Irish legend says Mourinho is a hooligan and Man Utd are a shambles

United decision maker Ed Woodward under-fire
United decision maker Ed Woodward under-fire

Irish soccer legend John Giles has ripped into Manchester United and claimed that everything the club has done since Alex Ferguson's retirement in the summer of 2013 has been "a shambles".

Writing in his column for The Herald, the outspoken Giles pulled few punches as he suggested United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and his fellow decision makers at Old Trafford have fluffed their lines time and again in the last three years.

The messy manner of Louis van Gaal's sacking on Monday had echoes of the equally confused exit of David Moyes as United manager at the end of his first season in charge, with the media breaking the story of the managerial changes before the men at the centre of the storm had been informed.

It has inspired Giles to write a forthright article that suggests Jose Mourinho will need to rebuild United from top to bottom following his high profile appointment as the club's new manager.

"The way they handled Louis van Gaal's exit, in fact the way they have handled everything since Alex Ferguson retired, has been a shambles," wrote Giles.

"From David Moyes' sacking through to the absolute farce which executive vice chairman Ed Woodward has presided over in the transfer market for the last few years, this club has acted without any class.

"I always hear people talking about 'the United way' as if the club has standards which have to be met and perhaps that is true when you're talking about the football but off the field, they have nothing to boast about.

"In fact, 'the United way' is nothing more than a pretence to hide behind, a hypocritical cloak to cover the win-at-all-costs mentality which Ferguson fostered and Jose Mourinho is devoted to.

"They are ready to hire Mourinho, a man with the habits of a hooligan who watched Ferguson develop a style of management which was ruthless and unrepentant and then copied him.

"It is ironic indeed that any of the grandees at Old Trafford should have had reservations about Mourinho. They had no problem when Ferguson was about his work. Not quite like father like son but near enough.

"Van Gaal had to go but there was a right and wrong way to do it. They chose the wrong way, as they did with Moyes."

Giles went on to suggest the much-maligned Woodward now needed to hire the most famous face in modern day coaching in a bid to revive his own flagging reputation, with his close ties with Mourinho's agent Jorge Mendes ensuring the deal was finalised.

"I think Woodward can't make a decision to save his life and I see he is now courting Jorge Mendes, the mega-agent who has far more power now than any one man should have ever have," added Giles.

"Woodward needs Mendes to save his job now and he will rely on him to bring in the players Mourinho wants.

"I'm saddened that football has come to this, even if I accept the reality of it."