David Moyes became the shortest serving post-war Manchester United manager as they sacked their first manager in little under twenty-years a year exactly to the day they claimed their 20th Premier League crown against Aston Villa with a Robin van Persie hat-trick.
Just under ten months into a six-year contract, the former Preston and Everton manager looks to be giving a one-year payout of £10 million due to the club’s failure to reach the Champions League, just a year after Sir Alex Ferguson announced his retirement and told the fans and players to get behind their new manager.
The rumour mill has been thrown into overdrive with departing Holland manager, Louis van Gaal who has won league titles all over Europe in Holland, Germany and Spain whilst owning a Champions League winners’ medal, guiding Ajax to the crown in 1995. Van Gaal is the most experienced option for the Manchester United board as the elder van Gaal is well travelled across Europe.
However, with a major re-building job to take place over the summer for Manchester United, whether van Gaal will be entirely focussed on the job whilst he works for the Dutch national side at the summer’s World Cup remains to be seen.
The 62-year old, widely thought to become the new Tottenham Hotspur manager as well, is swiftly followed by Ryan Giggs, who now occupies the interim role at the club. Giggs, who only holds coaching badges and has taken up a player/coach role upon Moyes’ arrival in July last year.
The most decorated player in Old Trafford history, however, holds no managerial experience and it would be a huge risk to select another manager without any experience of winning major trophies as a manager, much like Giggs’ predecessor was.
Borussia Dortmund manager, Jurgen Klopp also remains a frontrunner for the job, joining Giggs at 10/1 with the bookmakers.
Klopp is a bit a younger than van Gaal and has had his fair share of European and domestic experience with a relatively young Dortmund side which he built up from scratch, when the 46-year old took over Dortmund in 2008.
The German took Dortmund to their second Champions League final in 2013 whilst beating Bayern Munich to two Bundesliga titles amongst their dominant years. Klopp has built the ideal structure around Dortmund only to see players such as Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski, two key stalwarts in the side, switch their allegiances to their main title rivals and current Champions League holders, Bayern Munich.
Amongst the frontrunners is a largely European dominated field, as Manchester United look set to cast their eyes further than the British Isles to look for a manager for the first time in their history. The outsiders include the ever-successful Pep Guardiola who further improved Barcelona and looks to mould Bayern Munich into a similar powerhouse in continental Europe.
Diego Simeone, who like Jurgen Klopp, is a younger model, has guided Atletico Madrid to successive Champions League campaigns. With Simeone’s clash with United favourite David Beckham at the 1998 World Cup largely forgotten, the 43-year old took Atletico to their first European Cup semi-final for four decades this year as he faces Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, who is an extreme outsider to replace David Moyes.
The Special One was overlooked by Sir Alex Ferguson and the board last summer, opting to leave Spain to return home to Stamford Bridge and despite a season which could result in a lack of trophies; it looks very unlikely for Mourinho to switch allegiances so dramatically.
As the past year has told us, experience, particularly in Europe, is much needed if you are to take on the job at Manchester United. Sir Alex Ferguson, before he became the manager at Old Trafford, and indeed a sir, won the Cup Winners’ Cup with Aberdeen against the mighty Real Madrid. David Moyes took Everton through several UEFA Cup and Europa League campaigns, with a solitary unsuccessful Champions League qualification campaign in 2005-06.
An inescapable fault of Moyes’ was that he was following one of the greatest football managers of all-time, the most successful at least, and attempting to shadow the previous twenty-seven years of dominance and trophies, was always an impossibility. The successor to Moyes will be under significantly less pressure next season, to the extent that even an inexperienced Ryan Giggs could coast through the next four games.
In conclusion, Manchester United are craving the emulation of Klopp’s model at Borussia Dortmund, which draws its similarities from the empire that Fergie built, but it could come down a comparison between the development and re-structuring that Klopp would no doubt bring to Old Trafford and the gallons of trophies which Louis van Gaal has acquired down the years.
Manchester United are a long-term club, or at least were prior to the 2013-14 season, so their ideal new manager, on the face of it, would be the younger Jurgen Klopp, who still holds success in Germany and is held in high regard in Europe. Louis van Gaal, at sixty-two, would be a quick-fix for success, whilst Klopp could become unavailable if van Gaal was to retire as United manager in the future.