As you have probably heard already, Jose Mourinho is not Manchester United manager anymore. The Portuguese and the club have parted ways on Tuesday, as the club realized it was time to move on.
So, today we will be taking a short look at everything good and bad regarding Mourinho at Manchester United. As The Guardian put it, this all looked like a loveless celebrity marriage and after two and a half years, it ended like one.
The Good – Two Trophies
The only obvious good things about Jose Mourinho’s tenure are two trophies. Man United won Europa League and League Cup in his time at the club – we did not forget Community Shield, but it is still a one-off match, like UEFA Super Cup is. Europa League was basically a must-win as the team was obviously not going to finish in top four in Premier League that season and the best thing about the whole chase for Europa League was the fact it was won. Performances were not really impressive.
The Bad – Stagnation
The team has stagnated. One sixth place, one second place 19 points behind champions and again in sixth, with 11 points less than the fourth placed team is not good. The team did reach an FA Cup final, but in general, the whole team has stagnated, if not regressed. They have conceded 29 goals this season already, while finishing with 28 and 29 conceded in the previous two. Big clubs are getting further away, both in England and Europe.
The (Slightly) Good – Individual Flashes
Apart from trophies, what else was good? Not much, really. The team often felt negative, without real concept of how they were going to play. That was especially the case this season. But there were some good flashes from Jesse Lingard last season, or Zlatan Ibrahimovic before his injury. There was magnificent David De Gea and the resurgence of Luke Shaw. Is that truly enough? Not even close.
The Bad – Transfers
There was a lot of talk about who was making the choices in transfer market, but it is obvious big part of the players were bought on Mourinho’s insisting. This season, Fred is a big disappointment, while last season that were both Alexis Sanchez and Victor Lindelöf. Paul Pogba did not bring what was expected of him and Romelu Lukaku looked really good only in parts of last season. Looking at overall transfers, how much did they truly improve this team? Looking at money spent, not enough, although not all of the blame here falls on Mourinho.
The Bad – Man-Management
However, where it does fall all on Mourinho is in man-management area. His man-management skills used to be incredibly effective, even though he was still polarizing everyone outside of the team. At Inter and Chelsea (first term) he was incredible, making sure the players knew what was expected of them and willing to fight for him. This time, everything seemed toxic. His relationship with players, throwing them under the bus after losses and publicly slating them was not the way to get the most out of them. He failed in this department, too.
In the end, this “marriage” had to end. It was for the best, though it remains unknown what will club do afterwards. With Ed Woodward pulling all the strings, new mistakes could be on horizon.