Man Utd’s managerial search continues to go on with a lack of direction meaning several names are in the mix following Michael Carrick’s first win as interim boss, with Mauricio Pochettino and Ernesto Valverde also in the frame
Manchester United‘s top brass have copped criticism for years now, but they don’t seem to be learning from their own mistakes.
Already their handling of the managerial situation at Old Trafford is being questioned.
A haphazard direction and thought process seems to be moving with the wind, changing from one day to the next.
There is no sense of ‘this is what we want – we’re going to get it’. Resource wise United have the finances and the allure to chase the majority of coaches in world football.
Seemingly there is a criteria for what they want – playing style, promoting youth, appropriate conduct. All of which boxes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ticked, but the results didn’t follow, which ultimately got him the sack.
Already though we are in danger of experiencing some deja vu.
Rewind the clock almost three years and United were on the look out for a manager with Mauricio Pochettino the favourite.
Fast forward to today and we’re in the same situation – only they’ve put someone in charge on an interim basis, and yes he’s a former player.
Make no mistake Solskjaer was not the man United wanted to appoint back in December 2018 when they handed him the reins, but they were almost backed into a corner.
His lack of experience at the top level meant he was immediately only seen as a stop gap, but quickly things changed.
Some impressive results, a memorable night in Paris, the affection of the fans and all of a sudden, a few months after he arrived, the Norwegian signed a permanent deal.
But the relationship ended the way it began – with reservations over the manager’s credentials. What prevented United giving Solskjaer the job in December 2018 was largely the reason he was axed in November 2021.
So, give the job to his assistant, Michael Carrick, and already there seems to be a sense that this could happen again after the win at Villarreal on Tuesday night.
Take a competent group of players, which United certainly have, give them renewed motivation and good results may naturally follow.
If they do, will Carrick suddenly be considered? And if they shun him after an impressive interim period, what message does that send?
That’s before you consider the potential arrival of a second interim, be that Ernesto Valverde or Lucien Favre, two names who have been considered.
If they do well, would they not be deserving of a shot over a longer period? Especially if they deliver a trophy, say the FA Cup.
And then we come full circle, back to Pochettino, a man currently employed by PSG. Back in 2018 he was employed by Tottenham, but that didn’t stop the questions coming his way, as was again the case on Tuesday night.
Getting the Argentine out of Paris appears a far easier job than getting him out of Tottenham. Pochettino hit any questions about his future with a straight bat, insisting he was happy in France.
It comes back to a lack of decisiveness from Ed Woodward and co however. Admittedly they have to get this decision right, but stalling won’t help their cause.
It is almost as if they are letting results or circumstances make the decision for them, which in itself shows a lack of conviction in their decision making.
If you think Carrick is the man – albeit unlikely – appoint him.
If Valverde is your pick and impresses from minute one – appoint him.
Or, if seems to be the case, the idea of Pochettino at Old Trafford continues to be an attraction – pursue him.
A combination of all three however, is unlikely to do anyone any good.