The Next United Manager

30 Mar

I think the vast majority of fans would want Fergie to stay on until he decides the day, after his achievements and the pleasure he has given United fans over the years this should be a given. However I often get asked who I think the next United manager will be and who I would like. The next United manager I expect will be Jose Mourinho I believe the special one has told friends in the media of his desire to take charge of United but would prefer not to take on the position immediately after Fergie calls it a day. However I doubt he would turn the opportunity down if offered the position.  He fulfills much of the criteria he is a proven winner, certainly in the top 3 best managers in the world, and has experience of managing big clubs and some of the biggest and best players in the world. After Busby resigned United went through a number of different managers but none of them before Fergie had a proven winning record of trophies Dave Sexton won the FA Cup and Cup Winners Cup with Chelsea was the most successful and achieved those 6 years before joining United.

Since then United have grown in to one of the biggest and most successful clubs in the world with the club embracing the globalised era. When Fergie first joined United he was known to go up to players and say, “big place this”, the club nowadays has grown out of all recognition, as have the expectations. I think Fergie was being serious when he said he would struggle taking charge of the club for the first time today. The criteria where the special one doesn’t fit the requirements are the brand of football he has a history of playing, his short-term outlook where he builds clubs through buying players rather than think long-term and develop youth which has been a critical factor of United’s ethos over the years. He also has tended to fall out with the owners of most of his previous clubs. Moreover the way he conducts himself as a man and a representative of his club isn’t the United way. I will not always defend some of the things Fergie does but he has enormous respect in the game, I cannot say the same thing about the so-called special one who I feel would embarrass the club and fans and probably create wider divisions amongst fans.

You may have guessed Jose would not be my choise, ideally I would go for Pep who I think carries himself well, his teams play great football and encourages youth, people say why would he leave Barca but managers rarely stay at clubs any length of time nowadays. Although the negatives to his appointment are considerable, his lack of experience he has only managed Barca and their B team and the duties of a coach at Barca are limited compared to those as a United manager.  He also took over a great team so how would he cope building one or when things go wrong, how would he cope with his lack of knowledge of the premiership and the media etc.

The modern-day thinking is that managers struggle to motivate players if they stay at a club any length of time as the players have heard it all before so many times. It is interesting to see how Fergie keeps motivating players such as when we were losing at HT to Blackpool many thought Fergie  would let  rip with the hairdryer instead he said to the players you’ve got us in to this mess how are you going to get us out of it. He went to each player for how they were going to change the game in favour of United and wouldn’t move on until he was satisfied with each answer. It is this desire to win and the ability to change tactics and keep players motivated which makes Fergie so rare.  While I like and rate the likes of Moyes it would be difficult to believe he has the drive or ability to turn players in to winners or keep that desire going inside players. Harry Redknapp is a good manager but in 30 years of management he has won one major trophy the FA cup. There are lots of good managers but very few winners.

I doubt the next United manager will last more than 5 years at best, the pressure will be considerable and it will be interesting to see the funds which are made available. Fergie has obviously made it a priority he does not want to be remembered in the way that Busby was by leaving the next United manager with an ageing team and little in terms of youth coming through the club. Fergie will leave the next United manager some of the best young talent in the world and the manager will not face power struggles with senoir players in the way post Busby managers did or recent Chelsea managers have.

I think tradition is important, things usually become traditions if they have benefits, United should always play great attacking football, they should encourage youth and they should be the leaders on how to conduct themselves on and off the field, role models. The manager is obviously a critical figure in achieving or ignoring these objectives!

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9 Responses to “The Next United Manager”

  1. earthsportsnews March 30, 2012 at 10:20 pm #

    Interesting piece. I wonder how many of Fergie’s ex players turned managers would fancy themselves to take over at United. I can’t see Steve Bruce or Paul Ince (who comes with Iniesta) sitting in the hotseat, but the likes of Ole Solksjaer is another option who would be an instant hit with all fans, and brings some good experience of winning with Molde, as well as a complete knowledge of the inner workings of the club, having played and managed the Reserves. Not sure if he fancies himself really but he gets my vote.

    • themancunianred March 30, 2012 at 10:32 pm #

      I would love Ole one day but I think he is close to a decade off becoming a serious option. None of the ex United players would be a serious option some have become goodish managers but have yet to demonstrate that they could manage United and do a top class job.

  2. Steve Marsh March 31, 2012 at 9:16 am #

    Really good article again..

