Ryan Giggs has warned Manchester United that sacking Jose Mourinho now would only invite further trauma in the near future – and denied the Class of 92 were applying pressure on the Portuguese by attending Old Trafford on Tuesday.
The club legend said the problems at United are down to inadequate ‘forward planning’ and any appointment at this stage in the season would continue that trend.
‘United are going through a tough time at the moment, but change now and you’ll be in the same position in a year, two years, quite possibly,’ said the Wales manager. ‘Where do they go?
‘I believe he should keep his job. The problem of late has been of forward planning. I mean by sacking the manager and then just going out and getting someone who is available.
‘I don’t want to get into the mistakes that have been made in the past, but that would be the case, unless you can get a manager out of a top job, which is highly unlikely at this stage of the season.
‘If the results and performances continue it will be hard work, but I still believe that you shouldn’t just sack a manager.’
Giggs’s assessment appeared to point a finger of blame at executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, and cast doubt over Zinedine Zidane’s suitability to take charge.
It also ran contrary to the opinion of Paul Scholes, who this week said he was surprised Mourinho had survived the West Ham defeat and that United’s manager is ’embarrassing’ the club with his public rifts.
‘When you lose three games you are under pressure as a manager,’ Giggs added. ‘But when you are managing Manchester United it accentuates because the spotlight is there.
‘Different people, pundits, ex-players, we have different views which, as Jose said, is freedom of speech.’
Giggs watched United’s dour 0-0 draw against Valencia at Old Trafford, alongside David Beckham, Gary Neville and Nicky Butt. But he denied suggestions their presence heightened the scrutiny on Mourinho.
‘I wouldn’t read much into that,’ he said. ‘We know [Valencia owner] Peter Lim well and I’m a United fan. It was a good game – potentially – to watch.’
Giggs accepted United’s players are not performing at peak capacity but added that Sir Alex Ferguson experienced fraught periods at Old Trafford initially so Mourinho ought to get more time.
‘Can we say any player is playing to their full potential? No, they aren’t,’ said Giggs. ‘That’s something they need to address, both individually and collectively.
‘Sir Alex in his first couple of years struggled as well. It’s easy to say, “Look at what Sir Alex did” – and he obviously did an amazing job managing all those different personalities and characters. But it’s not easy, especially when you are at United.’