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Parker: Mournful Mourinho has to change after criticising Solskjaer

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Jose Mourinho, Manager of Manchester United

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ByPaul Parker
16/05/2019 at 09:37 | Updated 16/05/2019 at 18:00

Paul Parker thinks Jose Mourinho will put his career in jeopardy if he doesn't change his ways, after he criticised new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

I don't want to read anything Jose Mourinho has said - he spends his life looking so mournful all the time, and it sums him up.

He's probably never going to be a 'nice guy' like Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is, but some people in football are too scared to talk about him for fear of the consequences.

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Mourinho never smiled, which doesn't make any sense. He should have been happy - he was in a job that he'd always wanted, one of the most prestigious jobs in the world at one of the biggest clubs. He was acting like he was at Carlisle United, not Manchester United.

José Mourinho

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Mourinho is wrong about Solskjaer

Things might have tailed off for United under Solskjaer, but Mourinho doesn't get it. When you come in as an interim manager, your job is to fill a role. You have to pacify players and you don't do that by going in and shouting at everyone. You calm things down at the club and then start to earn the respect of the players.

To be fair, Mourinho might have a point about some of the players, but it doesn't mean he was right to carry on as he did. They might have been difficult to work with. Some of them were stale, some of them were bad apples, and some of them weren't good enough to challenge at the top, but Solskjaer didn't ruin the atmosphere at the club, instead he gave them hope. Look at the game against Paris Saint-Germain, they could never have done that under Mourinho. You have to work with what you've got, whether you think there should be improvements or not.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer celebrates Manchester United's comeback victory against Paris St Germain

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Mourinho's failure was nobody's fault but his own

He's gone against the normal etiquette to single out his replacement for criticism. It doesn't do him any good, and it makes him look bitter. He was the one to blow his golden opportunity - it's not anybody else's fault.

He didn't buy well, and he bought Alexis Sanchez, which was a disaster for the club's finances and the team. He was fitting a square peg into a round hole, and it was totally unnecessary. Nobody made him do that.

The problem with Mourinho was that he wanted to be a manager, which misses out at least half of the responsibility of the job, which was to be a coach. He surely could have got more out of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones by praising them and coaching them rather than making them feel unwelcome.

Jose Mourinho, Bobby Robson

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Mourinho learned nothing from Ferguson and Robson

He'd worked under one of the great man managers, Bobby Robson, but it seemed he learned nothing from him. When Bobby saw weakness, he managed it and mitigated it, he didn't scream and shout.

The very best managers plan for a year ahead, they don't burn all their bridges in anticipation of problems. I knew at Manchester United that I was being eased out, but Alex Ferguson handled it brilliantly.

I was aware that other players were being brought in, but it wasn't leaked to the press that I probably didn't have a future anymore. I wasn't publicly undermined, and so I respected Ferguson. I still see him now, and while I still consider him the boss, I can also consider him a friend too - I spoke to him just the other week at the LMA awards.

I was asked to play in the Champions League games despite needing surgery, but because I was treated with respect, I was willing to play through the pain for him. When I knew I was leaving, I didn't down tools either - I gave everything for my teammates and my future. Will Mourinho ever be able to get the same thing from one of his players?

Jose Mourinho

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Because people want to watch United, win or lose, they will always be in the papers. But when things are going badly, Mourinho's antics just make things worse. He could have taken the heat off the players, but instead there were leaks to the press.

The only hope for him now is that he learns. He looks at the mistakes he's made and he changes for the better. It's said the only job left that he wants is to manage his own country, Portugal. He has to realise then that he's not just managing players. He has to be kind to the canteen staff, and those who are there to help him. He can't just bring in new players when he loses his way with his first choices - he'd actually have to become a coach, and a more pragmatic one too. He could even try smiling.

Paul Parker - @realpaulparker2


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