Football news - Paul Parker: 'Shocking' Mourinho era an embarrassing episode in United's history

Parker: 'Shocking' Mourinho era an embarrassing episode in United's proud history

18/12/2018 at 13:24Updated 18/12/2018 at 13:51

Old Trafford favourite Paul Parker gives his take on Jose Mourinho's sacking as Manchester United manager, and why he was never the right manager for the club.

This whole episode has been shocking for Manchester United. Where do you start with the problems created by Mourinho, and where do you finish?

It was 100 percent the right call to sack him because his performance as the club’s manager was embarrassing.

I don’t want to hear any more about Mourinho being a winner: that is a like a song that got out of date.

Those days are gone. He was talking about history all the time, and what he won in the past. You’ve got to forget about history when you are managing Manchester United.

Your history doesn’t mean anything. You can go to Chelsea maybe and say that, but even their fans got bored with his manner.

Jose Mourinho made some memorable comments during his time as Manchester United manager

Jose Mourinho made some memorable comments during his time as Manchester United managerPA Sport

United thought he would win the club trophies, but then they saw the manner in which he wanted to win games of football and how he conducted himself.

They went for a quick fix to try to get trophies on the table, but it should never be about that at any club.

Sir Alex Ferguson couldn’t do it right away. It takes time to build a structure and the trophies. There was no structure in his teams, they played without a structure and were negative.

They had no idea what was going to happen next. You watched them drag themselves back from 2-0 behind against Southampton a few weeks ago, but were then content with the draw. They never had a shot at goal in the second half.

None of what Mourinho offered was acceptable for the world's biggest club.


It was never going to be right for a club like United. Even before he came in after David Moyes and Louis van Gaal were dismissed, I knew it wasn’t going to be right for the type of football United fans wanted to watch.

People didn’t want to go to watch their team any more. People on Twitter were offering out their tickets, completely fed up with the brand of football.

He wasn’t brave enough to manage a team that played attacking football because he isn’t a creative coach. He was a destructive coach, and they are two a penny.

I could be a destructive coach, but I couldn’t be a creative one because they are difficult to find and difficult to become.

He was destructive, and you can’t be that any more. The game has moved on.

I played in some great United teams when we won the Premier League. I wasn’t expecting them to continue dominating when Sir Alex Ferguson left in 2013.

Paul Parker with, Alex Ferguson, Peter Schmeichel and Andrei Kanchelskis (Getty)

Paul Parker with, Alex Ferguson, Peter Schmeichel and Andrei Kanchelskis (Getty)Getty Images

In football, you have ups and downs, but I still expected United to be playing decent football. And still have that swagger about them, to still be competing to win leagues and cup competitions.

Not to be negative, miserable and have some sour-faced bloke in charge who looked liked he didn't want to be there.


Mourinho was good at running everyone else down. That club will lift so much now he has gone. It will lift out of its gloom. United was losing its shine under Mourinho.

Think about what Chelsea were like when he was managing them? Everybody hated them, but think of what Chelsea are like now under Maurizio Sarri.

People didn’t like United because they were successful, and had that arrogance and swagger.

But suddenly it all changed and everyone was talking about him as if was he was United, and everything was negative. United will lose that now which will slowly help the club recover on and off the pitch.

Mourinho was worse for United than Moyes and van Gaal because he made everyone miserable within the club. And was killing the club commercially.

He only saw what was good for him.


Players are commodities and when you are sitting down for your biggest game of the season against Liverpool with your most expensive player sitting on the bench for no good reason, there is a problem.

You are asking why you paid that money for Pogba and look at what he did in winning the World Cup final with France, but you can’t get that form out of him for his club.

Losing him as a player affects you as a team, but also affects you commercially. Something had to be done.

It would have been an embarrassment if Pogba had gone back to Juventus. Would United have got all their £89m back on him? No.

Jose Mourinho (L) and Manchester United's French midfielder Paul Pogba (R) attend a training session at the Carrington Training complex in Manchester, north west England on October 22, 2018.

