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Manchester United made mistake sacking Mourinho ―Fellaini

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Manchester United have played 31 times since Marouane Fellaini left for China. They have won just 11 of those games.

Fellaini and Mourinho

It’s a worrying sequence that’s cast a dark shadow over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign.

Not that Fellaini is taking any pleasure from United’s plight – though that’s not to say he doesn’t have some forthright views on why it’s unravelling at Old Trafford.

His views on the use of social media immediately after matches, in particular, are pretty blunt.

‘You see some players go straight into the dressing room after games and go straight onto social media, it’s wrong,’ said Fellaini.

Yet there’s no hint of animosity as he discusses where he believes it has all gone wrong at his former club.

As Fellaini explains, he had ample time to digest the fact his United career was drawing to a close – he doesn’t have an axe to grind.

He knew his United career was ending as he made just one fleeting substitute appearance in Solskjaer’s opening four Premier League games in charge.

His decision to leave United was effectively made when he was left on the bench for the FA Cup third-round tie against Reading on January 5.

Twenty-five days later he was heading to the Chinese Super League, signing for Shangdong Luneng Taishan.

Yet Manchester’s never too far from his thoughts.

Ole remains at the wheel but for how long? Yet sacking managers is exactly where Fellaini believes United have been going wrong.

“They brought in [David] Moyes, they didn’t give him time. They brought in [Louis] Van Gaal, they gave him two years and we started to do some things, he won the cup, but after that they sacked the manager because they want to win quickly,’ he said.

“For me the club were too quick to sack Jose [Mourinho] because a manager like that comes and he needs a lot of players to do his own philosophy.

“He wanted to build his team but after two years and a half they decided to sack him because the results were not there.

“That’s the problem, they have to find a solution together. A manager like Van Gaal, tactically is very strong and a lot of experience and they sacked him.

“They brought in one of the best managers in the world in Jose Mourinho, he wanted to build a team and they sacked him.

“It’s not easy to build a team in that time, you need more than two years.

“I don’t know what they will do with Ole. Mourinho, for the first season, he did amazingly, he improved the team, won things.

“Okay the second season, was a bit more difficult, but he tried and did his best to help the team.’

There’s a credibility to Fellaini’s opinion. Perhaps, Sir Alex Ferguson’s exit caused more upheaval than anticipated – but that decline was a juggernaut surely everyone saw coming.

That’s what Fellaini is getting at. United were – and remain in transition. They must walk before they try to run.

Clinging onto Tottenham and Chelsea’s coat-tails should be United’s priority, not trying to keep pace with Manchester City and Liverpool.

United appear committed to signing and nurturing younger talent as they plot their way back to the top of English football.

Indeed, Fellaini’s departure appeared to signal the start of a change to their transfer philosophy.

Where Mourinho focused on signing ready-made players, the Solskjaer regime seems committed to regenerating their squad with a younger profile of the player.

Experienced players such as Alexis Sanchez, Ander Herrera and Romelu Lukaku have joined Fellaini out of the door – with youngsters Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Dan James and Scott McTominay thrust into the team.

Harry Maguire, signed from Leicester, has helped offset the team’s lack of experience, but Fellaini fears the lack of know-how is at the root of United’s problems.

‘Now you have a new manager, they wanted young players and that’s what happens when you play with just young players – they will be up and down, up and down, that’s football,’ he said.

“Of course in football, you can’t play with just young players, you need a mix. I think to win games, to win titles, to win big games you need experience. Of course, you can win with young players but not every game.”

Fellaini is adamant he left Old Trafford with no regrets; United’s cup double in 2017 the undisputed highlight before a second-placed finish 12 months later from his five-and-half years at the club.

The achievement was almost dismissed as secondary, winning the League Cup and Europa League hardly the sort of success United are accustomed to.

“China is good, it’s a new culture, a new country and I discovered that. I’ve enjoyed it,’ Fellaini added.

“It’s different, it’s a different atmosphere, the intensity is not the same, the crowd is not the same but it’s a new challenge. It was the time for me to leave Europe, I wanted a new challenge and I’m very happy with that so I don’t regret it at all.

“I played five and half years for Manchester. My first season was a transition, so I was in transition,

“I know I didn’t have a great season. But after that I played my games, played well and I won things.

“Okay, I didn’t win the Premier League but that’s part of football. Manchester City was a strong team and was difficult to battle against them.

“But I did some great games, scored some important goals, so for me I was very happy with my time in Manchester.’

Unfortunately, Old Trafford isn’t quite so cheery right now.

Vanguard News Nigeria.

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