The task of football managers is not to merely frame a tactically sound team with the assets at their disposal.
An equally important role they fulfill tries to ensure that a good rapport and working relationship is maintained with their players.
Jose Mourinho’s exit from Manchester United may be a strong point regarding the same. Although it is undeniable that a poor run of form was a strong factor leading to his ousting, the relationship he had with his players may have held a bigger impact.
The fallout he had with Paul Pogba is clearly the standout scandal, but reports in the buildup to the sacking claimed that the Portuguese gaffer had lost the trust of the majority of his locker room.
This was demonstrated quite soundly. The Mirror reports that prior to sacking Mourinho, Ed Woodward held a secret meeting with the club’s players. The purpose of the gathering was to gauge the suggestions of the players regarding a potential Mourinho-sacking.
In an interesting turn of events, the report claims that only two players were on Mourinho’s side, pledging their allegiance to his cause while the rest of the roster seemed to think that the club wasn’t progressing well under the leadership of the former Real Madrid and Chelsea gaffer.
The players in support of Mourinho were Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic, both being talents that the tactician purchased.
It is no denying that the initial presence of the duo injected much hope and creativity into the side – Lukaku bringing back a regular goal scorer while Matic’s holding role gave the Old Trafford outfit a new source of strength at the back.
Quite understandably, Woodward is believed to have acted on the interests of the vast majority and it will be interesting to see what the locker-room dynamics will be like going forward.