(Football news) Manchester United’s season has gone from bad to worse and the club is at serious risk of missing out on Champions League qualification next season unless there is a miraculous turnaround in their fortunes. With the club having one of their most underwhelming seasons since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, it’s fair to say that interim manager Ralf Rangnick is struggling to get the best out of the current crop of players.
The management has been hunting for a full time manager and potential candidates include Mauricio Pochettino, Erik Ten Hag, Luis Enrique and Julen Lopetegui. Let’s explore each of these candidates’ strengths and weaknesses and what they bring to the table.
1) Erik Ten Hag
The Dutch manager seems to be the fan favourite for the Manchester United job if social media is anything to go by. His Ajax side play impressive football and the manager has delivered, especially domestically while playing free flowing attacking football. Ten Hag also has an important quality of being able to rebuild his squad while continuing to be successful despite losing important players, a quality that Sir Alex Ferguson also possessed during his prime years at Manchester United. However, it remains to be seen if he can adapt to a club of this stature, especially considering that he won’t have the same football structure as Ajax with the likes of Edwin Van Der Sar and Marc Overmars.
2) Mauricio Pochettino
The Argentine is reportedly unhappy at Paris Saint-Germain and the 49 year old is undoubtedly one of the favourites for the Manchester United job. His previous experience in the Premier League is a big advantage as none of the other potential candidates have managed in England before. Known for grooming and utilising young and talented players, Pochettino’s teams typically play an attractive brand of football. However, Manchester United need to really strengthen their recruitment policies if they are to compete alongside City, Liverpool and Chelsea and Pochettino has a questionable track record with regards to signings.
3) Luis Enrique
Just like Sir Alex Ferguson, the current Spain manager is one of the few in football history who have won the treble. Not only does Enrique have the experience of managing at the top level at club and national level, he is also adept at dealing with big names and managing the dressing room. However, the Spaniard hasn’t had a club job since 2017 and with the 2022 World Cup on the horizon, it’s unlikely that he will want to leave before then.
4) Julen Lopetegui
Having previously managed Spain, Lopetegui had a less than impressive stint at Real Madrid but rebuilt his reputation at Sevilla, winning the Europa League in 2020 by defeating Manchester United in the semifinals. The Spaniard has exceeded expectations considering the resources at his disposal and is arguably the easiest appointment amongst the choices. However, just like David Moyes, Lopetegui might be more suited for a smaller club rather than one of the biggest in the world if his time at Real Madrid is anything to go by. He is definitely not considered as one of the favourites for the job.
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