Paul Ince: Utd shouldn’t be ‘sucked in’ by Ole – Poch is the man for the job

Incey says if Ed Woodward's got any sense at all, he'll be doing everything he can to bring Poch to United...


Although Man United got the win against Tottenham, the way Mauricio Pochettino had his team playing in the second half is exactly how United should be playing all the time.

Where they’re camped in the opposition’s half, putting pressure on them consistently and firing shots in for fun. That’s the way a Sir Alex Ferguson side played.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tactics were spot on for the first 45 minutes, but the level of play in the second half showed how far behind Tottenham they truly are.


United have had a good few games, but they’re still years behind Liverpool and Manchester City, never mind Spurs and we shouldn’t forget that.

The Tottenham win was a great three points for them, but they shouldn’t be getting too far ahead of themselves. When you’re a caretaker manager, you’re under no pressure.

You only need to look at Roberto Di Matteo at Chelsea, he won an FA Cup and a Champions League, but was sacked after being given a permanent deal.

Don’t get sucked in by what Ole has done – anyone could’ve done it, including me

We can’t get too sucked in with what Ole’s done. Let’s be honest, it couldn’t get any worse at Manchester United before Jose Mourinho left. There was a dark cloud over the entire club, the players, the fans and the staff. It was impacting performances on the pitch.

Ole’s come in, a friendly face at the club with a calming influence and it seems as though the players have upped their effort as a result.

The shackles are off, but that doesn’t mean that Ole is the right man for the job. I could have gone in and done the same thing, so could Steve Bruce.

Anyone could have gone in and done what he has done, it wasn’t a hard thing to do to give those players freedom and improve the mood.


Pochettino is the right man for the United job, not Ole

So, for the next few years what the club need to do is bring in a manager that can seriously get United competing with City and Liverpool. And of the options available, Pochettino is the man to do that.

The club shouldn’t be making rash decisions, picking a manager just because he’s had six wins on the bounce, all of which came against below average sides bar one.

You’d like to think that even under Mourinho they’d have won those games.

People say the acid test was against Tottenham, but United won that by default of Tottenham having an off-game in terms of scoring and De Gea being so fantastic. They didn’t outclass Spurs at all.

It’s easy to default to the Ole bandwagon, but the club need to be careful. I’d like to think that the Glazers and Ed Woodward will be looking at who is the right man for the next few years, rather than the right man right now. If they decide on Ole, then good luck to them.

It’s an enormous job, we’ve seen the pressure it puts on even the top managers. That’s not to say that if Ole carries on with this momentum, especially when they face the likes of Arsenal, PSG and Liverpool, that it won’t change their minds.

I don’t want to discredit how he has brought back hope and presence back to the team, but it doesn’t mean he should get the job permanently.

No disrespect to him, because he’s come in as caretaker and he’s done a great job so far, but he struggled at Cardiff and Molde are nowhere near United’s level. So, to ask him to come in and compete with the best teams in the world might be a tough ask for him.

If he gets the club into the top four, and into the final of the Champions League, then that would be the time when the board should be swayed. But we need to be careful not to get carried away – the decision shouldn’t be made just yet.

Pochettino must feel like he is ‘pissing into the wind’ at Spurs

If Pochettino is available, then I believe he should be Man United’s number one choice for the job and they should do whatever they can to get him.

And do I think he’d want to come to United? Of course I do. Tottenham might be building a shiny new stadium, but I’m not sure how long Harry Kane or Dele Alli will last there.

And while Daniel Levy won’t let him buy new players, Pochettino must feel like he’s pissing into the wind at Spurs.

He knows if he goes to Old Trafford, not only can he build a team, but he can make decision about who he wants to bring in and get the cash to do so. It’s a credit to him how he gets his side playing with such a small budget already.

I can’t see him being at Tottenham for 10 years in the same pattern he’s in now. Man United are an ambitious club – if they come calling, it’ll be hard for him to turn it down.

Solskjaer is 5/6 favourite to be United manager at the beginning of the 2019-20 season