Three candidates to replace under-pressure Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho
Photo via Manchester United (Twitter)

Three candidates to replace under-pressure Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho

With tensions reaching boiling point at Old Trafford, who would be the best replacement for the Portuguese manager?

evantaylor
Evan Taylor

Manchester United have won just one of their four home games in all competitions this season under Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese is in his third season at the club since replacing Louis van Gaal and yet he still has not managed to form a title-challenging side.

Mauricio Pochettino

One does not need to look too far to see what an amazing job Mauricio Pochettino has done at Tottenham Hotspur. The Argentinian has taken them from a team contending with Everton and West Ham for European spots to three consecutive top three finishes while taking esteemed scalps in the form of Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund. Pochettino, much like the United of before, relies heavily on a strong core and wide players with great delivery. This is something United have tried but ultimately failed to do under Mourinho, with the United boss making his first out and out wide signing in the summer in the form of Diogo Dalot as well as failing to establish his favoured centre-back pairing. The Spurs boss also boasts an impressive record of unearthing gems in the transfer market such as Dele Alli, Heung Min Son and Christian Eriksen. This would be a welcomed change from the Mourinho era at Old Trafford where the transfer market shortcomings are well documented. The arrival of Pochettino could potentially see a return to the United of old; a return which is wildly overdue.

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Zinedine Zidane 

Perhaps the most plausible of managerial options on the market at the moment, the Frenchman is hot off the back of an outstanding spell at Real Madrid, winning back-to-back-to-back Champions Leagues with the Spanish giants. Like Pochettino, Zidane could be an extremely advantageous asset in the transfer market, with his status as a footballing god likely attracting quality players to the club. 

However, during his stint at Madrid, the World Cup winner was in the comfortable position of not only having a squad of superstars, but also a squad of big personalities and leaders. The likes of Sergio Ramos, Cristiano Ronaldo and Toni Kroos allowed Zidane a certain safety net, one not afforded to Mourinho during his time at United with the squad lacking any form of leader.

Zidane may be similar to  Mourinho in the sense that he wouldn’t implement a distinct play style, a recurring theme of the current Mourinho era. A modern style of play is something that has been greatly overlooked by United in recent years. However, with the club looking to appoint a Director of Football and recently adding Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna to the coaching set-up, this looks to be a problem nearing a solution for United.

Arsene Wenger 

A legend of the game, Wenger just may be the solution to United’s problems. The Frenchman is famous for his “Invincibles” campaign with Arsenal and the implementation of his widely admired “Wengerball”. Having recently left Arsenal after 22 years, he would be available and following his recent comments reported by the Standard Sport, where he states “No, I am not retired”, he may be looking to get back into the game. 

Arsene would certainly solve the issue regarding play style and his attacking brand of football could breathe badly needed life into Old Trafford. The former AS Monaco manager would also maintain the experience and wisdom, as well as the top-notch in-game management Mourinho has instilled in the club. Many would be sceptical of Wenger as an appointment due to the largely tedious end to his Arsenal spell. It's possible what he simply needs is a change of environment. He also wouldn’t face the same financial restrictions he faced from the Arsenal board, with Ed Woodward, Manchester United Executive Vice Chairman famously bragging, “We can do things in the transfer market that other clubs can only dream of”. 

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