This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
As quoted by The Telegraph, Marouane Fellaini has questioned Manchester United’s decision to sack Jose Mourinho last season.
What did he say?
The Red Devils parted ways with the “Special One” in December of last year, after a tumultuous start to the campaign. At the point of his removal, United were sixth in the Premier League table, but closer to the relegation spots than to leaders Liverpool.
However, Fellaini has now insisted the club should simply have been patient with Mourinho, and revealed managers need more than just a couple of years to build a successful side.
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He said: “They brought in one of the best managers in the world in Jose Mourinho, he wanted to build a team and they sacked him. It’s not easy to build a team in that time, you need more than two years.
“I don’t know what they will do with Solskjaer but, for me, to win things and to improve, you need time. Mourinho, for the first season, he did amazingly, he improved the team, won things. OK, the second season was a bit more difficult, but he tried, you know, and did his best to help the team. Then they decided to sack him.”
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When asked if United had sacked the Portuguese man too soon, Fellaini remarked: “For me, yes, because a manager like that comes and he needs a lot of players to implement his own philosophy. He wanted to build his team and after two years, or two years and a half, they decided to sack him because the results were not there.”
After Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s rapid start to life in the Old Trafford dugout, the memories of Mourinho were quickly forgotten. But with the Norwegian struggling immensely this season, speculation has already begun to mount over whether he is the right man for the job.
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Fellaini’s comments delivers a damning verdict on United’s poor decision-making at boardroom level. Simply put, how can someone succeed when they invariably know a few poor results can see them given the chop? The hope for Solskjaer is that things are slightly different now, and he can work in the knowledge that there is a long-term plan in place. But their former midfielder’s words makes for ominous reading indeed.