It was just announced that Jose Mourinho has parted ways with Manchester United. Here are 5 replacements that can take over from him next season, including one from within the club’s coaching ranks.
#5 Zinedine Zidane (no club)
The former Real Madrid manager has been widely touted as being the Hollywood choice to replace Jose Mourinho at Manchester United, with certain reports claiming that a deal has already been verbally agreed for him to take over at the end of the season.
With three Champions League Titles on the bounce and a La Liga to boot, Zidane certainly has the pedigree to take on a job the size of Manchester United. But he will need hefty backing in the transfer window to secure the type of players he had at Madrid in order to forge a successful team.
Despite winning 9 trophies in just 3 years of management, Zidane isn’t known as a master tactician and taking on one of the tougher rebuilding jobs in world football today – in a league as competitive as the Premier League – is a steep ask even for him.
#4 Kieran McKenna (First team coach at Manchester United)
Kieran McKenna won the Premier League Northern Title with the club’s U-18 squad last year, getting the best out of young talents like Tahith Chong and Angel Gomes – a feat that did not escape the attention of Jose Mourinho.
When his long time assistant manager Rui Faria called it quits at the end of last season, Kieran McKenna was called up to assist with the first team and can often be spotted on the Manchester United dugout alongside Michael Carrick, as the Portuguese manager’s first point of consultation during games.
McKenna is known for his pro youth policy and attacking philosophy, both coveted qualities at the club, but may only be an outside pick to replace the Portuguese coach at the helm as his lack of managerial experience at the highest level is a major stumbling block.
#3 Eddie Howe (Bournemouth)
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has been touted to climb the next rung in management for a few seasons now, first with Arsenal as the Wenger era limped to an end and now, with Manchester United.
And it’s easy to see why.
The football he has Bournemouth playing often times belies their stature and shoestring budget. A high press coupled with neat passing and off the ball movement means that any ‘big’ team that comes up against Bournemouth is usually in for a toe-to-toe contest. And despite taking losses in many of those matches, Howe’s dedication to his attacking philosophy and individual player coaching has stood his reputation in good stead.
On paper, Howe is a good fit for Manchester United. But his lack of managerial expertise in a big club could be a drawback.
#2 Mauricio Pochettino (Tottenham)
Perhaps the most probable replacement for Jose Mourinho, Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino ticks most of the boxes that Manchester United (ideally) look for in a manager.
He believes in attacking football, giving youth players a proper chance and has shown himself capable of taking on a long term project at Tottenham. While the Manchester United board did reportedly try to hire him after Louis van Gaal departed, he opted to stay at Tottenham and see the project through.
However, not being backed by Daniel Levy in the transfer window preceding this season is said to have loosened Pochettino’s resolve of staying on at the club and he may be more welcome to United’s overtures should Jose Mourinho be sacked.
Who else do you think could take over at Manchester United and lead them back to the promised land? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
#1 Michael Carrick (First team coach at Manchester United)
Rumours abound that Michael Carrick may get the caretaker boss position till the end of the season. If he does get it and does a good job, sticking on might be an option after all.
Manchester United is about giving opportunity to youth players and Carrick could do that and restore a bit of feel good factor around the club before the season is up.