Friday, January 22, 2021

The Manchester United rebuild hits a major bump

Ed Woodward has urged Manchester United fans to stay patient as the club rebuild in a bid to put its name among Europe’s elite once again but it faces a few problems already.

Manchester United have been a shadow of themselves since the Alex Ferguson-era ended. The club has lost the identity which made them one of the most renowned sporting institutions. With a purely business-minded owner and an accountant at the helm, there has, ironically, been a lack of a plan and a structure. However, the club seems to have turned a corner. The fans now see a method being the madness. But the latest reports seem to suggest that the Red Devils might have already encountered their first major road-block on their road to recovery.

The managerial mist?

Apart from David Moyes’ sacking the club has given managers more time than their fellow clubs are prepared to give. Any other English club would have pulled the trigger on Van Gaal’s time during the wretched Christmas run. Mourinho would have been thrown out once he started to butt heads with the board during the summer. Solskjaer would have been gracefully shown the door, bringing in a “big” name.

Now, the board has decided to place faith in Ole’s hands. Woodward even made his stance clear in a shareholders meeting. “It’s important that we are patient while Ole and his team build for the future,” he said. “We will continue to focus on the long-term strategy and won’t be influenced by short term distractions.”

But reports from Italy a few days ago suggested that United had different ideas. According to a very reliable Italian journalist, Fabrizio Romano, Max Allegri is keen on the United job. The former Juventus manager is apparently learning English in preparation for his next managerial role. The journalist did clarify that the Red Devils have no intention to sack Solskjaer but Allegri is said to be on the three-man shortlist if things deteriorate further.

Allegri concern

However, there seems to be a slight concern for the Red Devils according to the latest developments. If things don’t work out and Solskjaer is shown the door, Allegri is unwilling to cut his sabbatical short. The 52-year-old is not ready to join the Premier League giants mid-season. If the reports are true it is an issue for the board if he is on the rumoured list for the next in line.

Manchester United
Photo: Daily Mail

Author’s Take

Manchester United should give Solskjaer time to implement his plan. While Solskjaer might not be the right man for United, sacking him now reset the whole process and they’d be back to square one. He might not make them champions but he will get the team playing to their potential. This will give time to Ed Woodward and the Glaziers to sort the mess behind the scenes. Then, United can think of taking the next step by appointing a world-class manager.

However, if things get uglier and the results dry out, Allegri should not be the man to take over. While the tactical genius of the man is unquestionable, Allegri brings with him a style of football that doesn’t resonate with the Old Trafford terraces. Once the team starts losing, the supports will have nothing to hold on to. Instead forward-thinking managers like Thomas Tuchel, Maurizio Pochettino, and Julen Nagglesmann would be better fits for the youth-centered Manchester United ideology.

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