With every season that goes by, the talk of Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor grows. Let’s be honest, Sir Alex isn’t getting any younger and it’s inevitable he is coming to the latter stages of his truly wonderful managerial career. The question I ask want to ask though, who is capable of replacing the greatest manager of all time?
I’ve compiled a list of five likely candidates, all of whom would fit for one reason or another. I suspect Sir Alex himself will have a strong say on the matter, whoever it may be.
Arguably the second best manager in world football (behind Fergie of course!), the Portuguese manager burst onto the scene with Porto way back in 2004 when they knocked us out of the Champions League and went on to win the competition.
Jose is probably the preferred choice of most, he has been there and done it in England, Spain, Portugal and Italy, winning league titles in all of them, and winning the Champions League with two different clubs. He is still regarded as a young manager at the age of 49 and his best years are probably still yet to come.
The only downside with Jose is that he doesn’t really stick at one club for a long period of time, his longest spell at one club being his three year stay at Chelsea.
Guardiola is a Barcelona legend as both a player and manager, he made more than 250 appearances for the Catalan side before taking over the reigns as manager back in 2008. In his four years as manager, he guided them to 3 La Liga titles, 2 Copa Del Rey’s and 2 Champions League crowns, he resigned in the summer just gone due to ‘tiredness’.
He carried on Barcelona’s policy of bringing youth players through their world-class academy, and many people argue that Barcelona and Manchester United are very similarly run clubs with similar policies. Last month, reports came out that Guardiola has held informal talks with United representatives, with the possibility of him taking over as boss amongst the topic of discussion.
My only concern with Guardiola would be the fact that he isn’t proven outside of Spain, would be be able to cope with the English game? Would be adapt different tactics to fit the differing style of play? There’s only one way to find out…
The current Dortmund boss transformed his club into a title-challenging side. In his four years at the club Klopp has won two league titles, a German super cup and the DFB cup. He brought Shinji Kagawa to Dortmund for a mere €350,000, and last year sold him to Manchester United for around the £12million mark.
Klopp pushed Mats Hummels through into Dortmund’s first team, as well as spotting the talent of Robert Lewandowski and signing him up for €4.5million. He is spot on tactically, and a great man-manager.
The 45-year old has also won back-to-back manager of the year awards in Germany for the past two seasons, overhauling Bayern Munich in both the cup and the league last season.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
“And Solskjaer has won it!” Ole will always be remembered for his Champions League winning goal back in 1999. He will always have a place in the United history books, but could he return to his beloved United as a manager? Possibly one day, but I feel he needs more time in the game, a move to a mid-table Premier League side would have to come first, and he’d obviously have to do well in that job before he’s a serious candidate.
Ole left his spot as United reserve team manager two years ago and guided Molde to their first league title in over 100 years, they are currently on the brink again, they have two games left and they sit one point clear of fellow title challengers Rosenborg. He clearly has managerial talent and has a bright future ahead of him.
Moyes is my #1 choice. The Scot has been Everton manager for 10 years now, and what a stellar job he is doing. Everton have little resources and he consistently guides them to a top 6 finish. Everton are consistently losing their best players to the bigger clubs, with Jack Rodwell switching to City in the summer, and who can forget Wayne Rooney’s £30million move all those years ago.
He fits the bill perfectly, he seems a likeable character and he obviously knows what he’s doing. Being manager of a club like Everton for 10 years is no easy task, and to keep hold of that job in such a secure fashion is a great achievement.
The only thing Moyes is lacking is a trophy.
Who would be the one for you? Post your #1 choice in the comment box below.