Manchester United confirmed on Tuesday morning that Jose Mourinho had been sacked by the club following a miserable start to the 2018/19 season.
The Portuguese enjoyed a successful opening campaign at Old Trafford, winning the League Cup and Europa League.
He ended the 2017/18 season without a trophy, however, and has overseen Man United’s worst ever Premier League points tally after 17 games this season following a 3-1 defeat at Liverpool.
“Manchester United announces that manager Jose Mourinho has left the club with immediate effect,” a statement read.
“The club would like to thank Jose for his work during his time at Manchester United and to wish him success in the future.
“A new caretaker manager will be appointed until the end of the current season, while the club conducts a thorough recruitment process for a new, full-time manager.”
Sometimes, miracles do happen. Everybody expected United to hold off on pushing the button for as long as they could, reducing this season into a quagmire of miserable performances, but they have seen sense. They have, in a way, made a decision which reflects that of the support.
United fans are not by nature mutinous, and do not wish to be a club associated with constant managerial turnover. Even so, every single one of them knew Mourinho was finished.
Over three seasons, the 55-year-old delivered some memorable results – 3-2 at Manchester City last season and, recently, beating Juventus in Turin – but never, not even once, looked close to cultivating any particular collective style which players could unite behind. They have, from day one, looked like strangers to each other on the pitch, doing their best to force a result out of sheer will.
United now have a free hit this season. Either Michael Carrick, Kieran McKenna, Nicky Butt or even Ole Gunnar Solskjaer are candidates for the caretaker position. They can play fearlessly, under a manager who wants his team to express themselves, before moving forward under a new manager next season.
I should end by saying this: Jose wasn’t all bad. Winning the Europa League in 2016 was special and the squad he has left is, despite his best efforts to convince you otherwise, a very good one.