Jose Mourinho Sacked, but Manchester United Still Have Much Bigger Problems

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Had Manchester United sacked Jose Mourinho yesterday, instead of today, it would have been three years to the day that Chelsea FC terminated his contract. Yes, Mourinho had to go, as it seemed like he had lost a significant portion of the dressing room, and at times this season, lost the fire and ambition himself.

However, Mourinho was just a symptom at Old Trafford, and not the larger and more serious disease. Since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 the club has taken a substantial step backwards. The managers keep changing, but the results remain unimpressive, especially so by the lofty standards of Manchester United.

Look at the tweet above, and consider this fact- once United start paying the next manager, they will STILL be paying off a contract from THREE managers ago. How is a club with so much money and such a high level of prestige this badly mismanaged? Because the guys in charge are all business, and not football/soccer guys.

The Glazer family ownership and Executive Vice President Ed Woodward have guided the club to obscene levels of profitability, at a time when the product itself on the pitch has become more mediocre. They are basically printing money at Old Trafford right now, because the Glazer/Woodward regime excels at corporate partnerships and branding exercises.

They seem content right now to just be the best in the corporate boardroom, and consider results on the pitch an afterthought. Until this changes, you won’t see United winning big, major trophies again. To the regime’s credit, United have spent huge in the transfer market, but they don’t seem to have any real kind of master plan there. United keeps whiffing on player acquisitions because they don’t seem to really know what they’re doing here other than just throwing money at the problem.

ed-woodward

They need to find an identity as a team again, and perhaps the answer to hire a Football Technical Director? Someone with intense tactical acumen and scouting experience to work as a conduit between the manager and the business men. Credit Mourinho for this- he did stand up to Woodward, time and time again.

He also made the best of a bad situation in his first season, which was quite accomplished. He also had a decent, solid, but not spectacular second season. He then got stricken with full blown third season syndrome, and the problems started back in the summer time on the disastrous USA preseason tour.

Ultimately though, Mourinho squabbled too much with too many players, and unfortunately for everyone involved, a lot of those players were key. No matter what is going on or isn’t going on between the two men, there is absolutely no excuse for Mourinho not to feature Paul Pogba, the club’s most expensive all time player, who just showed the world how elite he can be with France this summer, in a rivalry game.

Perhaps that was the final straw for Mourinho, and going forward, perhaps United should try and find a guy who is a proverbial players coach first.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News NowBanks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, regularly appears as a guest pundit on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation. 

He also contributes sociopolitical essays to Chicago NowFollow him on Twitter and Instagram. The content of his cat’s Instagram account is unquestionably superior to his.

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