December 18, 2018 / 11:12 AM / 5 months ago

Soccer: Reaction to sacking of Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho

(Reuters) - Following is reaction to the sacking of Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, who was dismissed by the Premier League club on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester United vs West Bromwich Albion - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - April 15, 2018 Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho as Paul Pogba is substituted. Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff/File Photo

LIVERPOOL MANAGER JUERGEN KLOPP

“He’s a very competitive guy, very ambitious. He has all my respect, he has had unbelievable success. I can imagine the last few months were not a joy for anybody, especially him... It’s not nice if you face these questions every day.

“Nobody can take away all the things he won. I hope he has that in his mind when he leaves and not the few other things that happened. He is an outstanding manager.

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR MANAGER MAURICIO POCHETTINO

“I feel so sorry because you know very well I have a very good relationship with him, so it’s very sad news what happened today. It’s not my business what happened today and only I want to send my best wishes to Jose.

“There are a lot of rumours about my position as manager at Tottenham. I cannot answer this type of question. The business you know very well, a lot of rumours happen. I’m so focused in trying to deliver my best in this football club.”

ARSENAL MANAGER UNAI EMERY

“The only thing I can say to you is I was surprised - and it is not good news because, when one coach finishes his work like that, it’s not good for other coaches.

“It is not good news but I don’t know a lot as to why this decision happened. My focus is tomorrow on the derby (against Tottenham), the focus for me and for every player is just that.”

FORMER UNITED CAPTAIN GARY NEVILLE

“I’ve been fortunate to spend time at Tottenham’s training ground, and for me he (Mauricio Pochettino) feels like the ideal candidate. United have tried managers who have won European cups, they’ve tried managers who have won multiple leagues.

“My view is they need someone who meets the three key principles of the football club, and that is promotion of youth, entertaining football, and to win football matches.”

FORMER UNITED DEFENDER AND FOOTBALL PUNDIT RIO FERDINAND

“I was one of his biggest advocates two and a half years ago when he joined Man United and felt he stabilised our club when we needed it... You can’t ignore what Jose has achieved as a manager previously, but I feel the time has come for fresh ideas at MUFC.”

FORMER ENGLAND INTERNATIONAL, BBC SPORTS ANCHOR GARY LINEKER

“With United 19 points behind Liverpool after 17 games, with the vast majority of players playing way below their best... and dour football to boot.

“Given Mourinho was allowed to spend hundreds of millions on those players, the split seemed inevitable.

“Would imagine one of the main reasons for sacking Mourinho now would be to stop the attempted mass exodus of their best players next month.”

FORMER UNITED, LIVERPOOL AND ENGLAND STRIKER MICHAEL OWEN

“Inevitable is the word I’d use. Mourinho had to go in the end. Simply not getting anywhere near enough out of his players.”

FORMER UNITED WINGER LEE SHARPE

“He was a panic appointment and they brought someone in to fix things quickly.

“At the time United weren’t in Europe, they were on a low and he was the manager who could bring in big name players and raise the standard in games... he had a winning mentality.

“He has done that in spells... but the way he plays football has never been the United way.”

RANGERS COACH AND FORMER LIVERPOOL MIDFIELDER STEVEN GERRARD

“He’s a serial winner. He’s been sacked at United but he’s won them a couple of trophies.

“He’s done the best job since Alex Ferguson’s left. It seemed they sort of struggled before that but Jose came in and put a couple of trophies in the cabinet, so I don’t think you can criticise him too much.”

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Martyn Herman and Hugh Lawson

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