John Aldridge: Jose Mourinho looks like a manager trying to get another multi-million pound pay-off
Former Ireland striker John Aldridge believes Jose Mourinho may be looking to plot a route out of Manchester United after his latest round of explosive comments to the media following his side’s FA Cup quarter-final win against Brighton on Saturday.
Aldridge suspects Mourinho fierce criticism of his players and his eagerness to belittle the heritage of the club he is working for may be signs that the coach who rarely stays at a club for more than three seasons is already eyeing up his next job away from Old Trafford.
"Mourinho has looked like a man asking for a pay-off to get out of Manchester United and I wouldn’t be surprised if he turned up as Paris Saint-Germain boss in the not too distant future," said Aldridge in the Sunday World.
"There has been an undercurrent of discontent building up towards Mourinho over the last few months among United fans and one major setback was always likely to propel those frustrations to the surface.
"Well, that big defeat duly arrived with the 2-1 loss against an average Sevilla side that saw them dumped out of the Champions League at Old Trafford, a result that has been coming for United.
"While I had a good laugh at Mourinho’s expense as his team turned in a horrible performance against Sevilla, some of the comments Mourinho served up after the game were beyond belief.
"To go into his press conference saying United should be used to losing at home in the Champions League and recounting how he had beaten them before when he was in charge of Porto and Real Madrid was as bizarre as it was disrespectful to the massive club he is now working for.
"He must have known he was going to wind up United fans with those comments and that’s why I wonder whether he is already looking at his next job. Mourinho may have signed a new contract a few weeks back, but this is a guy who has shown minimal loyalty to any club he has been at and the same goes for United."
Aldridge went on to suggest that Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp or Manchester City chief Pep Guardiola would instantly transform the current United squad into an entertaining team to watch, as he suggested Mourinho’s eagerness to promote a cautious style will not be accepted at Old Trafford for long.
"If Guardiola or Klopp were in charge of United right now, they would instantly transform them from being defensive minded and well drilled into something far more attractive," he added.
"A front three of Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial should be lighting up Premier League stadiums every week, with Alexis Sanchez pulling a few strings in behind them in what could be a dynamic attacking unit.
"City and Liverpool would probably take all of those players and they would flourish under the watch of Guardiola and Klopp, but all the United players are playing with handcuffs on under Mourinho.
"If you buy a player like Sanchez, you have to let him do what he does best and that means giving him freedom to roam and weave his magic in the final third. Instead, he is being burdened with defensive duties by Mourinho in a United side that generally deploys two holding midfielders against second rate opposition.
"Sanchez has been unrecognisable from the player we all thought was a world beater at Arsenal and that highlights the negative impact Mourinho's team structure has on talented players.
"This highly-paid entertainment killer doesn’t allow his full backs breaking forward and his gameplay is pretty basic; he needs his team to score the first goal and then hopes to pick off the opposition on the break when they try and get back into the game.
"Mourinho’s side just can’t play offensive football from the first whistle and Sevilla knew they had a big chance of getting a result at Old Trafford if they scored first and put United in a position they don’t like.
"Essentially, Mourinho tries not to lose before he tries to win and at a club as big as United, that ideology will not be tolerated for too long."
Read John Aldridge in the Sunday World every week.