be even worse this season. If you add the progress in other teams like Liverpool and Tottenham, there’s a good chance for Manchester United to be involved in the top 4 battle.

The situation is unacceptable, and Mourinho is the one responsible for that.

He Can’t Get the Best of His Players

The whole team looks like a mess right now and pretty much the whole squad of Jose Mourinho is underperforming for various reasons.

For a start, Paul Pogba is obviously not happy. The World Cup winner who’s considered as one of the most exciting talents out there simply can’t reach his ceiling under Mourinho.

The manager has struggled to find his position on the pitch, but Pogba is not the only one.

We all know that the Portuguese’s main priority is the defense, which is the reason many of his attacking players don’t feel comfortable.

On top of everything else, Mourinho is hardly the best manager out there when it comes to developing young talent. He had Salah and De Bruyne at his disposal in the past and didn’t even play them. We can see how Rashford and Martial have regressed under his guidance.

This is a big deal for a club like Manchester United that has always managed to mix stars with boys from the Academy. The best example of this is the Class of ‘92 that brought the club so much success.

Negative Tactics

We all know that Jose Mourinho is the master of nullifying the opponent. Such an approach is the reason behind most of his titles, and this is why the manager sticks to what he’s good at.

If you want a manager for a single game, Mourinho is your guy. However, this is Manchester United we’re talking about. The side has always tried to achieve success and entertain his supporters, and this is the reason why the club is so popular worldwide.

With a manager like Mourinho and his negative tactics, the image of the club is in jeopardy. A lot of the fans don’t like what they’re seeing, and the fault lies entirely on Mourinho’s shoulders.

I don’t think anyone could expect him to change. Sure, he could become a bit more adventurous every now and then. But ultimately, Jose Mourinho is a master of defending, and this is his nature. You can’t expect him to thrive if he’s not true to himself.

And his personality and style simply don’t suit Manchester United.

A Meltdown Seems Imminent

I guess we all remember what happened at the end of Mourinho’s second stint at Chelsea, right? Once again, during the third season of his career at a certain club, the Portuguese struggled badly.

The results weren’t going his way, there was pressure between the manager and the board, many of the players were not happy… Does this sound familiar? What happened next was ugly.

Mourinho started blaming everyone else but himself, his press conferences became a farce, and Chelsea was the laughing stock of the Premier League.

A quick look at the cringe-fest after the Tottenham defeat and the press conference are reminiscent of the end of Mourinho at Chelsea. If Man Utd wants to avoid the whole circus and finishing 10th, as the Blues did in Jose’s last season, it’s better to see him go.

A New Manager Will Have Enough Time and No Pressure

If Jose is sacked early in the season, after a couple of bad results, the entire blame for a potential failure this season will be on him, and it probably should be.

Any new manager will have an almost full season to get to know the players and start installing his ideas. It’s a free pass, if you will, as any trophy will be a bonus, but the lack of success won’t be an issue at all.

Then, when the campaign is over, the new manager will have a solid idea of what to expect from the squad and what new players should be signed.

The club will basically lose one season but prepare well for the next one. And as it stands, this campaign seems already lost. Not because of the results – two losses are nothing in the long run – but because of the atmosphere at the club.

I don’t think anyone believes that Jose can turn things around. The players don’t, most of the supporters don’t, and the board looks disinterested in backing him. Unless some spectacular change happens right now, the season will be a disaster.

Conclusion and Betting Opportunities

I think that the objective evaluation of the current situation shows that Jose Mourinho should be sacked by Manchester United. Sure, this will have some negative consequences as well, but the situation is such that it’s about damage control right now.

I have the feeling that the board of the Red Devils is on the same page as me, and the Portuguese manager will be gone. That said, let’s take a look at some of the betting opportunities that might be up for grabs as a result.

Next EPL Manager to Get Sacked

I already mentioned that the possibility of Jose Mourinho getting sacked before the season ends was real in my preview of this betting market. However, I didn’t expect for the situation to be that bad this early in the season.

I thought Jose should make it at least until Christmas, but I’m not so sure anymore. In fact, a loss in the next match against Burnley could be enough to see the Portuguese gone for good.

Some might feel this is impossible, but I believe the Man Utd board will be eager to avoid the disaster that happened during Jose’s last season in Chelsea.

As it stands, the price for Mourinho to be the first manager in the EPL to lose his job is around the 2.00 mark. It’s tempting, considering the situation, but I would probably still avoid it. Too many people have placed such a wager, so the odds have dropped way too low.

On top of that, I feel that Man Utd has a good chance of bouncing back against Burnley, as you will see below. This should give Mourinho more time.

Still, I would recommend following the situation closely, as I can’t see Mourinho staying for the entire season.

The Game Against Burnley

The next fixture of Manchester United is against Burnley this Sunday. The hosts are a tough nut to crack, especially at home. However, they are in an unfamiliar situation.

Burnley is trying to get into the Europa League this summer and has been forced to play twice a week since the start of the season. I don’t think the club has the squad depth to cope with that, and we already saw it against Watford.

The side will host Olympiacos and is trailing 3-1 after the first game. I think Burnley will try its best to win this one, without thinking too much about the match against Manchester United.

This should give the Red Devils enough of an edge to actually win the game.

However, the price of 1.65-1.70 offered by most bookies is abysmal, considering the state of the club. As it stands, one mistake or one goal could be enough to bring the confidence down. This is why my actual advice would be to stay away from this match.

I think there are better options for this weekend, and I will share my usual analysis tomorrow, so make sure to check our blog for some free betting picks on the EPL again on Thursday.

Final Words

I’m sure that most of you expected some betting picks, but I feel that the right approach right now would be to stay away from both markets. It’s tempting back a Mourinho sacking and a Burnley win, but both options are heavily underpriced.

Instead, I recommend you keep following the atmosphere at Old Trafford and keep your eyes open for other, more valuable betting opportunities.

Jerry Summer

Jerry Summer has a wide-ranging interest in gambling and the gambling industry. He's made a living out of both playing poker and betting on sports.

The English Premier League and the NBA are among Jerry's primary areas of expertise. He's knowledgeable about many other sports, too, along with poker and several casino games.

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