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Football News: Evaluating Potential Manchester United Managers

Evaluating Potential Manchester United Managers

Manager pickings are pretty slim to be honest, made worse by both our poor recent record putting off managers who don't know what they will be facing if they take on the Manchester United job, and the fact that other top sides are looking for managers this summer.

We have seen Bayern Munich struggling to get a manager and they are easily a better prospect in the short to medium term than us. I like the look of Arne Slot, but he is Liverpool bound and I think he could do very well with them.

Nagelsmann was probably the best option of the more established names that might have been available, but he's committed to the German national team until 2026 now. So we can rule him out.

Managers I really don't want include Southgate who doesn't have a distinct style of play and while he's done well with the national team, my feeling is international football suits him better than the relentless cut and thrust of domestic league football. Tuchel is another that I really don't want, negative tactics and someone who often falls out with people. A good manager no doubt, but he doesn't feel like a natural fit for a Manchester United manager.

There are some managers who might be available who have some good qualities, but I have some sizeable concerns over. De Zerbi has shown some great tactical nous, but Brighton have taken a step back this year, and there is something about the way he comes across that is off putting for me. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it's just a bad vibe.

Inzaghi at Inter has done a great job and should be in line for some of the top jobs, but his style of play is too defensive and reactive for me. Potter is an interesting one, I really liked him at Brighton and personally I still rate him higher than De Zerbi. He seems like the guy who can communicate well, and build a strong team ethic. Tactically, he's very astute as well, but he does have a "damaged goods" air to him after his stint with Chelsea. Personally, I think that is a bit harsh as I think Chelsea at that time were totally unmanageable and every manager would have failed. But until he shows it was a blip and he is capable of succeeding somewhere other than Brighton, then there will be a question mark hanging over him.

Which really leaves those younger, less proven up and coming managers. Bright and exciting, but lacking in experience. They could become the next top manager in the right set up, but they are a bit of a gamble.

Xabi Alonso would have been the dream up and coming manager, but he has chosen to stick with Leverkusen (which personally I think is the best move for him at this point in his career) and he is destined for a top club that is currently competing at the highest level in the next couple of years. Sadly that just isn't us.

Of the other young up and coming managers there are a few I really like. Kieran McKenna I think deserves a special mention, but I do feel it might be a year or two too soon for him. He does need a season or two in the top flight league.

Ruben Amorim is probably the biggest and most successful one of those young managers who might actually be available to us. He probably should be top of the list. Plays great football and has taken his side to a league title, so has the winning pedigree. He's also done it with a club that has a great history but has fallen away in recent times, with him restoring them to glory. Which would be good practice for what would be expected at United.

Thiago Motta is the hipster choice, a very distinctive style of play that is very different to what most teams are doing. It's an attractive and entertaining style of play, and his playing career should put him in good stead for understanding the pressures and expectations at a top club. However, I do feel he is the biggest gamble of the lot purely based on whether his style would translate to the EPL. It could either be dynamite or it would blow up in our faces and I don't think there is any in-between with it. Massive flop, or huge success, 50/50 could go either way. While in terms of the club looking to create their own style and recruit managers who suit it, Motta seems a long way from that, his style is very distinctly his as no one else in Europe is playing that way.

The final two names are plying their trade in the EPL, which means they have a good understanding of the league and what is needed. However, because they are more known by most fans, they will likely come across as less 'sexy' options and for that reason many will turn their noses up at them.

The first is Gary O'Neil, who has shown tactical flexibility and an ability to bring a group of disgruntled players together as a team. He plays with an attacking intent with an entertaining style of football. He is probably the best young British manager (although McKenna is coming up close behind him, just a lack of proving it in the EPL that keeps him in second place).

The final option who I think should be under consideration is Andoni Iraola from Bournemouth. He plays an entertaining style of football that uses quick transitions. Given the squad he has, I don't think there is another manager in the EPL that is over performing with the players they have to the same level that Iraola is managing.

Arguably, only the three promoted clubs (Burnley, Luton and Sheffield United) have worse squads than Bournemouth. Yet Iraola has Bournemouth playing the best football they have ever played and has them currently sitting 10th, above 7 clubs with better squads than Bournemouth.

To get that level of results, with that group of players, while playing such a good, entertaining and attacking style of play has to put him in the conversation as a possible option if we need to find a new manager this summer.

Obviously, all these younger options have the same drawback, a lack of experience. But I think we probably need to be looking at a younger manager who can come in and be part of the longer term project. We won't be winning the title in the next 2-3 seasons, so it makes no sense hiring a manager who looks towards short-term success. Hiring someone like Tuchel is, in my opinion pointless, he isn't going to be able to win anything of note with these players in the next two years, and he won't be here longer than that. He also isn't the kind of manager to put in longer-term plans to set the club up for success over the next 3-5 years.

For me, Amorim should be the clear top choice as he has done what we are looking to do and has won the league title. Iraola would be my second choice, with Gary O'Neil third. I know that might not be the most popular opinion, but I think it's the reality and best way to go if we look to make a change.

Written by Shappy May 11 2024 11:13:18


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