(Reuters) – Following is reaction to the sacking of Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, who was dismissed by the Premier League club on Tuesday.
LIVERPOOL MANAGER JUERGEN KLOPP
“He’s a very competitive guy, very ambitious. He has all my respect, he has had unbelievable success. I can imagine the last few months were not a joy for anybody, especially him… It’s not nice if you face these questions every day.
“Nobody can take away all the things he won. I hope he has that in his mind when he leaves and not the few other things that happened. He is an outstanding manager.
ARSENAL MANAGER UNAI EMERY
“The only thing I can say to you is I was surprised – and it is not good news because, when one coach finishes his work like that, it’s not good for other coaches.
“It is not good news but I don’t know a lot as to why this decision happened. My focus is tomorrow on the derby (against Tottenham), the focus for me and for every player is just that.”
FORMER UNITED DEFENDER RIO FERDINAND
“I was one of his biggest advocates two and a half years ago when he joined Man United and felt he stabilised our club when we needed it… You can’t ignore what Jose has achieved as a manager previously, but I feel the time has come for fresh ideas at MUFC.”
FORMER ENGLAND INTERNATIONAL GARY LINEKER
“With United 19 points behind Liverpool after 17 games, with the vast majority of players playing way below their best… and dour football to boot.
“Given Mourinho was allowed to spend hundreds of millions on those players, the split seemed inevitable.
“Would imagine one of the main reasons for sacking Mourinho now would be to stop the attempted mass exodus of their best players next month.”
FORMER MAN UTD, LIVERPOOL AND ENGLAND STRIKER MICHAEL OWEN
“Inevitable is the word I’d use. Mourinho had to go in the end. Simply not getting anywhere near enough out of his players.”
FORMER LIVERPOOL BOSS GRAEME SOUNESS
“I think he (Mourinho) would have known this was coming. I’m not surprised… with the money he has spent and how the players are playing at this present moment in time… I said on Sunday, I couldn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel for them.
“I was at Bournemouth two weeks ago. I’m a season ticket holder there. My season ticket is 10 rows behind the dugout, and I saw a man who didn’t want to be there.”
FORMER LIVERPOOL MIDFIELDER JAMIE REDKNAPP
“If you were looking to go to a club and do everything wrong and get the sack, you would do what he’s done.
“He stayed in a hotel … as a manager you shouldn’t be going to a hotel every day because it sends the wrong message.
“The style of play wasn’t right, United fans want to see their team play with flair. Falling out with the players and the board. It’s been inevitable since the Brighton game, everything was wrong.”
FORMER UNITED DEFENDER PATRICE EVRA
“The thing that is annoying me the most right now is why are people so focused on Paul Pogba and Jose Mourinho. Let’s focus on rebuilding something solid instead of being in a playground. Doing this is only disrespecting the badge, from now we only need positivity.”
CHELSEA ASSISTANT COACH GIANFRANCO ZOLA
“It’s never pleasant to see a coach dismissed. It’s not pleasant for anybody but especially for someone like Jose, who has done so much for this game and the club. I’m sure he will have another job.
“Nowadays getting the sack is part of our job. From the small coaches to the big ones. Knowing the character of Jose, he will bounce back very quick.”
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR MANAGER MAURICIO POCHETTINO
“I feel so sorry because you know very well I have a very good relationship with him, so it’s very sad news what happened today. It’s not my business what happened today and only I want to send my best wishes to Jose.
“There are a lot of rumours about my position as manager at Tottenham. I cannot answer this type of question. The business you know very well, a lot of rumours happen. I’m so focused in trying to deliver my best in this football club.”
FORMER UNITED CAPTAIN GARY NEVILLE
“I’ve been fortunate to spend time at Tottenham’s training ground, and for me he (Mauricio Pochettino) feels like the ideal candidate. United have tried managers who have won European cups, they’ve tried managers who have won multiple leagues.
“My view is they need someone who meets the three key principles of the football club, and that is promotion of youth, entertaining football, and to win football matches.”
RANGERS COACH AND FORMER LIVERPOOL MIDFIELDER STEVEN GERRARD
“He’s a serial winner. He’s been sacked at United but he’s won them a couple of trophies.
“He’s done the best job since Alex Ferguson’s left. It seemed they sort of struggled before that but Jose came in and put a couple of trophies in the cabinet, so I don’t think you can criticise him too much.”
FORMER LIVERPOOL DEFENDER JAMIE CARRAGHER
“There have been lots of problems between Jose Mourinho and board and downturn in his relationship with players. It looked like coming to an end before a ball was kicked this season.
“The squad of players isn’t the greatest in United’s history but it shouldn’t be so far behind those challenging for trophies this season.
“It’s been going on for a while. He is the third manager since Sir Alex Ferguson moved on. I never feel the problems at a club are ever as bad as it seems.”
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Martyn Herman and Hugh Lawson