Manchester United sack Jose Mourinho, seeking caretaker replacement

Manchester United have sacked manager Jose Mourinho after a dreadful series of results. (AFP)
Updated 18 December 2018
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Manchester United sack Jose Mourinho, seeking caretaker replacement

  • Manchester United have sacked manager Jose Mourinho after a dreadful series of results
  • It is rumoured that former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane could be his replacement

Manchester United have sacked manager Jose Mourinho after a dreadful series of results, the Premier League club announced on Tuesday.
The 55-year-old Portuguese’s last match in charge was the 3-1 defeat by league leaders Liverpool on Sunday which left them 19 points behind their opponents.
“Manchester United announces that manager Jose Mourinho has left the club with immediate effect,” a club statement said.

According to talkSPORT’s French journalist Julien Laurens, former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane would love to take the reins as Manchester United head coach. 

Assistant coach Michael Carrick will take charge of the team on an interim basis. United said it will appoint a caretaker manager until the end of the season, but didn't say who it will be.
United made its move with the team in sixth place in the league, 19 points behind first-place Liverpool and 11 points off fourth-place Chelsea in the race for Champions League qualification. It is United's worst 17-game start to a league campaign since the 1990-91 season, and the team currently has a goal difference of zero.
Mourinho started his 2½-year tenure at United by winning two titles in his first season — the English League Cup and the Europa League — but failed to win a trophy in his second season and was criticized for the team's pragmatic playing style and his treatment of some players.
His relationship with Paul Pogba, the club's record signing, appeared broken after leaving the France midfielder out of the team for its last three league games.
Mourinho had also been unhappy that United's board failed to back his wish to sign a central defender in the offseason. United has already conceded more goals in the league than it did in all of last season.
Mourinho's final match in charge was the 3-1 loss at Anfield, after which he said his players were brittle and couldn't cope with the intensity and physicality of Liverpool — historically United's biggest rival.
Mourinho lasted the same length of time at United as he did in his previous job at Chelsea, when he was also fired just before Christmas in his third season. He signed a new contract in January until June 2020 and will reportedly receive compensation of 24 million pounds ($30 million).
In his six major coaching stints — at Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Chelsea again and United — Mourinho has only lasted more than three years once. That was in his first spell at Chelsea.
United reached the last 16 in the Champions League, where it will play Paris Saint-Germain over two legs in February and March.

(With Agencies)


Naomi Osaka not worried about form after shock Dubai defeat

Updated 36 min 39 sec ago
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Naomi Osaka not worried about form after shock Dubai defeat

  • World No. 1 easily beaten but claims all is well with her game.
  • Osaka surprisingly split with coach in run up to Dubai tournament.

LONDON: Naomi Osaka said she is not worried after the world No. 1 was shocked in the second round at the Dubai Tennis Championships.
The two-time Grand Slam champion was convincingly beaten 6-3, 6-3 by Kristina Mladenovic in her first match since she memorably won the Australian Open last month — her second consecutive Slam success.
Heading into the clash there was much talk about her lack of action on court and her split with coach Sascha Bajin. She said there was nothing to the split with Bajin other than “happiness was more important than success.”
And having been easily beaten by the Dubai-based Frenchwomen Osaka said she was not troubled by her form.
“The Australian Open was not even a month ago,” Osaka said.
“I mean, this was just one match. I feel like even if I don’t win any matches for the rest of the year, I wouldn’t say I’m concerned.
“I think I’m pretty young. I still feel like I have a lot to learn.”
The Japanese star, who became the first Asian woman to reach the summit of the rankings, added that the shock defeat might actually work in her favor.
“For me, that’s sort of my biggest thing after this match. I think I play well after I lose a sort of bad match,” the 21-year-old said.
“I’m just looking forward to the next tournament.
“Before US Open (which she won), I lost those three matches in a row. I was just thinking, like, ‘wow, am I ever going to do anything in my life?’”