Behind the scenes details show how it all went wrong for Jose Mourinho at Man United
Jose Mourinho is no longer the manager of Manchester United
On Tuesday morning, the club sacked the 55-year-old, bringing an end to his tenure that lasted just over two and a half years.
United are experiencing their worst start to a season in 28-years - even worse than David Moyes' doomed stint as manager - and a change was evidently needed.
The club have the largest wage-bill in the Premier League but are currently marooned in sixth-place.
I'm sure you've read lots of hot takes on Jose Mourinho leaving Manchester United, but here's mine! https://t.co/QMCqxTpflv
— Nooruddean (@BeardedGenius) December 19, 2018
They're 11 points behind Chelsea in fourth place, 19 points behind Liverpool at the top of the table, and appear unlikely to qualify for next season's Champions League.
Mourinho was waging war on several fronts, criticising players and the club's transfer policy. In the end, there was arguably no other option but to remove him from his post.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been appointed as the caretaker manager until the end of the season, at which point the club will seek to make a permanent appointment.
Since his sacking on Tuesday, several stories about the situation behind the scenes during Mourinho's reign have been published.
Rob Dawson of ESPN goes into great detail about how it all went wrong for the former Chelsea coach at Old Trafford. Mourinho comes across as a distant and difficult character in the report.
On United's pre-season tour of the United States last summer, he reportedly said that "everything is shit."
He was unhappy with the club's recruitment and angered that United's scouts had failed to identify Harry Maguire as a target when he was playing for Hull City and before he joined Leicester City in 2017.
— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) December 18, 2018
Mourinho picked fights on several fronts and is said to have asked for Dwight Yorke, the former United striker and club ambassador, to be sacked. According to the report:
"In May, Dwight Yorke gave an interview suggesting United would have won the Premier League title with Pep Guardiola in charge. On reading his comments, Mourinho tried to get Yorke removed from his role as club ambassador. The club declined."
He was furious about his starting XI being leaked on several occasions on the day before games. This would send Mourinho "into a rage before a ball was kicked."
"His team selection for the derby against Manchester City in December 2017 by picking Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Rashford and Martial, he was furious to discover the team had leaked on social media 24 hours before kick-off. United lost 2-1 and Mourinho was convinced that one of the reasons was that Guardiola had got wind of his plan."
Mourinho had similar grievances when he was Real Madrid manager and during his second spell at Chelsea.
The report claims that the United squad were "relieved" upon hearing that the manager had been dismissed.
According to Paul Hirst of The Times, only four United players had a positive opinion of Mourinho by the end - Nemanja Matic, Ashley Young, Romelu Lukaku, and Marouane Fellaini.
Mourinho enjoyed the company of Ed Woodward, the club's executive vice-chairman, and liked him on a personal level. But the report claims that he did not rate his ability as a football executive or his transfer dealings.
Woodward is said to have blocked the signings of the central defenders Jerome Boateng and Toby Alderweireld last summer, both of whom are 29. This infuriated Mourinho, who desperately sought for the club to sign another defender.
The Portuguese coach felt he had been not backed in the transfer market, despite United spending £400m on new players during his tenure.
The problems at Man United won't end with Mourinho's sacking https://t.co/GOoRgf1ufB
— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) December 18, 2018
Mourinho is said to have been advised against taking the job by friends back in 2016. They felt the club had not modernised since Alex Ferguson's departure in 2013. The ex-Porto coach had serious issues with the scouting and medical departments.
He also took issue with former United players criticising him in their media appearances. According to the report, Mourinho had a "mistrust" of the Class of '92 and opted against retaining Ryan Giggs as a coach. The current Wales manager had been Louis van Gaal's assistant but left the club upon Mourinho's arrival in 2016.
"Woodward was keen to keep Ryan Giggs on, but Mourinho vetoed the idea because he did not think the Welshman was a man he could trust because of his extra-marital affair with his brother’s wife," said Hirst.
The report also claims that Mourinho's attire for the 60th-anniversary memorial service for the Munich air crash left senior figures at the club "appalled." He wore a hoodie underneath his club suit and a pair of dark trainers.
The same senior figures were "bemused" by Mourinho's decision to allow his teenage son to sit alongside him in the dugout at Old Trafford for a match against Swansea City back in April.
By all accounts, it seems like very few at United will miss their former manager, and it doesn't sound like Mourinho will miss the club either.