    However Im in agreement with the opinion of Ole. Something at the back of mind just tells me that Ole may well be Fergie’s choice of successor too. He appointed him youth team coach and very quickley after that the reserve team coach. It would not surprise me if Fergie sent Ole to Molde with a view to cutting his teeth in first team management (will also get a shot in europe this year)

    If you look at Fergie’s career its very similar, never the greatest player but had an eye for goal. Entered management at an early age (33 for SAF and only 37 when he went to Aberdeen). Cut his teeth in a distinctly average league but managed to break the hold the top sides had on the title (Norway, molde – Scotland, aberdeen all look very similar).

    Ole is an astute guy watches the game intently and understands games as they are unfolding (many experts accredit his ability to come off the bench and score goals to this) and its this ability which stands him in good stead as a manager. He above anyone else just fits for me, knows United, has a certain air of authority that will get respect, will play our way and as you say about Jose, will not embaras us.

    • themancunianred March 31, 2012 at 10:23 am #

      Thanks Steve, but when Fergie was managing in Scotland he also won a major European trophy and overturned the two Glassgow giants and the differences between England and Scotland wasn’t that great as Scots players dominated the English game. And I cannot see Fergie sending Ole anywhere, he is his own man and will decide his future. It was a brave move, Molde hadn’t had a history of winning trophies and he has done an excellent job so far. However lots of managers have a few excellent seasons but there are so many different factors in managment that something can happen and change that. That is why experience is critical as the manager is proven in various different situations. I still think Keane’s 1st season in managment turning Sunderland from a team fighting relegation to promotion to the premiership one of the best achievements in managment.

      However he got found out as his career faced different challenges. Norway isn’t one of the top leagues and he has to prove himself in a top league, probably winning trophies with a team before he will be considered. I would love to see Ole as United manager I have tremendous respect for him as a person and as a ex United player.

  3. Trevor Nulty March 31, 2012 at 10:16 am #

    David Moyes for me, has done unbelievable job at Everton with no resources, he has consistently brought players through too. He has the temperment to handle the dressing room, fergie trusts him to carry the club forward in the right manner.. People will say Everton are this and htat etc but look at the players he has bought, very few were not a success, so I would go for him…

    • themancunianred March 31, 2012 at 10:28 am #

      Fair enough and I like him but the winning mentality is special and very very rare you have to tranfer it to the players and Moyes has yet to prove he has that, few do.

  4. dritchie April 1, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    Gaffer!!! It wld and should be Mou!!! Great Post!!! United thick and thru….

  5. Michael Mannings (RedDevil2788) April 8, 2012 at 12:51 am #

    What do you think about Giggs taking over?

    The fact that he’s still playing shows he has that drive and his winning mentality is beyond question.

    He has played since the early 90s and has shown he has the capability to adapt and change as a player to fit in with the modern game. One of Fergie’s greatest abilities has been to adapt to the modern mindset of players, whilst maintaining old school principles.

    He loves the club and has been part of the club long enough to know how it works.

    The big negative everyone will mention is experience, but then you have to look at Guardiola who went straight from playing to managing one of the world’s biggest clubs. I often think players who have played at the top and then move down to begin management always face difficulties because there is such a big difference in resources and expectations. Keane has said how it was hard for him to go from a mentality of win every game, to a mindset of survival. It’s also why I wouldn’t want Moyes in charge. He has done an unbelievable job at Everton but I think the transition to United would be too big.

    Another option, Gary Neville, again, his love for the club and winning mentality are in no doubt, whilst his punditry on Sky shows he has expert tactical knowledge.

    • themancunianred April 8, 2012 at 6:23 pm #

      Giggs has no experience so I wouldn’t give him any chance, a lad at the game today thinks Giggs may be in with a shout like you. Managing and playing are very difficult, it may occassionally work such as Pep at Barca, Dalglish at Liverpool but I think the best managers tend to have come up against similar experiences in the past and know what to do. I do think it is easier managing Barca he took over a great team and the structure of managment is different. Fergie is in control of every aspect of the club we have no structure in place so that a manager will only do X and Y. The manager will have control of all aspects of the club and that is monumental.

      And when Dalglish did it in the 80s the game wasn’t global and he tended to just keep things ticking over as they had before but when he had to change a club ir Newcastle he was left clueless. Keane remember did brilliantly in his 1st season and I mean brilliantly but struggled when things didn’t go his way, he didn’t know what to do. Managment requires probably a 100 decisions a day if you get most right you are doing well, but you are really only judged a success or failure by longevity of your career. I like Pep, I love his brand of football but I admit he didn’t start it and took over a club at their peak, he has only had to tweak. He may do nothing after leaving Barca.

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