Jose Mourinho Sacked by Manchester United, Club to Appoint Caretaker Manager

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistDecember 18, 2018

Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho watches from the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on December 16, 2018. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /         (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

Manchester United confirmed the departure of manager Jose Mourinho on Tuesday after their 3-1 loss against Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday.

The Red Devils announced the decision to part ways with the 55-year-old on their official website and via Twitter:

Manchester United @ManUtd

Manchester United has announced that Jose Mourinho has left the Club. We would like to thank him for his work during his time at Manchester United and wish him success in the future. #MUFC

A statement read:

"Manchester United announces that manager Jose Mourinho has left the club with immediate effect. 

"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." 

B/R Football @brfootball

BREAKING: Manchester United announce Jose Mourinho has left the club https://t.co/L6ZLDOe1U7

Mourinho—who was given a two-year contract extension in Januaryleaves United sixth in the Premier League table after 17 games. They are 19 points behind league leaders Liverpool and have picked up just seven wins.

The decision means a new man will be in charge for the remainder of the campaign, starting with the trip to Cardiff City in the Premier League on Saturday. The Red Devils are looking to keep in touch with the top four in the table and progress in the UEFA Champions League—they will play French giants Paris Saint-Germain in the round-of-16 after the draw on Monday.

Mourinho started life at Old Trafford in reasonably strong fashion, winning the UEFA Europa League and EFL Cup in his first season.

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24:  Manchester United Head Coach / Manager Jose Mourinho celebrates with the trophy at the end of the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden.  (Photo by Ma
Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Despite finishing sixth in the Premier League that year—a place lower than they achieved in Louis van Gaal's final season—they had improved on their performance by earning three more points.

Last season, United gained a further 12 points to finish second on 81, albeit they were still 19 behind champions Manchester City with a goal difference of 40. They also reached the FA Cup final but lost to Chelsea.

Despite the improving results, the team's style of play—particularly their defensive approach to big games—did little to impress supporters. They haven't kicked on this season, and the team has resembled a rabble at times, enduring their worst start to a Premier League season.

Defensively, they've been shambolic:

Daniel Storey @danielstorey85

Manchester United league goals conceded in 2017/18 - 28 Manchester United league goals conceded in 2018/19 - 29

Despite this decision, Paul Hayward of the Daily Telegraph believes there's a lot of work still to be done at United:

Paul Hayward @_PaulHayward

Man Utd have done the easy bit and sacked Mourinho, whose negativity has infected the whole playing side. The harder part is changing the club, which is a commercial deal-making factory gone wrong.

Per BBC Sport's Alex Bysouth, since leaving Porto in 2004, Mourinho's third seasons at clubs have typically been characterised by a lower level of performance from the team and the manager's relationship with both his players and the media becoming increasingly fractious.

History has therefore repeated itself for the Portuguese. United have not only struggled on the pitch, but after spending the summer complaining at the club's transfer activity, or lack thereof, Mourinho has also had numerous clashes with his own players and the press.

Now all eyes will be on United to see where they turn next in what is now a crucial point in the club's recent history.