As everybody knows, Jose Mourinho was once the special one in the English Premier League. These days however, he languishes more in the realm of mediocrity. Sadly, things have never quite taken off for him at Manchester United.
While he hasn’t done poorly, you expect a lot more from the world’s biggest club when paired with a man who was once the world’s most renowned manager.
It’s not looking too pretty for the coming season, either. Having thus far failed to make enough signings of note and suffering a pre-season run poorer than a church mouse, Mourinho’s Red Devils are floundering. Following a 4-1 hammering at the hands of Liverpool – Britain’s new dominant red force – the Portuguese gaffer did what he does best and criticised Antonio Valencia and Anthony Martial as well as stating that “the majority of the players that played are not going to play – some of them are not even going to belong to the squad.”
With things looking a little tenuous for the 55-year-old, we’ve second-guessed the swinging axe and begun to turn the old rumour mill for your reading pleasure.
Here’s our top five to replace grumpy Mou whenever his inevitable departure takes place.
1) Mauricio Pochettino
The current Spurs boss is undoubtedly one of the best managers in the league and has proven his worth consistently over four years at White Hart Lane. At 46, he’s young, too, but has nearly ten years of management under his belt, making him experienced for someone so relatively young
A step up to a club such as United might be a wise move for the Argentine and Poch has proven repeatedly his longevity. A youthful, talented manager who can lead for several years is exactly what the Red Devils need, as replacing Fergie seems to be an impossible task. Mourinho only ever lasts for a handful of seasons and consistent management is essential for a club of United’s size.
Perhaps Pochettino is the one who can provide that.
2) Zinedine Zidane
The former Real Madrid gaffer proved many doubters wrong with his time in the Spanish capital and showed himself to be an assured boss, winning the Champions League for three consecutive seasons.
Stepping down after saying he had nothing more to offer, the Frenchman will now be waiting to get back into management and CVs don’t get much more impressive than Real and United.
Having turned around fortunes in Madrid, Zizou may be the perfect man to steer things in the right direction at Old Trafford and return United to the realm they once occupied.
3) Carlo Ancelotti
Not one of Mourinho’s closest pals, Carlo Ancelotti is however used to sharing roles with the Portuguese, both having managed Chelsea and Real Madrid at various times in their careers. The Italian would make a change from the relentless player-bashing doled out by Mourinho and is well known for fostering a good relationship with his squad.
Perhaps that’s what United’s bruised squad is calling out for. He’s certainly big enough for the job and would handle the role of managing the world’s largest club well. However, Ancelotti hasn’t been with his current club, Napoli, for long at all and would surely want to give the task a shot first. Only time will tell…
4) Ryan Giggs
The world and his wife know this would be a daft move, but it’s one in discussion nonetheless. Giggsy is a United legend, of course, and is now trying to succeed in management. Currently with the Welsh national side, and previously seen for just four games with the Red Devils, he isn’t the most accomplished person on this list.
His experience isn’t really worth acknowledging and the fella admitted himself to breaking down and having trouble with sleep due to the pressure of being at the helm for United. Perhaps another few seasons coaching would be best for Giggs, who could establish himself before making a hero’s return to the club he simply couldn’t leave.
5) Antonio Conte
The former Chelsea boss looks increasingly likely to return to his native Italy, but his is a name being floated around by some.
Unhappy at Chelsea, Mourinho’s former club, Conte has finally managed to wriggle away from the London club to become the liberated soul he desired to be for so long.
Maybe entrapment at United will be his next move, then.