The question of who the next Manchester United manager will be is one on the lips of each and every one of the club’s fans. After the promise of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign and the high expectations coming into this campaign, the Red Devils’2021/22 season has been an immense letdown. Where many thought a Premier League title was by no means out of the question, United now find themselves battling for a position in the top four with interim manager Ralf Rangnick only set to be at the helm until the summer. This leaves the board at Old Trafford with a big task to find their next manager, and it is a decision they simply have to get right.
Manchester United Manager Search Gathers Speed
Four Strong Candidates but the Right One Must Be Chosen
With Rangnick only in charge until the end of the season before he moves to a role further behind the scenes, the Manchester club are looking into who their next boss could be, and there are four big names currently under consideration, according to David Ornstein of The Athletic.
A man who has been linked with the Theatre of Dreams since before Solskjaer even joined the club in a managerial capacity, Maurizio Pochettino is once again an option as the next United head coach. It is no doubt that his style of football would be welcome among fans, but his ability to succeed on the biggest of stages is yet to be proven. This season with Paris Saint-Germain, the Argentine boss was expected to comfortably win Ligue 1, with access to a collection of the world’s best footballers, but they have not been as dominant as many predicted. Pochettino’s side have won 16 of their 22 matches so far, which is a good record, but nothing especially impressive in a league which they usually dominate anyway.
Ajax manager Erik ten Hag is another man who could fill the position at United. The football he is able to get his teams playing is very fluid and attacking, something the Old Trafford faithful greatly appreciate, and this season he has seen his side concede just five league goals in their twenty games so far while also scoring 61 in the same time period. This is by far the best record of any team in the Eredivisie and demonstrates his managerial strengths. His appointment could well see the Red Devils’ defensive issues sorted, although the Premier League is quite the step up from the Netherlands’ top flight. However, the United board may see his lack of experience with a European powerhouse or a club in the continent’s strongest five leagues as a reason to approach him cautiously, especially as history at the top of the game is something the Manchester club’s board is specifically looking for.
Elsewhere, former Spain and Barcelona manager Luis Enrique is another potential managerial appointment for the Red Devils. His three years and 181 matches with Spanish giants saw him achieve a record of 2.41 points per game while also winning the Spanish Cup on three occasions, La Liga twice, and even earning a Champions League trophy in 2015. The 51-year-old is the same age as Ten Hag but already has much more experience, including a World’s Best Club Coach award.
The other name of interest at the Theatre of Dreams is Julen Lopetegui. Despite failing to succeed when given an opportunity with Real Madrid, the Spaniard has been able to take Sevilla to new heights this campaign, being second place and only four points off top. Should they continue in this position, it would be their joint-best league finish ever having last been runners up in La Liga in 1957.