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Manchester United sacked Jose Mourinho because of a threat made by players

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In the days since Jose Mourinho's sacking, there have been some fascinating insights into the mood in the Manchester United dressing room. 

It's been widely reported that Paul Pogba actively celebrated the news, not least because of his now-infamous "caption this" social media post of him smirking shortly after the announcement was made. 

The Portuguese has never been universally popular wherever he has managed - though that's not necessarily a criticism given his vast success over the years. 

However, at Old Trafford, his man-management seemed to sink to new lows. 

Pogba was stripped of the vice-captaincy, while Mourinho publicly criticised Luke Shaw, Anthony Martial, and Marcus Rashford during his two-and-a-half years at the club. 

The likes of Eric Bailly and Jesse Lingard have thanked the Special One for helping them in their careers, but the general feeling is that they were in a minority if they genuinely felt that way.   

While it appeared that the 3-1 defeat at Liverpool was the final straw for the board, it has since emerged that a player revolt may have been the reason behind Mourinho's sudden exit. 

It was sudden, too. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's arrival has papered over the cracks, but the fact remains that the Red Devils sacked their manager without a permanent appointment on the cards. 

United players spoke to Woodward 

According to The Mirror, Ed Woodward's hand was forced when up to four members of the squad threatened to hand in transfer requests in January if a change hadn't been made by then. 

Woodward had no choice but to act, as he feared an exodus of key players. 

There are no names given in the report. We do know, though, that numerous squad members are out of contract in the summer, including Ander Herrera, Juan Mata, and Antonio Valencia. 

Mourinho leaves United with them trailing Liverpool by 19 pts

The futures of that group of players is becoming urgent as next month's transfer window beckons. 

Many senior players weren't happy about Mourinho's treatment of £52million midfielder Fred, who has been afforded just six league starts since his arrival. 

Nor were they pleased about his management of Bailly. 

When reports like this emerge, it's easy to see why Paul Merson has hit out at United players for lacking "professional pride". 

Woodward spoke to United players about his decision

“They had the best manager in the world and none of them wanted to run around,” Merson told Sky Sports.

"How them players can go out this weekend and run around like maniacs against Cardiff is embarrassing." 

Yet it just goes to show how toxic the atmosphere has been at Carrington. Sorting that out will be Solskjaer's first task. 

Were United players right to stage a revolt? Have your say in the comments. 

Topics:
Football
Marcus Rashford
Anthony Martial
Jose Mourinho
Paul Pogba
Luke Shaw
Manchester United

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