Has the improvement under Guus Hiddink been enough to make a decent attempt at Champions League qualification over the rest of the season? It's not like anyone is any good this year.
Our improvement under Hiddink hasn't been great but it has been steady. I think Champions League is out of the question but if we can salvage a top 7 finish out of the mess that Hiddink inherited then the season wouldn't be a total write-off. A trophy or two wouldn't be harmful either. Obviously our aim should be top 4 but there just aren't enough games left for us to catch up and realistically we can't win all of our games.
Do you think Hiddink has done anything special, or is it more the case that the players are simply relieved not to have to listen to Jose Mourinho anymore?
I don't think Hiddink has done much different, I think he saw the problem with Matic being the only midfielder and how we were struggling to control the midfield so he brought in John Obi Mikel who has been exceptional since Hiddink came in. Matic has been woeful this season and I wouldn't hesitate to sell him come the summer.
What Hiddink has done as well I think is he has given players much more liberties (as Cesc Fabregas has shown) and has put an arm around them and told them to just forget the problems and go play football. He is very much like the Dutch Harry Redknapp, plus the fact he doesn't have the pressure of maintaining a title charge or a realistic top four finish Hiddink can be a lot more experimental with tactics.
How do you think Jose Mourinho will get on as United manager?
Mourinho is the perfect fit for Manchester United. The club will spend whatever he want (he did not have that at Chelsea), he won't be burdened by a sporting director (like at Real Madrid and Chelsea) plus he will have his dream scenario: replicating Sir Alex Ferguson. With full control from top to bottom and the backing for Ferguson it is, sadly, without any doubt that Mourinho will lead Man United to another league title very very soon.
What do you think the reasons for his sacking were? Not why the decision was taken, but what caused the poor form.
The reason behind Mourinho's sacking were partially not his. Firstly the club embarked on a ludicrous post-season tour at the back end of last season after a gruelling league campaign. Then they decided to start pre-season later than other clubs which meant our players were unfit (or at least not as fit as others) which in turn meant fitness wise we were catching up with the other clubs.
The players didn't help Mourinho's cause either with Hazard, Costa and Fabregas coming back from their holidays woefully unfit and overweight. By the time they got back into shape it was late November and Mourinho's die was cast.
Mourinho didn't help himself either, his rigorous training methods to try and catch up on fitness meant our players were often tired for games and his lack of motivation at times meant as soon as we conceded a goal the players never looked like coming back. His agenda against the media and the world did get very irritating to especially as our slump just continued to get worse and worse.
The fact Mourinho kept picking his favourites (Matic and Ivanovic) despite the them being the two worst players for Chelsea this season did show us Mourinho's biggest flaw. When the going gets tough he just does not know how to fix it.
What's your prediction for the game?
A dour pre-agreed 0-0 draw.
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