The official line from the club might be that they’re behind Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but there has to be a mounting concern amongst the Manchester United hierarchy as the team fail to deliver any form of consistency.
Here we look at who they should go for, in case they seek to substitute the Norwegian manager.
What’s the current situation?
If you ask for basketball fans who is the best NBA coach of all time, they will probably tell you it’s Phil Jackson or Gregg Popovich. And, if you ask any Manchester United fans who is the best football coach of all time, there is definitely only one name on their minds: Sir Alex Ferguson.
The Red Devils had their best seasons during Sir Alex’s long reign at the helm at Old Trafford. Nobody so far could replicate his success.
In the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era, United have tried many different routes be it the long term successor’ David Moyes, the experienced hand of Louis Van Gaal or the serial winner that is Jose Mourinho. All of them have failed in the eyes of the board.
After Mourinho vacated his post, Solskjaer was named interim boss. A run of good form saw him named the permanent replacement, but things have been a rollercoaster ride since then with their game against RB Leipzig on Tuesday night a microcosm of the Norwegian’s reign.
United were woeful in part before showing glimpses of their undoubted quality to threaten a late comeback.
It’s an all too familiar story and, this time, United paid the price as they suffered a Champions League group stage exit. The pressure is building on Solskjaer with the calls for his head strengthening. His departure is surely just a matter of time.
Who Should Man United pick?
Yes, the man leading the odds is former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino. The Argentine was heavily linked with the post before Solskjaer impressing as a caretaker.
Since then, Pochettino’s stock has fallen slightly with his sacking from Spurs but his ability to develop players whilst playing a progressive style of football still carries significant appeal.
If Ed Woodward does see him as his top target, then he might want to move sooner rather than later as other clubs have been linked with the former Espanyol stalwart.
On top of the managerial qualities, the 48-year-old would bring he might also have the pull to attract Dele Alli to Old Trafford too, which is a move that would undoubtedly please the legendary gaffer Ferguson.
An Allegri appointment might not offer the same longevity as a move for ‘Poch’ but he’d certainly arrive with the serious pedigree behind him. Whilst Pochettino boasts style and forward-thinking methods, Allegri ticks the one box he doesn’t; he knows how to win trophies.
He managed to lift nine major honours in a five-year spell with Juventus prior to leaving his role in 2019.
The ‘winning mentality’ Allegri would bring would definitely be welcome in Manchester. The fussier United fans might take issue with the style of play the one time AC Milan manager might implement. Despite his domination with the Old Lady in Turin his approach wasn’t to blow teams away with rapid attacking play.
Instead, he wanted his team to control games with lots of possession and wait for the gaps to open up ahead of them ensuring things remained tight at the other end.
The final name that has been mentioned as a serious contender for the manager’s role at Old Trafford is the guy who sent them packing from Europe’s elite competition, Julian Nagelsmann.
At just 33-years-old he’s one of the hottest coaches in Europe who has already proven himself to be an astute tactician alongside showing he can get teams playing attractive football whilst producing results.
There is one major question mark over the young German coach though. If you look at the job he did at Hoffenheim, where he took them from the brink of relegation to the Champions League in just over a year, and is currently doing at Leipzig there was and is little expectation to deliver genuine glory.
Both clubs have had a lower bar for what success looks like and that does remove large amounts of pressure. Could he handle the scrutiny that comes with the top job at one of the biggest clubs in the world?
There you have it, a look at where United turn next.
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