5 Leading Contenders to Replace David Moyes as Manager of Manchester United

The best-kept secret in English football is out. David Moyes has been sacked and will no longer be forced to prowl the Old Trafford touchline, scowling and wincing in equal measure, as Manchester United’s season goes down the proverbial drain.

As with Sir Alex this time twelve months ago, soccer moves on relentlessly. Thoughts must now turn to Moyes’ inevitable successor at the Theatre of Dreams.

Here we will look at the runners and riders for the biggest job in English football and consider the criteria Manchester United fans would like the successful candidate to meet.

According to various media outlets and fan-blogs, to become the next manager of Manchester United he/she must;

1. Possess a proven track record in Europe
2. Command the respect of the players
3. Know the European transfer market and have contacts across the continent.
4. Have a strong emotional connection to the club, possibly through time as a player.
5. Look to develop players through the United youth system.
6. Sign the very best young talent in Europe.
7. Be in the market to compete for elite players.
8. Play expansive, high-tempo, attacking football.
9. Have a history of winning trophies.
10. Have worked at a big European club.

The bookies are suggesting some of the usual candidates. Let’s see how the top 5 measure up to the above criteria.


Louis Van Gaal

The current favorite and understandably so. The old-campaigner will lead the Dutch national team in Brazil but would offer a safe pair of hands and would probably halt any further decline at Old Trafford. At 62 he is by no means a long-term solution but his track record speaks for itself. He’s worked at three of the biggest clubs in Europe, winning the league at each. Would he bring back the football so desired by the United faithful? Probably not, though he would make them hard to beat – an improvement on Moyes, and would not tolerate the insipid displays from Young, Nani et al. Going forward, he will not reshape Manchester United and lead them for another decade or more.

VERDICT: If the Glazers want a short-term fix, they could do much worse than Van Gaal.


Jurgen Klopp

The thinking-man’s choice. Klopp has proved something of a maverick during his six-year spell at Borussia Dortmund. He speaks good English, plays a vibrant, highly energetic brand of football and has shown himself to be quite adept in the transfer market. Unearthing gems like Robert Lewandowski, Ilkay Gundogan, Mats Hummels and Shinji Kagawa suggest he works well when the purse strings are tight. Like Moyes at Everton, Klopp accepts that Dortmund are a ‘selling club.’ Can he bring his transfer nous to a club that would not accept that moniker under any circumstances? In support, Klopp regularly bloods young talent and possesses experience at the very top of the European tree. His success in recent years can be seen as over achievement considering the resources at his disposal and having the Bayern behemoth for ‘noisy neighbors.’

VERDICT: Klopp would be a fine choice. But he ruled himself out of the job today.


Ryan Giggs

The sentimental choice. The heart says ‘Yes!’ but the head screams ‘No!’ All fans prefer their manager to have a strong bond with their club, and no bond could be stronger than Giggs and United. At time of writing, the current interim manager of Manchester United knows the club; its history and traditions and would instantly command the respect of the dressing room.  Despite all this, to risk a multi-million pound business in the hands of an unknown quantity with no managerial experience at any level would be fool-hardy. As much as Manchester United fans would will him (and his Class of 92’ coaching team) to succeed, facts generally speak for themselves. The most successful coaches in the Premier League era – Wenger, Ferguson, Mourinho, Benitez – and the ‘up and comers’ like Rodgers and Martinez all hardly had playing careers to shout about. Giggs must earn his stripes lower down the leagues if he is to end up in the Old Trafford dugout

VERDICT: Come back and apply in 5-10 years. Alternatively take the global sporting brand ambassador job on offer


Diego Simeone

A fascinating character who is already achieving incredible things in Spain this season. His tenure at Atletico Madrid has seen European and domestic success without spending huge amounts of cash. To challenge and potentially disrupt the Barca-Real duopoly shows that in football, even today, money is not everything. His strong personality, bullish qualities, and emphasis on a high pressing, intense style of play could be grafted onto the United framework. Like Klopp, Simeone has enjoyed lower expectations, often competing as the under-dog in terms of finances and the ability to attract the best players. Could he adapt to the pressures of United? He was formed a formidable unit of unheralded Spanish players, and proven able to cope with the departures of Aguero, Falcao and De Gea and come out stronger. Language may be an issue, plus his knowledge and understanding of the Premier League. Atletico is very much his club, playing in his image. The question has to be, could Simeone make a player out of Tom Cleverley?

VERDICT: A bit of a risk. Could be brilliant, could be a dangerous experiment.


Sir Alex Ferguson

Football historians will know that when Sir Matt Busby retired, his handpicked replacement, Wilf McGuiness barely lasted a season, with Sir Matt returning in an interim capacity to help steady the ship. Could the same happen again? Ferguson remains close to the club as a director and is probably fit and healthy enough to work for at least one season. However, bringing back Sir Alex would be a step in the wrong direction. It would prevent any serious long-term planning taking place this summer and would continue to place his eventual successor under a huge Ferguson shaped cloud. United must move on from their most successful ever manager sooner or later and now is the time to do it. In addition, Ferguson would not want to harm his legacy any more than he already has by, like Busby, hand-picking Moyes as his successor. Though many fans will long for the security of Ferguson’s reign, United will never return to the top if they are looking back as opposed to forwards.

