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Gary Neville: 'The sacking of Jose Mourinho is a result of what happened last summer'

And Neville feels Mauricio Pochettino is the ideal candidate to replace him.

MANCHESTER UNITED PREMIER League winner Gary Neville believes the sacking of Jose Mourinho is rooted in the fractured relationship that developed between the manager and the club over their summer transfer policy.

pjimage Source: PA

Mourinho’s dismissal was announced this morning with United lying sixth in the table, 19 points behind leaders Liverpool after they lost 3-1 at Anfield on Sunday.

And Sky Sports pundit Neville, speaking on the station this morning, reckons that his development stemmed from the situation that ensued after a couple of Mourinho’s summer targets were not sanctioned.

“I think the moment earlier on in the season where it was clear that the board had decided that they didn’t want to back a couple of Jose Mourinho signings, to be honest with you, at that point you’re finished as a manager,” said Neville.

“I think from a club point of view obviously they gave him a new contract last January. In the summer, Jose obviously wanted to sign one or two centre-backs, those one or two centre-backs were identified, and the club obviously have the ability and the right to say no to those signings if they don’t feel it’s right.

“But you have to understand the consequences once you undermine a manager or don’t agree with his signings and you’re going against them, maybe for the right reasons from a club point of view, but if you’re a manager particularly of the stature of Jose Mourinho, you’re on a collision course and what we’ve seen in the last three or four months is it play out in public.

“The sacking of Jose Mourinho is a result of what happened last summer. When Jose came back first day of the pre-season tour and started making complaints in the media, you knew that this was going to rumble on and there had to be a sort of control grabbed at that time, it wasn’t. It played out all the way through the transfer window.”

Neville claimed the atmosphere has left the players at the Old Trafford club ‘demoralised’ and ‘disinterested’.

“I said on Sunday after the game against Liverpool that Manchester United have been crawling along on their hands and knees, minute after minute, hour after hour, match to match for the last few weeks and months and it’s been unpleasant and it’s been unsavoury.

“You could see on the pitch it’s impacting on the players. They look demoralised, some games they look disinterested. They look inspired for 20 minute periods but so inconsistent.”

With a new caretaker manager set to be appointed until the end of the season, Neville feels Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino is the ‘most ideal candidate’ to get the post on a permanent basis.

“When I think about the values of Manchester United, you look at his belief in young players at Southampton and with Tottenham.

Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League - Old Trafford Pochettino's Spurs side defeated Man United 3-0 this year. Source: Tim Goode

“You look at his performance levels and style of play. You look at the way he carries himself at all times – publicly and in private. For me, he just feels like the most ideal candidate.”

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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