There’s little breathing room left for Manchester United manager David Moyes. The fans and press have turned against him, and now seemingly there are people within the Manchester United squad who are wanting the boss to leave.
After the UEFA Champions League last 16-first leg match between Manchester United and Olympiacos, there was an outburst by the United fans. Even the believers of The Chosen One have questioned the ability of the Manchester United gaffer. The team’s fall from Champions to seventh place also-rans has been nothing short of a disaster for a team of United’s calibre, with many questioning Moyes, his players and the club’s transfer activities.
There have been rumors that Moyes might be sacked if he doesn’t prove his worth in the next 12 matches. So that begs the question, who should or could replace the Scotsman in the prestigious role if and when he is sacked?
World Soccer Talk looks at some of the managers who could be well suited to take charge at the North West club.
Louis Van Gaal
Louis Van Gaal is the current Dutch National Team manager but will be stepping down from his role after the World Cup. It has been rumored that he might be the one to take over from Tim Sherwood after the tournament in Brazil this summer, but the lure of Old Trafford might beat White Hart Lane.
Prior to the national post, he was a coach at Ajax, Barcelona, AZ Alkmaar and Bayern Munich. He won three league titles, a UEFA Cup and a Champions League trophy with Ajax, two league titles and a Spanish cup when he was posted to Barcelona, but most impressively, he made AZ, a mid to lower league Dutch club, league champions in 2008-09. This led to the famous Allianz Arena, where he won the league and the cup double and took the German side to the Champions League final.
He’s an advocate of total football, as his sides are a joy to watch. The Spurs fans would undoubtedly want him in charge at White Hart Lane, but Louis van Gaal’s successful record should ensure Manchester United fans purr at his potential appointment.
Meanwhile, the latest rumors are that Manchester United are interested in a double team of Louis Van Gaal and Frank de Boer as joint-managers if they sack Moyes.
A bit of a gamble this one, but Diego Simeone certainly deserves mention thanks to what he has been doing at Atletico Madrid. This season, Simeone has somehow kept his side in the title race, currently sitting three points behind Real Madrid and joint second with Barcelona, putting aside the fraction of the financial muscle and grandeur that Barcelona and Real Madrid possess.
He went to three FIFA World Cups (1994, 1998 and 2002), and was capped for Argentina over 100 times. Naturally, his managerial career started in South America, having held the top seat at Racing, Estudiantes, River Plate, San Lorenzo and Catania.
He has been in the current La Liga since 2011, having been in charge of Atletico for 129 matches, winning 84. His 65% win percentage looks impressive, even if it is La Liga, and one that United could consider.
As Juventus manager, this might be a difficult appointment to pursue, but one that might be worthwhile. Despite their poor display in the group stages of the Champions League, Antonio Conte is turning Juventus into the formidable side they once were.
Having spent a lot of time bouncing between Serie A and Serie B during his managerial career, Conte was given his big club chance in May 2011. He won the league at his first attempt, and again the following season; this time with more points Juventus had ever previously received.
He has been compared to Jose Mourinho, with his tactical astuteness and ability to bring players together. However, he differs significantly compared to the playing philosophy of the Chelsea boss. Jose seems to have a tendency to be assured and conservative, whereas Conte is all about attacking football. This is best demonstrated by Vidal and Vucinic being Juve’s top scorers in 2012-13. Maybe an attacking Mourinho-type manager is what United need?
The current Italian national manager, who guided Gli Azzuri to the Euro 2012 final, putting Italy back on the international map, is an achiever on the international stage, and his club record isn’t too shabby either.
Prandelli has been a manager at several Italian clubs (with varying lengths and success) including Atalanta, Lecca, Verona, Venezia, Parma and Roma, but his best success came at Fiorentina. Cesare Prandelli advanced the Viola club from relegation candidates to fourth place in the league, turning them into a UEFA Champions League side.
Unfortunately, Fiorentina were caught up in the match fixing scandal that resulted in their Champions League spot being revoked and a deduction of 15 points the following season. Amazingly the points deduction did not prevent Prandelli from leading his side to a sixth place finish in the league (level points with fifth place). Maybe a move back into club management is in order for Prandelli?
Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp would be a perfect appointment by United. His record is hugely impressive with the black and yellows having won two Bundesliga titles (2011 and 2012), and a variety of other cups (DFL-Supercup twice and DFB-Pokal).
He was awarded the German Football Manager of the Year in 2011 and 2012, and even took Dortmund to the Champions League final in 2013. That looks an incredible achievement in itself when you consider the group of death they got through without losing a game. Rather, they topped the group with some extraordinary performances against Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid side.
Under Klopp, Dortmund beat Real Madrid again in the semi-finals, but lost to an 89th minute Robben goal in the final. With Dortmund consistently selling their top players, which may involve IIkay Gundogan and Marco Reus to Manchester United, Klopp may consider looking for a new challenge, and United would fit the bill perfectly.
As a club manager, he hasn’t had great success as other candidates on this list. He got Swindon Town promoted to the Premier League, Chelsea to the FA Cup final, Tottenham to a League Cup final and England to the World Cup.
But Hoddle looks to have an aspiration and tendency to develop young talent, as displayed by his active involvement with his academy and his eagerness to get the England U-21 job. Young players are what exactly Manchester United has right now, with the likes of David de Gea, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Adnan Januzaj, Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck.
Furthermore, Hoddle specialies in flowing attacking soccer, and would most certainly get the best out of Juan Mata, Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney. This idea might be out of the box, but could it work?
Sir Alex Ferguson
One doesn’t need to explain why bringing Sir Alex Ferguson would work for the betterment of Manchester United, but should Fergie return to save the day? Manchester United clearly lost ~15 points this season without him as boss. His reinstatement could return them to glory.