VERDICT: That way madness lies.


Klopp would be best choice, despite distancing himself from the job in early reports. What are your thoughts?

34 thoughts on “5 Leading Contenders to Replace David Moyes as Manager of Manchester United”

      1. There is a better job security at OT than at Bernabeu. It might sound ironic but players will respect Ancelotti and the fans will be patient.
        Madrid’s board is notorious for their impatience.

  1. I really hope Klopp doesn’t leave Dortmund because that would really mean Munchen would be the only team in Germany.

  2. I will also take issue with the idea that Van Gaal at 62 “is by no means a long-term solution”. At 62 I just started to hit my stride! 😉

  3. I think the ideal situation would be to have van Gaal come in for a few seasons (3-4) then bring in Klopp. Of course, there are several problems with that, one of them being the fact that some other team will have come in for Klopp by that time.

    I think it’s unlikely that United will also be willing to pay the release for another manager after having to already pay off moyes to leave. Remember, this is not chelski or city, there is still the matter of the massive debt. There is also the fact that the team desperately NEEDS to be revamped and money needs to be spent on bringing in new players.

    1. The lawyers are still talking apparently. Reports mentioned that the severance has not been agreed. Most likely he’ll get 1 year salary instead of the remaining 5 years due to the benchmark not being met.
      Glazers are astute businessmen. I am sure they’ll consider cost vs benefit scenarios for different manager.

  4. First,this is a sad day, he should have been given at least one more year,that said though nothing is more dangerous than a wonnded ego and old bacon faces ego won’t allow him to pass up this opputunity to save stretford,so he steps in in a interim capacity picks the next chosen one the cycle continues and in three years we’re once again singing THE DAY WE PUT UNITED DOWN AND ALL THE PEOPLE WERE SINGING.

  5. 1 & 10 are not necessary and 9 should not be a deal-breaker. Just look at Rogers. It’s about having a dogged faith in a tangible footballing philosophy or having one – period, punching above one’s weight in his previous job, and most importantly – having a plan. Moyes had none of these.

      1. Rodgers has been a very lucky manager. Other than some vague notion of turning Liverpool into Barcelona, he really has had no plan. He stumbled on his best formation. It took him a long time to get the best out of Gerrard. His record in the transfer market is patchy at best. His major achievement has been his development of Sterling, and saving Hendersons career.

  6. Klopp only said he has a contract at Dortmund that he does not want to break. However, if United are really interested and willing to pay Dortmund compensation and they agree then he could be available.

    The problem with the Van Gaal appointment is that it will take him time to get used to the EPL. He will also bring in new players from abroad and they too will need time to get used to the league. Van Gaal will not be a quick fix. The same with Klopp or any manager new to the EPL. Ancelotti is someone that should be on the list and he has managed in the EPL before.

  7. I’m going to miss David Moyes. Knowing that United were beatable AT HOME and away did a lot to relieve stress. I was so much more relaxed this season.

  8. I love all of these choices but one. SAF. The rest of the league does not want that. Giggs? Hilarious. Please do.
    Van Gaal? yeah United were worried about What Mourinho might say or do and they want Van Gaal? Good. Get him.
    Simeone doesn’t speak English. Is Rooney going to learn Spanish? No.
    Klopp – not going to leave for United this summer. maybe in 4 years but not now.

    Should have given it to Jose. You blew it. He wont ever go there now. Not after he has given CFC the verbal BJ when appointed

  9. Jurgen Klopp is the best man for manchester united. see what he had done for de past six years,i belive united should go in for him because he is the choosen and right one for our team.united forever united till we die

    1. They have a lot of moves to make. I think a real wheeler-dealer is what they need. Someone with a cockney accent and droopy jowls comes to mind.

  10. 1. Possess a proven track record in Europe
    2. Command the respect of the players
    3. Know the European transfer market and have contacts across the continent.
    4. Have a strong emotional connection to the club, possibly through time as a player.
    5. Look to develop players through the United youth system.
    6. Sign the very best young talent in Europe.
    7. Be in the market to compete for elite players.
    8. Play expansive, high-tempo, attacking football.
    9. Have a history of winning trophies.
    10. Have worked at a big European club.

    So…Sir Alex is coming back?!

    My choice is Klopp but dedicated to BVB, Simone my second choice comes from Atleti, he dedicated as well, only way to separate him from Atleti is the mighty euro.

    For the time being, it may Van Gaal. Mou is too unpredictable, Pep plays tiki-tak football, ugly. So Van Gaal for now until Klopp becomes available.

  11. Why all the excitement over Klopp? He’s never managed outside Germany and Dortmund is a distant second to Bayern. He could be German Moyes. Out of his depth. Better to go with a proven top level manager. I’ll say it again. Ancelotti is the man they should go for.

    1. WHY would Ancelotti leave Madrid? Hes on the verge of bringing home La Decima. If not this year probably next.
      Its like walking away from Megan Fox for an emotionally unstable female.

      1. I’ve been that guy:)

        You are always one bad game from the sack at Real Madrid. It’s a stretch but he has unfinished business in England after getting the boot from the Oligarch.

        My point is who should they get, not who they will get.

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