The sacking of Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho following a dismal start to the season has been met with mixed reactions from Northern Irish supporters.
While some Red Devil’s fans believed Mourinho’s departure was long overdue, others bemoaned the decision and warned that a change of manager would not solve the root of the club’s problems.
The Premier League side announced just before 10am today that they had parted ways with the Portuguese manager with immediate effect.
United had made their worst start to a league season in 28 years and were beaten 3-1 by arch-rivals Liverpool on Sunday in what was to be Mourinho’s final match in charge of the club, following a turbulent two-and-a-half year stint at the helm.
That result left United sitting sixth in the table; 11 points from Champions League qualification and 19 points adrift from the top.
Robert Reid, secretary of Lagan Manchester United Supporters Club welcomed the decision to remove Mourinho, adding: “He was on borrowed time and had to go.
“He has to shoulder a lot of the blame for the club’s awful run this season, as a lot of the players he has brought in just weren’t good enough to play for Man Utd. I think the club was too big for him.
“But the players have to take responsibility as well, as many of them haven’t stepped up to the mark.”
Robert, who has been travelling to matches at Old Trafford since 1972, says he now hopes Frenchman Zinedine Zidane will step into the breach as Mourinho’s successor.
He was less enthused by reports that United is eyeing Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino to take charge, adding: “He has no proven record.”
Keith Norris, joint creator and owner of Big Lily, the iconic Manchester United Big Lily flag also welcomed Mourinho departure as a “positive action”.
And he has floated the idea of United legend Eric Cantona stepping in to take the reins at Old Trafford on a interim basis.
He told the News Letter: “I am friendly with a lot of ex-players and speak to them on a regular basis. I was with Eric in Belfast a few weeks ago and he expressed his desire to manage Manchester United. Nothing will give the club a lift like appointing him on a temporary basis.”
On the opposite side of the spectrum, Portadown Supporters Club secretary Harry Blevins branded the decision to fire Mourinho’s as “diabolical” and said the cause of United’s woes run much deeper than the manager.
He added: “The current state of the club, languishing 19 points from the top, is only down to Mourinho in very small part. The rot set in a decade ago, and the club has endured years of mismanagement. The squad needed rebuilding after Moscow when Ferguson was still there. Subsequent managers that came in found a squad that was past its sell by date, which led to a succession of panic buys by the last three managers. Each of them got the club in a worst state than their predecessor.”
The club has said retired player Michael Carrick will lead training and a caretaker manager will be appointed this week to lead them until the end of the season, before a permanent successor arrives.