Manchester United have reportedly contacted former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane on Cristiano Ronaldo’s request. The Red Devils host Atalanta on Wednesday evening at the Old Trafford following their dreadful loss against Leicester City in the Premier League.
Zinedine Zidane Manchester United Appointment Could Rescue Red Devils
Is Zidane the Ideal Man to Take United Forward?
United have three points from two games in the Champions League group stage at the moment after losing their opening fixture to Young Boys and sealing a late win against Villarreal through a Cristiano Ronaldo goal.
It’s a must-win for Manchester United today, especially for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer whose future at the club looks uncertain after a poor start to the season.
If Solskjaer is shown the exit door mid-season, the first name on the list of replacements is Zinedine Zidane. The French manager stepped down from his managerial position at Real Madrid last season after a trophyless campaign and is now a free agent.
Manchester United need a serial winner with immense tactical knowledge to lead the club forward. While Zinedine Zidane has been shortlisted to replace Ole, does the Frenchman fit the bill?
Despite his rather short managerial career, Zinedine Zidane has won 11 trophies with Real Madrid including the famous Champions League three-peat – a feat that has never been achieved before in the history of the competition.
During his first managerial stint at the Spanish capital, Zidane displayed phenomenal man-management skills as he was able to manage a dressing room filled with superstars such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Sergio Ramos etc. In his first stint, the Frenchman knew exactly how and when to use every player in his squad to get the best out of them and for the team.
While Zinedine Zidane has great man-management skills, he is also tactically astute. For example, in his first three years at Real Madrid, he played counter-attacking football to get the best out of Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal-scoring abilities.
When Zidane returned for a second time post-Ronaldo era, the Frenchman prioritised building an impenetrable defence. In the 2019/20 La Liga season, Real Madrid were crowned champions of Spain for a record 34th time while also breaking the record for the least number of goals conceded in a season. Since Zidane no longer had Ronaldo on his side, the Frenchman devised a tactical layout that focused on maintaining a strong defensive shape rather than attacking freely.
Another notable quality of Zinedine Zidane in the 2019-20 La Liga season, was his ability to derive goals from every player. Real Madrid finished the season as champions of Spain with 21 different goal scorers in the league, establishing a new record.
In his final season at the Spanish capital, Real Madrid got close to winning La Liga despite suffering over 60+ injuries in the season. The title race ran down to the wire on the final matchday which saw Atletico Madrid being crowned as champions. Los Blancos also reached the semi-final of the Champions League despite the long list of injuries at the club.
The 49-year-old is a proven serial winner and is tactically astute and versatile. Zinedine Zidane does not have a fixed ideology of football but rather he builds a system according to the squad he has at his disposal.
At Manchester United, he would reunite with Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphael Varane, two stalwarts who were key players during his managerial tenure with Real Madrid. Zinedine Zidane also has a great eye for talent and improving youngsters. The likes of Mason Greenwood and Jadon Sancho could flourish under the Frenchman.
Apart from his tactical qualities, Zinedine Zidane demands respect in a dressing room and his arrival could further discipline Manchester United’s squad. Players like Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba admire Zidane and would be willing to continue at the club for a longer period if the Frenchman is appointed.
It’s been four seasons without a trophy for the Red Devils, the appointment of Zinedine Zidane as Manchester United manager could be enough to change that.