17th December 2015: Fired by Chelsea
18th December 2018: Fired by Manchester United
It’s fair to say that this time of year isn’t very special for Jose Mourinho, a man once dubbed ‘The Special One’ as Manchester United took the £24 million decision to part company with their coach this morning, with the official announcement being made at around 10am GMT that the 55 year old Portuguese would again be leaving a club in his third season in charge.
A 3-1 loss at rivals Liverpool on Sunday appeared to be the last straw as they sit in 6th place having earned only 3 points from their last 5 Premier League games. It may have been an expensive decision, but the timing of the decision makes a lot of sense if they can get a new coach in sooner rather than later. With players able to leave and new ones arrive in the January transfer window. United may be 9 points behind leaders Liverpool but they are still in The FA Cup and have a mouth watering Champions League tie against Paris St. Germain coming up in February. Their season is far from over.
Attention turns immediately to who will be next in line. With former United players and current high profile managers without a job dominating the nominations. Some of the more realistic options are…
Ryan Giggs, United legend and current manager of the Wales National side, already has 4 games as United boss (2 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss) in 2014.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, currently manages Molde in his native Norway but their season is in it’s Winter break until March, is being talked about in a caretaker role. Solskjaer scored 126 goals in 366 appearances during his 11 years at Old Trafford and is best remembered for scoring their winner in the epic comeback of the Champions League final against Bayern Munich in 1999.
I just can’t see that happening with so much still at stake in their season even though Manchester United have issued a statement saying “A caretaker manager will be appointed until the end of the season while the club conducts a thorough recruitment process for a new, full-time manager.”
IF a caretaker boss is appointed it is more likely to be someone, like Giggs was in 2014, who is already a part of the backroom staff at Old Trafford like Michael Carrick or Nicky Butt. Both of whom are blank slates when it comes to managing.
Laurent Blanc and Zinedine Zidane are both out of jobs currently and must be in the conversation as potential candidates due to their illustrious careers as players and more recently, bosses of Elite European clubs. Blanc having the advantage of being a former Red Devil player under Alex Ferguson.
Mauricio Pochettino, is going a great job as Tottenham Hotspur manager and wasn’t tempted by Real Madrid earlier this season so I just don’t see him being talked out of leaving Spurs, who sit pretty in 3rd in the league going into the Festive Period.
One name worth a mention here is Eddie Howe, young, English and a great man manager at Bournemouth. He would be cheaper than Pochettino and Zidane, probably Blanc too.
One thing is for sure, it is an interesting time behind the scenes at Old Trafford as they try and save their season. What do you think, United fans? Did I miss someone? Tweet me your ideas.
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