Manchester united is back in this position once again where they have to select a new manager. The season is almost over for them and one can say their focus should be planning and preparing for next season. This situation ¬, until recent years, was unfamiliar, so you can cut them some slack if you are like me who think they have been going about selection of managers in a wrong manner. My free advice to Ed-Woodward and his team is that they should sit down and re-examine the metrics they use to select their managers. Who can get the best out of the team? Who can win trophies? Who can respect the club and the fans? These are the questions that should be asked. The club cannot afford to get this decision wrong again. There are two obvious candidates to get the job – Zidane and Pochettion. Both are very good managers and have proven themselves, in their own way, that they are capable of handling a team as big as United. In my books, there should be only one favourite and it should be Zidane. My reasons include:
1. He is available:
That Zidane is still available is some sort of an anomally in this very dynamic world of football – it’s only a matter of time before he gets snapped up. The three times champions league winning coach resigned from his role and Madrid and has since been waiting for the right job to come. With the recent migration of most of the A-league coaches to the EPL, it will be almost impossible for Zidane to refuse the offer to coach United. Asides that, there will be no need to settle any club as he is not bounded contractually to any club, United will have a manager who is fresh and ready to fire on all cylinders.
2. “He does not know English Football”:
English pundits, in their usual fashion, have begun to drive their narrative of knowing English football as a metric for selecting the new United manager. That narrative is, at best, a figment of the imagination of core English football fans who still believe that football in England is somewhat different from other leagues and require additional experience or expertise. This was the major reason why Moyes was selected over several other good managers to manage United and we all know the result. Zidane won the league against a Messi –led Barcelona team. If you know Spanish football since 2008, you’d know that it is a mammoth task. Asides that, Conte, Ranieri, Guardiola and many more who have won the EPL came in with zero EPL experience. Conte, in particular, who came from a supposed weak league won the EPL in his first season and did it with a new formation which other managers now copy. Guardiola’s City team now completely dominates matches and score in reckless abandon – it was said to be impossible before now. My point is that, the previous winners of the EPL in the last 3 years have been managers alien to the EPL methods and standards, but brave enough to instill their styles to their teams regardless. Maybe United needs someone who doesn’t know the EPL, someone who just knows how to win his own way.
3. He is a winner:
Zidane – who is one of the greatest footballer of all time- is a winner on and off the pitch. People tend to forget that the former French national team captain took over a broken Madrid team under Benitez and went on to win the champions league and almost caught up with Lucho’s barca in the league. Regardless of the situation, Zidane always finds a way to win. He doesn’t give excuses, he gets the job done. Under Zidane, Madrid were almost unbeatable. He is very brave and not afraid to make changes during games. He is loved by his players and the reason is not farfetched. Zidane won an unprecedented back to back to back champions league title without almost spending nothing. He made use of what he had and used it to get what he wants. Zidane worked uner Perez for almost three years and there was almost no rift – that speaks volume. Zidane is a perfect gentle man and to top it all up, he is a winner.
4. He is not bound by any Philosophy:
In an era of football coaching where every manager is now a philosopher and idealist, Zidane stands out. Zidane does not have a special kind of way of playing football as long as he wins. Today, he could go with “cross and nod” with Bale, tomorrow he could decide to go with a more robust style with Isco. Players are free to express themselves and are not forced to play a particular way. United fans have been crying for the team to play the United way. What is the United way? It is any way that wins you games – the explosive, fast interchange of passes, the quick counter attacking play, the very pacy and swift wing play, the never say die attitude. That is also the Zidane way.