David Moyes is gone – but who will be the next Manchester United manager?
DAVID Moyes paid the price for a poor first season in charge of Manchester United on Monday, losing his job after less than a year at Old Trafford.
Earlier in the season, I wrote in this very column that United should stick with Moyes, even if he failed to secure them Champions League football.
It’s a stance I stand by. Given time, I’m sure that the Scot would have turned things around and been a success.
Sadly, time is something that football clubs cannot afford to give managers these days. There are plenty of comparisons being made to Sir Alex Ferguson’s slow start at Old Trafford, but a lot has changed in 30 years.
Back then, most of a club’s revenue came from gate receipts, so United’s fanbase gave them a financial advantage every year. Now, the financial penalties for failure are far more marked.
Miss out on the Champions League and you do not get a share of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
It’s not only that though. Last season, United earned £15million in prize money for winning the Premier League. This year, if they finish seventh, as appears likely, they will earn slightly more than they did last year – but almost £7million less than the champions.
The Glazer family’s takeover was based on debt. That needs to be serviced, so every penny is precious.
Moyes may have turned things around but the owners decided that they didn’t trust him to get things right next year. It may not be a decision I agree with, but it’s certainly understandable.
Now they have to find somebody they do trust to get things right.
They will be looking for a proven top-level manager this time, so the list of potential suitors isn’t that long. Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti and Pep Guardiola already have top jobs and I don’t see that changing this summer.
The current favourite is Louis Van Gaal, but I’m not sure. The current Holland manager has won the Champions League with Ajaz, back to back La Liga titles with Barcelona and the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich, so he comes with good credentials from big clubs.
That might be enough to secure him the job, but I think there are better options. He’s 62, so it wouldn’t be the long-term appointment United probably want, and he’s been out of club management for four years.
He’s also about to lead Holland to the World Cup. In a summer when it’s generally accepted that the United squad needs an overhaul, can they really afford to wait until July to get a new man in place?
Domestically, the options are limited.
Brendan Rodgers would be a great choice, but I can’t see him leaving Liverpool for their arch-rivals. In fact, I’m not sure he would survive the trip down the M62.
Roberto Martinez has done a great job at Everton but it’s probably too soon for him, while the fact that not a single English manager is being linked with the job is a sad indictment of the state of coaching in this country.
If I was involved at Old Trafford, I would be moving heaven and earth to secure the services of Jurgen Kloop, who has done a fantastic job at Borussia Dortmund.
He’s a better long-term proposition than Van Gaal and has the energy to rebuild the squad. He has also proven that he is up there with the best coaches in the world, tactically and in terms of spotting players. What’s not to like?
Whoever replaces him at United, I’m certain that Moyes will not be out of football for very long. There will be a long list of clubs vying for his services over the summer, and I just have a feeling that he could end up at Tottenham, whose own move for Van Gaal may be thwarted by United.