The Fallen One: But Who Will Replace Moyes at United?

David Moyes has been sacked by Manchester United after an abysmal season which has seen the title-holders drop to 7th in the Premier League. The Scot, supposedly hand-picked by Sir Alex Ferguson, has been in charge since last summer.

Rumours have persisted throughout the season about various hurdles he has had to overcome to avoid being sacked by the Red Devils, however the 2-0 loss to Everton seems to be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Speculation about player-power coming into effect and senior players losing confidence in the management are reportedly huge factors in the decision by the United board. It is also suspected that, with rumours of a huge transfer budget this summer, the board were not sure if Moyes would spend it wisely. He previously spent £27 million on Marouane Fellaini, just days after the Belgian’s £24 million buy-out clause ended.

Where will they turn to now? Ryan Giggs has been placed in temporary charge, but it is hard to see the club employing him as full-time manager because of the risk factor. The shortlist is huge (although one of the favourites, Jurgen Klopp has ruled himself out of the job vacancy), so I looked at three managers who could be the answer to United’s problems:

 

Laurent Blanc

Still young and with a decent managerial record, this man could be a long-term option for United. Being a defender himself in his playing days has rubbed off on his sides. The organisation he demands could be an excellent way of reorganising the English side, especially as it has been their defence that may need the most reshuffling in time for next season.

A major stumbling block for the Frenchman may be his ability to control egos. His time in charge of France was not a good dress rehearsal and his best chance of succeeding at United would be to get the leading players on his side.

Pros

–          Good record in France

–          Young and could be around for the long haul

–          Will rebuild from the back

Cons

–          Not proven in England

–          Very similar to Moyes in style

–          Poor man management in past with big egos

 

Diego Simeone

The Argentine manager has been under the spotlight this season as he bids to take Atletico Madrid to the Champions League and La Liga trophies, in what has been a very impressive season for the ‘other’ club in Madrid.

Whilst a look back at his managerial record shows slow little that would sell him to United fans, the past four years show how, if given the time, he can create a formidable team, and without needing to overspend too. His current record stands at one Europa League, one Copa del Rey, one European Super Cup (in which they beat Chelsea 4-1) and a consistent pressure in La Liga, which they could win for the first time since 1996.

Simeone has shown his style. He has shown that the result is the important thing. Much like Jose Mourinho, he moulds his side to break down other teams and hit them on the break. In a league like the Premiership, it is looked down upon as boring and anti-football, but it works, and that is all United fans want at the moment.

The most exciting thing about Simeone is his thirst for more. He didn’t stop at a Europa League trophy. He didn’t stop at a Copa del Rey victory. No, he actually aspired to take Atletico and blow the Barcelona-Real Madrid duopoly wide open. This could be the kind of thinking that takes Man United back to the top.

Pros

–          Great record at Atletico Madrid

–          Breaks boundaries

–          Could use Atletico links to bring in some big talent

Cons

–          Not proven in England (but his style is)

–          Some poor questionable management

–          Never played in England, may not want to manage there either

 

Louis van Gaal

The Dutchman has been in pole position for the job, even before Moyes’ desparture had been confirmed. So why is he the favourite? His past management has seen him lift seven titles in three different countries and he has been recognised as Dutch Sports Coach of the Year and German Manager of the Year in the past five years.

Many will jump on his back and claim that most of his success came in the 90’s, but it is important to see why that is. Since 2000, he has managed an unfancied AZ Alkmaar side, who he took to league success, been out of work for a couple of years and managed Holland, who haven’t exactly been the worst national team going.

It is better to judge him as a winner. A winner who has sometimes fallen out with players, but a winner nonetheless. His record speaks for itself and, if rumours are to be believed, it could just mean Spurs scramble to find a new boss after banking on van Gaal to replace Tim Sherwood.

Even if he only stays for two years, the steadying of the ship is what the board want, and this man has the experience to do it.

Pros

–          Very successful record

–          Recognised as a top manager in Europe

–          Employed different styles over the years for success

Cons

–          Hard to see him staying long-term

–          Been in international management for the past three years

–          Fallen out with big egos in the past

 

In conclusion, the options to replace Moyes are evident: go for a proven, tactically sound manager, who may just be there to sort out the mess, before a new manager comes in for the long-term or just go for a less proven manager with the opportunity to have a long and successful career and welcome in a new era.

David Moyes was brought in as the latter, but this time experience will probably win. Van Gaal is the bookies favourite to step in, but watch out for Blanc and Simeone in the future. Some may even say that, by getting van Gaal in, Manchester united may be stalling on a long-term manager until Klopp is available. The saga goes on.

 

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