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About Alan:

Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer is the Premier League's all-time top scorer with 260 goals and a leading TV pundit from the BBC's flagship football programme Match of the Day. Euro '96 Golden Boot winner Alan will be sharing his thoughts on all things football every week throughout the 2018/19 season.

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Shearer Says: “Man United sacking will damage Mourinho’s reputation”

Premier League legend gives Red Devils verdict

I was not surprised when I heard the news of Jose Mourinho’s dismissal at Manchester United yesterday. I said on Match of the Day on Sunday, something had to give at the club. They couldn’t just keep carrying on the way they were going.

That performance against their big rivals Liverpool on Sunday just summed up the way things have been for them recently. The players had stopped playing for him and it was inevitable that the manager would lose his job.

The same thing happened to Jose at Chelsea in that he had lost the dressing room. He has been given a fortune to spend over the last couple of years but he was not backed in the summer when he wanted a defender, therefore he was not going to be backed in January.

This latest sacking will damage the reputation of Mourinho. Management is very different now. You have to understand and accept how the modern players behave. With Jose, it seems to be that it needs to his way or the highway. That didn’t work at Chelsea and ultimately that has cost him his job at Manchester United.

I am sure he will be back in a big job very soon though. He has a nice pay-off and he can enjoy Christmas. Football is one of the few jobs where you can get it completely wrong and walk away with a big pay-off. Obviously he would have liked it to have worked at United but he will already be preparing for a return to management.

United have fallen a long way behind the big teams in the Premier League table and they could not sit back and allow that to continue. Huddersfield have conceded fewer goals than Man United this season.

It is absolutely unbelievable especially when you consider they have one of the best goalkeepers in the world. Only four teams, Cardiff, Burnley, Southampton and Fulham have conceded more than United this season, so clearly at the back they have been all over the place.

Although the manager has taken the flack, the big players at United really need to look at themselves. Sanchez, who they were battling with Manchester City to sign, is on £500,000 a week and he has hardly kicked a ball.

Pogba was given the captaincy to try and help his performances and he has hardly kicked a ball either. None of United’s big money signings have been a success, so the board couldn’t keep backing the manager.

I think what Manchester City and Liverpool have proved with the system they have in place with a sporting director is that the manager nowadays can’t do it all. United have lacked someone who can work closely with the manager at targeting the players they need to improve their squad and at the right price. That has been an issue at the club for a number of years now.

The appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is going to buy them time to reflect and see which road they want to go down at the end of the season. What happens if he gets the best out of the players and wins a trophy though? Maybe then he will have earned the opportunity to take the job full time. It is going to be interesting to see how that pans out.

There is talk of Pochettino being a target. When you look at how he plays, what he has done at Tottenham and the fact he gives youth a chance, you can see why he is one of the favourites.

When you look at what he has built so far at Tottenham though, his big players signing new contracts, a state of the art training ground and a new stadium to move into, would he move to Manchester United? I am not convinced he would leave all that behind.

Zidane is another name being linked with the job in the summer. He had an unbelievable time at Real Madrid, winning three Champions League trophies. There would be no complications in signing him to a contract as he is not with a club.

It is a very different job to the one he took over at Real Madrid, though. That squad was already built. You would need at least three of four players at United to make them challengers again.