Marouane Fellaini thinks that Manchester United got rid of Jose Mourinho too quickly, insisting managers “need time”.
The Red Devils parted company with the Portuguese last December following a shocking run of form which left them languishing in sixth, with Mourinho cutting a frustrated figure having been let down by Ed Woodward, who had consistently failed to deliver key transfer targets.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was drafted in as a temporary replacement, instantly seeing an upturn in results, though they would quickly return to what had gone before once his appointment was made permanent in the March, as the club finished the campaign in sixth.
The Norwegian would subsequently start a massive overhaul of the Manchester United squad, with Fellaini being one of the first to be shipped out of the club, with the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez, Chris Smalling, Ander Herrera, Antonio Valencia and Matteo Darmian following him out of the Old Trafford exit door in the summer.
However, with only three signings arriving, United’s start to the current campaign has been nothing short of dreadful, the Old Trafford outfit languishing in 12th, just two points above the relegation zone. In light of his former club’s struggles, Fellaini – who was sold to Chinese club Shandong Luneng Taishan in January – has said managers need more time to implement their ideas.
“They brought in one of the best managers in the world in Jose Mourinho, he wanted to build a team and they sacked him,” Fellaini told reporters. “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 Solskjaer but, for me, to win things and to improve, you need time.
“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, you know, and did his best to help the team. Then they decided to sack him.
Asked if United sacked Mourinho too quickly, the Belgian replied: “For me, yes, because a manager like that comes and he needs a lot of players to implement his own philosophy.
“He wanted to build his team and after two years, or two years and a half, they decided to sack him because the results were not there.”
Fellaini also pointed to the departures of Mourinho’s predecessors, with the Belgian also suggesting that neither Moyes nor Van Gaal were given a fair crack of the whip.
“They brought in Moyes, they didn’t give him time. They brought in 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, I think. A manager like Van Gaal tactically is very strong and has a lot of experience and they sacked him,” he said.
“But when you look to build a team you need time, not change a manager every two years, every year. If the manager doesn’t do well for four or five games, they want to sack him.
“Manchester United won everything for years with Sir Alex Ferguson, so for someone else to come and do what he did is not that easy. They had a team and a strong base. It’s not easy for someone to come and do like Sir Alex Ferguson. People and supporters of Manchester United want that, but football has changed, the mentality of players has changed.”