Man United too quick to sack Jose Mourinho, says Marouane Fellaini

Fellaini critical of Man Utd youngsters for amount of time they spend on social media in wide ranging interview

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 04:  Jose Mourinho manager of Manchester United stands alongside his substitute Marouane Fellaini of Manchester United during
Image: Jose Mourinho needed 'more than two years', says Marouane Fellaini

Marouane Fellaini believes Manchester United were too quick to sack Jose Mourinho and criticised the club’s quick turnaround in firing and hiring managers.

The Belgian spent five-and-a-half years at United, during which time he played under four different managers, before leaving Old Trafford in January for Shandong Luneng in the Chinese Super League. Fellaini won the EFL Cup and Europa League under Mourinho in 2017 but the Portuguese was sacked in December last year after a poor run of results.

However, United's problems have not settled with Mourinho's departure - with successor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer presiding over the club's worst start to a season for 30 years this term - and Fellaini believes the former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss should have been given more time.

Marouane Fellaini celebrates with Jose Mourinho
Image: Fellaini won the EFL Cup and Europa League under Mourinho

"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. Ok, 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.

"For me, yes [United were too hasty in sacking Mourinho] 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."

Louis van Gaal celebrates with Marouane Fellaini after Manchester United's win over Liverpool at Anfield, March 2015
Image: Louis van Gaal celebrates with Fellaini after beating Liverpool in 2015

The 31-year-old played under David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Mourinho and, briefly, Solskjaer during his time at Old Trafford, winning the FA Cup under the Dutchman, and he says none of those coaches were given enough time in the role by the club.

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"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.

Image: David Moyes signed Fellaini for Manchester United

"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."

Fellaini was critical of some of the younger players at United for the time they spent on social media and reckons Solskjaer will struggle to be competitive by simply relying on youngsters after deciding to move on more experienced players such as himself, Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez.

"You see some players go straight into the dressing room after games and go straight onto social media," he added. "It's wrong. Now you have a new manager who wanted young players and they will be up and down, up and down; that's football, that's what happens with young players.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer during Manchester United vs Arsenal at Old Trafford
Image: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced Mourinho at Manchester United

"Of course you can't play with just young players, you need a mix. To win games, to win titles, to win big games you need experience. Of course you can win with young players, but not every game."

Fellaini added: "The players who left are players of experience. So the coach decided he didn't need them - that's the choice of the coach. He decided he didn't need Sanchez or Lukaku. That's his problem. He has his own players now, so he has to deal with it.

"He [Solskjaer] didn't have a conversation with me if I will play or not. I signed a new contract for two years, one of the best managers in the world wanted me to stay. But after that, when a new manager comes and I'm not in his plans, of course it was time for me to leave and I don't regret it at all."

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