Three managers who could replace Jose Mourinho at Manchester United
Derby County did the unthinkable last week. Led by Frank Lampard, the Rams shocked the whole world by beating Manchester United at Old Trafford. Yes, it was a defeat from penalties and yes, it was just the Carabao Cup but this was enough to raise speculations regarding Mourinho’s future at the club.
Here, we take a look at three replacements United must consider.
Over the past few seasons, AS Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim has built his reputation as a young manager who plays an exciting brand of football. Despite being in Paris Saint-Germain’s shadow, Jardim has managed to keep Monaco relevant and against all odds, they won the Ligue 1 title in the 2016/17 season.
The 44-year-old also boasts of working well with youth players, often offering them chances to play in the first team. In fact, the exponential growth of players like Kylian Mbappe and Thomas Lemar proves the point.
Jardim has been a huge admirer of Jose Mourinho and he even stated previously that he learned a lot from watching the Portuguese great (h/t The Times). Will the pupil replace the master at the Theater of Dreams? Only time will tell.
Simeone currently is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the best coaches in world football. Atletico Madrid have broken the duopoly of Real Madrid and Barcelona and two Champions League finals in three season has proven that he knows his tactics well in Europe too. But the only problem for United is Simeone’s love for his current club.
Prising him away from Madrid is a difficult job in itself but to get him in the middle of the season is quite impossible. However, his presence could guarantee trophies and inspire fans and players with passion and desire but will his brand of football be accepted by the Old Trafford faithful?
His team operates in a similar way to Mourinho’s, where the Argentine focuses on having a strong defensive unit. His Atletico side is more than happy to give the possession away and then hit the opposition on the counter.
He might be the next big name but his situation with Atletico makes him the most difficult man to acquire for the job.
The easiest of all choices would be Zinedine Zidane. The Frenchman needed no introduction as a player but his achievements with Real Madrid have turned him into a legendary manager too. Three back-to-back Champions League titles have elated him to a level that no coach in the history of the game has ever achieved.
Although he is ready to take over the job immediately, there are certain cons with his appointment as well. Zidane did achieve unreal success with Real Madrid but it must be noted that he had some world-class players at his disposal.
The presence of the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Daniel Carvajal ensured Zidane probably had the best players in the world. He just had to tweak the tactics and manage their egos to get success.
At United, he will receive the likes of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling as centre-backs, along with two wingers-cum-full-backs, who are both on the wrong side of 30.
Hence, Manchester United must try to salvage the season and see out the year with Mourinho. A new manager would mean new tactics and, new transfers, which might waste this season or even the next one. These might be tough times for Mourinho and United but the Portuguese tactician is a winner and if anyone can turn this around, it is him and him alone.