top of page


It has finally happened..Manchester Utd have sacked Jose Mourinho with immediate effect. It's one of those things that you saw coming, but didn't really see coming, simply because of the timing. Based on precedence, Jose was going to be coach until it was mathematically impossible to qualify for next season's champions league. Today is December 18th, 2018, and the only thing not perfect about the timing of this sacking is that it really should have come earlier.

So what next for Manchester United Football Club?

The failures of Jose Mourinho at Manchester United in every area possible have been well documented ( lack of an effective football system, trouble making, problems with players, failure to get the best out of the players, etc ), but it is time to look forward.

This is a pivotal time for Manchester Utd, and care must be taken in making the next move. It can set the tone for the next 5 years of growth and success, or another 5 years of frustration, and they must be careful to not turn this football club into another Liverpool FC. So first things first, what is the next move?

Caretaker Coach

Goes without saying...The league does not stop or pause, and there is a game to be played on Saturday, and a season to press on. Manchester Utd have to decide on who will coach the team till the end of the season. There are 3 possible ways to go about this;

The obvious and easiest choice would be Kieran Mckenna...assisted by Michael Carrick. Those 2 may have been shackled within the Jose regime, and a chance to let them loose, with nothing to lose really, may not be a bad idea.

Mckenna showed a lot of promise with his work in the youth team.. football system, handling youth, and carrying himself well..Carrick was a part of a lot of great attacking Utd teams of the past. Let these 2 take charge, try to get the best out of the players, try to implement an effective football system consistently, while under no immediate pressure. It really should be, "Give it your best shot till May".

Option B would be to appoint Nicky Butt, and have him assisted by Carrick and Mckenna. Same idea for promoting an in-house person and letting him make the most out of what is left of this already horrendous season.

Option C would be to bring in an outsider to be care-taker coach till the end of the season. This is my least preferred option to be honest. I want the next outsider to be a full time coach who has been appointed after a very sensible process has taken place, which brings me to the next immediate thing Man Utd has to do;

Organizational Restructure

Ed Woodward is an investment banker running one of the biggest football clubs in the world. The only way this can work is if he surrounds himself with actual football pros, and hands off the football side.

Get a proper football organizational structure in place. Appoint a Director of Football for the club who will oversee the football direction; What umbrella style/identity, what players should be brought in that will fit the identity, style and principles of the club, what players that should be let go, and most importantly, heads the recruitment effort for a new coach that would fit the overall direction he has defined for the club.

It is important this person is appointed first, and let him oversee the appointment of a new permanent coach. If this DOF appointment is got right, a lot of the problems Manchester have faced will be tackled and solved ( also a better continuity between coaches ). So in summary, get a DOF first, surround him with a team of football people ( scouting, negotiations, etc ), let him ( DOF ) define the overall football identity/direction of the club, then appoint a coach and get players that fit.

The Juventus model is perfect..Until he left, Bepe Marotta as CEO/ DOF, surrounded by Paratici and Nedved. These 3 defined the Juventus that we see today, a powerhouse of a club that was relegated in 2006, came back, struggled ( Just like Man can assume SAF leaving was a relegation ).

The turning point for Juventus was Marotta coming in 2010, with a better organizational structure. The club has not stopped winning since then. All situations are not the same, but the Juventus example highlights the importance of getting things right in this very key moment.

So what must the new permanent coach do?

In a nutshell, set the team on a path to an effective football system consistently, get the best out of majority of the players, form strong bonds with these players, and carry himself in a respectable way. The football ability of the coach is my most important parameter and I want someone that is tactically sound, pro-active, and adaptive to in game situations.

Who? I havent given much thought to it. The obvious names being branded about are Poch, Zidane, and Allegri maybe. My advice to Man Utd and hopefully the DOF is that it should be a very thorough process, and not just a "big name" appointment. What is his winning mentality like? What is his football system? How good is he in managing players? How is his In-game tactical management? How good is he with handling/promoting youth? What would be his 3-5 year plan at Man Utd? The DOF and his team must do this analysis, set goals, and be patient enough to see it come through.

My Jose Mourinho Summary

I love the man, and I'll always do. He is one of my favorite coaches of all time, and one of the greatest too. But his time at Manchester Utd was a failure. He created problems from nothing with his words, lost the ability to form strong bonds with players, and there was the inability to get the team playing an effective system of football on a consistent basis. He bought players, and had 2 + seasons, so he really should have been doing better than what he did.

A very disappointing end to what began as a possible great appointment. I thank him for the Europa League and the League Cup, the many last minute goals and comebacks, the jibes to the clown (s), going to the Emirates in Wenger's last season and killing them 3-1, etc. Jose is box office character, and I will miss him. I think he should take a long sabbatical from football, figure out what he wants to do next, then come back and do a better job of adapting to modern football. I truly wish him the best.

bottom of page