A sixth permanent manager in nine years is what Manchester United are seeking for, and their track record isn’t good.
While the $1 billion in transfers that have yielded FA Cup, League Cup, and Europa League victories are impressive, players alone cannot win trophies, and Manchester United’s managerial appointments during that time have been terrible.
Although there is little chance that United will find a new permanent manager following Ferguson’s departure in 2013, the changing faces of the decision-makers do offer some promise, with Richard Arnold now serving as chief executive and football director John Murtough seeing his power base expand.
Current interim manager Ralf Rangnick is also expected to have a say in the appointment of the new manager, and if he had been involved in the prior negotiations, it’s unlikely that he would have approved the candidacy of two managers who were never qualified to lead Manchester United and two who appeared to be on the downward curve of their careers, evaluations that were proven accurate by their troubles at Old Trafford in recent seasons.
After been selected by a club that boasts of being the biggest in the world, David Moyes and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must have felt like they’d struck it rich when they were given the job. None of their rivals would have made the same choice. Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho were sandwiched between them.
Before being awarded the keys to Old Trafford, both Van Gaal and Mourinho had been fired from their prior club posts, and there was a sense that their greatest days were behind them. As a result of his departure from Manchester United, Van Gaal has returned to international management, and Jose Mourinho has been fired for the third job in succession, this time by Tottenham Hotspur. His current work with Roma means that he’s no longer a candidate for the most prestigious roles.
As a result, despite the fact that players have struggled, they haven’t always received the best coaching. As if you were going to buy a Ferrari and have it serviced at a neighborhood garage.
It’s a mix of players signed by all four permanent managers, a few of those from Ferguson’s era, and academy graduates that make up the current group of players. With no long-term strategy in mind, they’ve been signed and then rarely given the kind of coaching that their opponents have received.
You should turn to the Etihad and Anfield to see the impact of truly exceptional managers. Probably the finest in the business, Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp have taken Manchester City and Liverpool to unprecedented heights, making United an afterthought for both.
It is imperative that United make the right decision this summer as they seek to recruit a new manager. There will be no easy solution, no great names capitalizing on their prior glories, and no short-term remedies in the foreseeable future United must become world-class, but the biggest problem they face is figuring out who is currently world-class.
When Liverpool acted quickly and decisively under Brendan Rodgers to appoint Jurgen Klopp, they had the luxury of a coach who was plainly the perfect match for Anfield and who, with time, might be as close to a guarantee of success as you could get.
For United, who meets these criteria now? Nobody, to be honest with you. Even rewinding to Chelsea’s signing of Thomas Tuchel midway through last season, they missed the apparent hires because of their failings with past managers.
Only Guardiola or Klopp can provide the same level of assurances that Pochettino and ten Hag can. Paris St.great Germain’s players have not been easy for Mauricio Pochettino, and he had a difficult time at Tottenham. Ajax are now second in the Eredivisie, two points behind PSV, and a move to Old Trafford for Ten Hag would be a huge step up for the 52-year-old coach.
However, the language barrier would be difficult if not impossible to overcome, and Roy Keane believes that Diego Simeone is the type of manager that would be best suited to stay at his current club, Atletico Madrid, rather than move on to a new one.
However, given Luis Enrique’s commitment to Spain, United would have to wait until after the World Cup before making any such appointment.
Former Manchester United manager Gary Neville stated last week that the club cannot afford to “pitch an inferior manager against Pep and Klopp,” but at the moment there aren’t many choices available who appear to be on par with them.
Recently, Manchester United has had a dismal record when it comes to hiring new managers. They can’t afford to get it wrong this time, even if there is a sliver of a chance that the person who gets the position will be a gambler.