Now that the reign of David Moyes has come to an unceremonious end, the search will begin for what Utd fans will be hoping is the reincarnation of Alex Ferguson. The question is what managers will be up for the job and which of those is best suited?
I have already written about Moyes getting the sack in a previous post and I have always been a fan of don’t sack your manager unless you can replace him with someone better. The key to that is someone better, not someone who is similar, the person who replaces a manager after a sacking must be an improvement or you are wasting your time.
As a Utd fan I see Jurgen Klopp as being the ideal man to replace David Moyes. For me he has everything needed to succeed at Utd; a history of success, European pedigree, high intensity attacking play and charisma. One of the major criticisms of Moyes (unfairly in my opinion) when he got the job was that he had never won anything at the top level and had no Champions League experience, that cannot be used against Klopp. Not only has he taken his Borussia Dortmund side to a Champions League final, but he also won back to back Bundesliga’s bringing Dortmund back from obscurity to the top of the game.
All sounds great doesn’t it? Sadly Klopp signed a new contract in October (until 2018) and has said that he although interested in Man Utd as a club, still feels too connected to Dortmund, both the city and club. That is the thing with Klopp, he is incredibly loyal to his clubs (another reason why he’d fit at Utd), even staying at Mainz after they got relegated even though he could have done better. He is also wanted by Barcelona but I do think that Man Utd would be a better fit for him, although I think it is unlikely that he will be available.
He is the hot property in European football currently with the magic which he is working at Atletico Madrid. Who would have thought that Atletico could not only be heavy favourites for La Liga at this point of the season but also be playing in a Champions League semi-final? I doubt anybody seen this happening at the start of the season, especially when you consider the budget gap between Atletico and Real and Barca. Even if he doesn’t go on and win a trophy this season he will still be the name linked with every top European job this summer. He also led Atletico to the Europa League a couple of years ago. Simeone is a young exciting manager who has European pedigree and knows how to get the best out of a group of players.
There are a few problems with Simeone though, I believe his English isn’t very good, plus would you currently leave this Atletico side to go to this Utd side? I’m not so sure. That’s the problem, there is no doubting he has major potential to be a top manager (maybe he already is one) but Utd need a man who can come in and make an instant impact and for that to happen I think English would be essential.
I think Simeone is certainly an option because despite the fact that Atletico is currently a better team than Utd, which is unlikely to be the case in the long term. At Atletico he works on a shoe string, at Utd he would be at one of the wealthiest clubs in the world.
One of the most prestigious managers currently working in world football today, if there is a trophy that Ancelotti hasn’t won, then it probably isn’t worth winning (not exactly but you get the idea). He also has pedigree of winning in England when he won the league and cup double at Chelsea. Ancelotti would be the safe pair of hands who could come in and have an impact and settle the ship straight away. He is a winner domestically and in Europe and would fit in perfectly at Utd.
All sounds great again, the only problem being that he is currently the Real Madrid manager, and the only way that he leaves Real Madrid is if they sack him at the end of the season. Now it isn’t beyond Real to sack a manager for only finishing second in the league and getting to a Champions League semi-final (at least) in his first season, but the talk around Spain is that he will get another year, and almost certainly will if he were to win either the league or Champions League. Ancelotti would be a great fit at Utd, but I don’t see it happening because why would he choose to leave this Real for this Utd? Plus I don’t think Real will sack him.
Louis van Gaal
The current Dutch manager’s contract with the country of his birth runs out after the World Cup and is hence the most logical choice to replace Moyes. Much like Ancelotti van Gaal has had a glittering career; the man behind the Ajax Champions League win and that special team, the man who started the Barcelona revolution and the man that made AZ a relevant team again. Yes van Gaal’s CV is very impressive, as is his style of play. You can also guarantee that he will give the youth players a chance (something that has been desperately needed for a number of years) and put a smile back on RVP’s face.
What concerns me about van Gaal is that he is a bit of a lunatic, his personality can rub people up the wrong way and isn’t what I’d call predictable. I personally don’t see him getting on well with Wayne Rooney and his diva antics for instance (maybe that’s a good thing) which isn’t ideal when you just gave him a bumper deal. The other major problem with van Gaal is his age (63) and that he is unlikely to be able to take over until after the World Cup, again not ideal when Utd need a lot of rebuilding. Of the four managers who I consider to be better managers than Moyes, van Gaal is the one which makes the most sense. Not only has he spoken of his desire to manage Manchester United but he also will be unattached very soon.
Why not go back to the honey jar twice? Surely this Everton manager can’t be as bad as the last one…Anyway as I said earlier why replace a manager with one who isn’t better? I’m sure that will get a lot of hate but Martinez (a manager who I have a lot of respect for) has had one good season at Everton, after two or three good seasons at Everton then I will agree he is a better manager. Don’t get me wrong Martinez did an excellent job at Wigan and has had a very good season at Everton this year and he also plays a very attractive style of football, but this is a few years too early for him to get this big step up. I really like Martinez; he is intelligent and is a real football man, but then I would say the exact same thing about Moyes and look how that turned out. Martinez is not the answer currently but he is one for the future, and his future does look very bright.
Very much like Martinez I like Pochettino and think he has great potential and has done an excellent job at Southampton, but again it is too early in his career to get such a major step up. In a few years if he is still producing like he currently is at Southampton then he would maybe have been an option, but not yet.
I really hope he is not the next Utd manager because, although I don’t know, he doesn’t seem like the successful managerial type. If Giggs were to get the job then it would be a decision made with the heart because of what he has meant to the club, rather than what he can do as a manager. I really don’t see the Glazers making this decision because it quite simply doesn’t make sense. If Giggs was to get the job then it would have needed to have been directly after Fergie, in a continuity sort of move. Personally I don’t think there is a hope in hell of Giggs being the next Utd manager.
I have ran through the seven most likely candidates in my opinion, and my personal favourite for the job would be Jurgen Klopp followed by Carlo Ancelotti. The problem of course is that I get the feeling that neither of these men will actually be available during the summer and therefore makes them highly unlikely to join. Therefore I get the feeling that Louis van Gaal will be the man to come in and take the reins because he is readily available. The one thing van Gaal will certainly do is bring in some exciting football and give the academy players a real chance, giving the team a much needed youth revolution. The one thing I don’t see van Gaal doing is staying for more than four or five years, but at the moment maybe that is what the club needs, a manager who won’t be overwhelmed by the job and the players.