Paul Ince: Jose Mourinho’s sacking at Manchester United an inevitability

by Leo Nieboer

Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Ince believes Jose Mourinho is destined for the sack sooner rather than later.

The 55-year-old was already under enormous pressure after losing badly against Brighton and Hove Albion and Tottenham Hotspur in August.

And while performances against Newcastle United and Chelsea served to lift sprits, his team now has just one win in seven games.

Speaking earlier this week, Ince was confident that the Portuguese was not going to last long in the Old Trafford dugout.

“It looks to me like Jose Mourinho is stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea,” he said.

“Realistically, he wants to play defensively and nick a one nil win, but he knows that the fans and players at United won’t accept that. And they’re right not to.

“We’re three seasons into Mourinho’s reign now. There are no more excuses. You’ve spent a lot of money, if I was managing a team and they’d given me three years, and it was clear we weren’t up to standard, I’d expect to lose my job.

“Are we getting to the stage where United just aren’t good enough? Yes. They’re slipping too far behind, and can’t compete with the best sides anymore.

“They’re not even showing signs of improvement. In fact they’re going backwards. He bought Fred who can’t get a game, and the same goes for Alexis Sanchez. He’s disappeared! His career has gone backwards.

“I can see why there’s been criticisms of the board. But, in their defence, you can’t go and spend £50 million on Fred just to stick him on the bench. You can’t keep getting away with it and expect not to be questioned. Mourinho is too focused on what the opposition are doing. Focus on your own team, instead. Your players look completely scared, they have no confidence at all.

“The sad fact is United have no presence any more. Liverpool do, Man City clearly do, even Chelsea in such a short time are showing what they’re made of. Why after three years are Manchester United still trying to find a winning formula under Mourinho?

“They’re trying to find a remedy, the right personnel and a style of play, and it’s failing. With Jurgen Klopp, you know the direction his team are going in. You can see what they’ve been working on in training all week. With United, they look like they don’t have a clue.”

It has become clear now that Mourinho’s situation at Man United, like Louis van Gaal in December 2015, has become untenable. United are not a side which is competing for serious honours this season and are, more than anything, becoming a laughing stock through their results, performances and ongoing off-field drama.

But United will not sack him any time soon. They will, just like they did with both David Moyes and Van Gaal, wait until top four is no longer mathematically possible before pulling the plug.

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