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Who Could United Choose As Their Next Manager?

So Manchester United have lost patience with Jose Mourinho at basically exactly the same time as Chelsea did back in 2015 when Roman Abramovich fired the Portuguese manager just months after he had won the title at Stamford Bridge in the previous season.

Ed Woodward fired Mourinho exactly 3 years and a day after Chelsea fired him. Mourinho’s sacking from Old Trafford came after United had amassed the worst points total in the Premier League at this stage since the 1991-92 season.

The Red-Devils are already a massive 19 points behind Liverpool who they were beaten by very soundly on Sunday at Anfield by a 3-1 scoreline as a Shaqiri double put United’s hopes to bed in the rain on Sunday. Man United were unlucky to concede 2 deflected goals but in all honesty they were clearly second best to Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.

Mourinho cannot say that he was not backed financially at United as he had a net spend of £314million since 2016 with the massive signings of Romelu Lukaku, Paul Pogba, Alexis Sanchez and Nemanja Matic amongst the massive outlays made for the Portuguese boss. Liverpool only had a net spend of £134million since 2016 compared to United’s whopping outlay.

Who replaces Jose Mourinho is an interesting question and it will make sure that the football betting markets remain the biggest game in town despite the massive growth seen in the esports betting markets in recent times. As the permanent boss will not be named until the summer the betting market on the next full-time manager will be one of the busiest markets until the appointment. The main suspects being mentioned in connection with the job are Ole Gunnar Solskjær who is the early betting favourite, Mauricio Pochettino, Zinedine Zidane, Antonio Conte and Laurent Blanc with the Spurs boss and his attractive play and brilliance in the transfer market making him the early favourite choice of many.

The transfer signing which perhaps failed the most disappointingly for Jose Mourinho comes down to Alexis Sanchez and Paul Pogba with the Frenchman’s isolation at the club perhaps being the most corrosive to the team.

Firing Jose Mourinho mid-season is not a good indictment of how Manchester United as a club is being run. Appointing an interim manager in a couple of days implies muddled thinking which cannot be good for the team and you wonder why Jose was sacked without an immediate caretaker being installed. Would United consider Mark Hughes, Sam Allardyce or Ropy Keane as the interim boss and would those managers take the job on a short-term basis?

Given what Mauricio Pochettino has done with Spurs over the past 4 years – since getting the manager’s job in May 2014 the club has won 333 points in the Premier League -no other manager has won more, so you would have to say he is the strongest candidate given his Premier League experience and success but would he want the job?

Ed Woodward has made a big call in relieving Jose Mourinho of his duties and whoever takes over as the full-time manager will need to play the “United” way – that much is clear.

Who fits that remit the best is the United Board’s job to identify but they are appointing a Technical Director for the first time ahead of the choice of the new permanent manager being installed. Perhaps the person who they should be looking to is England national team manager Gareth Southgate who could be the dark horse that’s if he wants the job either.

Southgate appears to want to play the way United supporters expect and he works well with youngsters and could be a man to bring the feel-good factor back to Old Trafford but hiring him over a more high profile coach might be a tough sell to fans and investors of the club.

No matter what happens Jose Mourinho delivered trophies and some real success and excitement in his time at Old Trafford but it was not the way the fans, the club or the manager himself will have wanted his tenure to end.