Why did Mourinho leave Manchester United

When the people at Manchester United knew who the club would face in the Champions League round of 16, they found an encouraging statistic. In February it is against Paris Saint-Germain, so it was the draw on Monday. Against Thomas Tuchel's team, equipped with professionals like Kylian Mbappé or Neymar. Quite a difficult lot. But Manchester United was able to announce the good news with reference to the manager: José Mourinho, it was said, knew the opponent well. He only lost one of his last six games against PSG.

But this statistic will no longer help Manchester United. On Tuesday the club announced that Mourinho is no longer in charge of the team. The 55-year-old Portuguese left the club "with immediate effect," it said on the club's website. Thank him and wish him all the best for the future - routine and at the same time emotionless words at the end of a relationship that was anything but harmonious in the end.

At the latest after the most recent 3-1 at Liverpool FC, the separation was no longer surprising. At the press conference after the final whistle, Mourinho had praised his players, but this praise turned out to be poisonous. The players had "given everything", they just kicked "in relation to their qualities". Mourinho praised Liverpool pro Andrew Robertson, then complained about the physical shortcomings of his own players. He talked about injury problems that had existed among his predecessors. Finally, Mourinho came to the conclusion again: "You gave everything."

The criticism of Mourinho runs through the season

It wasn't that long ago that Mourinho - nickname: The Special One - was seen as a coach whom the players trust. As a trainer who always protects his professionals, often with harsh methods. But a few months ago it became clear that things are now different in Manchester. For example, when it came to his apparently bad relationship with midfielder Paul Pogba, who came to Manchester United from Juventus Turin in 2016 for 105 million euros. This became clear when Mourinho deposed the French as co-captain after the league cup against second division Derby County in September. Previously, Pogba had questioned Mourinho's tactics in a league game, among other things, the whole thing seemed like a punishment.

English media do not think of things any differently than Pogba did at the time. The Guardian only commented on Monday "that it couldn't go on" and traced how Mourinho had developed into a coach who only had defensive concepts on offer. At least this was the case in the 0-0 draw in Liverpool a year ago. The latest 1: 3 against Liverpool and 29 goals conceded in 17 games, however, let the newspaper come to the conclusion: "This is no longer a Mourinho who can organize a defensive." As if Mourinho was just a shadow of what always made him stand out.

The criticism of the Portuguese, who is responsible for the Premier League club's worst start to the season in 28 years, runs through the current Premier League season. After a 3-0 draw against Tottenham at the end of August, Mourinho was even forced to give a defense speech on his own behalf. At the press conference he called to the journalists: "I have won more championship titles than all the other 19 coaches put together. Three of me, the two of them." Finally he called for "respect, respect, respect."

Michael Carrick should take over first - and then?

The statistics quoted by Mourinho are still valid, but he implicitly admitted this, too: that at present he can only make a name for himself through his past. Mourinho has long been Pep Guardiola's greatest antagonist. Different in style of play and different in appearance. But also: similarly successful. Two-time Champions League winners (with FC Porto and Inter Milan), champions in Portugal, Spain, England. But his greatest successes - those in the Champions League - were years ago, almost a whole generation of footballers. With Manchester United he was able to win the Europa League (2017) and the League Cup (also 2017). In the league, however, it was only enough to place 6, 2 and currently 6 again. To classify: In its three seasons with Mourinho, the club spent the equivalent of almost 465 million euros in transfer fees for new players.

In Liverpool, Mourinho said there was still the possibility of scoring more points in the second half of the season than in the first. However, this will now be the job of a new coach. The club announced that an interim coach will initially take over, Michael Carrick is loud Sky as a candidate for the post. You will also look for a replacement "thoroughly". He could be called Mauricio Pochettino (currently at Tottenham Hotspur). Or, it would be the very big, prominent solution: Zinédine Zidane.