Managers react to Mourinho firing: Van Gaal knows he could face same fate

Photo by John Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images

They might spar on the touchline, but managers have a tight bond.

That was on display after Thursday’s news that Chelsea and Jose Mourinho had parted ways, with Premier League bosses expressing surprise that “The Special One” was gone from Stamford Bridge.

[ MORE: Diskerud responds to Wambach’s “foreigner” comments ]

West Brom boss Tony Pulis called Mourinho “the greatest manager in this league”, while Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe was “disappointed”.

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic said Mourinho was “the best in the business”, while Louis Van Gaal summed up the nature of said business.

From the BBC:

“He is a fantastic manager with a record that nobody has in this football world, but it is still possible.

“The main thing is, first, the results, and secondly the chemistry between the players, the manager and his staff. I cannot say what was happening in Chelsea, but I was very surprised.”

And Van Gaal knows that if he fails to pick up more points from Manchester United, he’ll soon know Mourinho’s fate.

“We have to win because when you lose too much it’s the end of the world for me also.”

Results-based business, no? Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich thinks Chelsea’s table plight is unbearable ignominy in addition to the off-field issues of his manager, but clearly Mourinho’s peers have empathy for the Portuguese manager.