Jose Mourinho (L) and Manchester United's French midfielder Paul Pogba (R) attend a training session at the Carrington Training complex in Manchester, north west England on October 22, 2018.Eurosport

Paul Pogba wanted to play for someone who he respected. Someone who believed in him.

You watch him play for France, and you see a completely different player. He doesn’t get caught in possession, and doesn’t overplay the ball. Under Mourinho, he doesn't feel good when he should be made to feel great and express himself.

Why they didn’t sack Mourinho earlier, I’ll never know. I'm just delighted this sorry episode in United's history is over, and the club can move on.


If Mourinho stayed on, he was not going to sign anyone in January. No player worth their salt would want to go there because of him.

They’d be reading newspapers, speaking to other players, their agents and they see social media. They know what is going on.

He calls people out publicly, and they know he plays negative football. If you are a player who likes to dribble, why are you going to go there?

You know you won’t be allowed to dribble and make mistakes. They wouldn’t have had a chance against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last 16 with him. They were going to go into that game to play negatively.

They now need someone in there who can lift the players, and can keep players.

Was David De Gea going to sign a new contract? Was Anthony Martial going to sign a new contract? Probably not.


As much as you like to have a go at players, those United players are down because they were constantly being whipped by their line manager because that’s all he was for United, a line manager, not a proper coach with bright, exciting ideas for the team.

He should have been looking after them, and they should have trusted him. But they could not trust him because he was only ever out for himself. He kept having a go at them personally and publicly.

Anthony Martial has had his differences with Jose Mourinho

Anthony Martial has had his differences with Jose MourinhoPA Sport

You can say players should be professional, but it you are in an office and your boss is having a go at you in front of everybody, would you carry on doing your normal job? Would you bother pushing yourself hard for someone who keeps persecuting you? Human nature stops you from doing that. Forget what they earn, that is not their fault. They are only human.

Good managers know what human beings are all about. They also know what is needed to make people feel good about themselves, to encourage their development.

If you get a happy camp, you will get players playing with a smile on their face. United were far from that.


Mourinho was hanging around waiting for a pay-off, but did not have the integrity to walk away earlier.

He kept talking about trust and respect, but did not show any trust and integrity by the way he was running the team.

Why was he given another year until 2020 in January? He is always in conflict with teams when he has finished his second year at a club.

Manchester United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward (R) listens as Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho talks

Manchester United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward (R) listens as Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho talksGetty Images

It didn’t make any sense at all. Giving him another season didn’t make any sense.

The chief executive Ed Woodward fell for it. If he had been in his final year now, he’d have been gone long before now. That is the worst thing about it, and it is absolutely shocking. He had just been sitting there waiting for a pay-off.

He asked for respect, but he should be looking himself in the mirror and wonder why he needed to ask for it? Especially when he never gave it.


The performance against Liverpool in the 3-1 defeat was shocking. He complained about Liverpool scoring two lucky goals, but what was United’s goal? Wasn’t it a bad cross with poor goalkeeping? Excuses that didn't make sense.

He could have got a whole lot more out of the players. There is no doubt about that.

But he was spending as much time in Manchester as I do in Glasgow. Up and down from Manchester to London regularly.

It was no good to anybody. No good for his health, or for the players.

He won the Europa League and the League Cup in his first season which bought him a bit of time, but it just wasn’t enough for a club like United. He ridiculed the Europa League when Rafael Benitez was winning it at Chelsea then celebrated it like the Champions League.

Video - Mourinho's most Jose wind-ups: The Special One's back-catalogue of infamous antics


When you think about how they won that League Cup, Southampton should have beaten them because they had a perfectly good goal disallowed.

They got through by the skin of their teeth in the Europa League, and were fortunate to draw a very young Ajax team in the final.

It was nothing to shout about. Those trophies were never going to be enough for a club like United.

Paul Parker - @realpaulparker2