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Candidates you need to know as Manchester United looks for a manager

Apr 22, 2014, 7:52 AM EDT

Aston Villa v Everton - Premier League Getty Images

So now that David Moyes has officially been canned, lasting about 1,450 games less than his predecessor at Manchester United, who’s the top pick to be given a couple weeks to restore the Red Devils to Champions League status?

Besides Ryan Giggs, the United legend who will guide the club on an interim basis, here are the names to know. Surely many will be familiar from the “Who will replace” Andre Villas-Boas, Tim Sherwood, Roberto di Matteo et. al circuses?

THE FAVORITES (In no particular order)

Louis van Gaal – So what if he’s yet to play or manage in England? Vocally “totally sick” of being Netherlands coach and moving on after World Cup, van Gaal is the bookies favorite to get the gig. The Dutchman has bounced around a bunch, from Ajax to Barcelona to the Netherlands and back to Barcelona before spending time at AZ Alkmaar and Bayern Munich… and the Netherlands again. He led a star-studded Ajax team to the Champions League title in 1995, has topped the league tables in Holland, Spain and Germany, and has a great reputation with United star Robin van Persie. ESPN reported today that United have already reached out to van Gaal.

Jurgen Klopp – The 46-year-old Dortmund boss has reportedly quashed the idea of going to Manchester United mere hours after the job became open. That doesn’t mean things can’t change, but the in-demand man is also being talked about as a potential boss at Barcelona and Tottenham.

Diego Simeone – Let’s face it: any manager whose club remains in the UEFA Champions League is worth considering as a high-profile, headline-grabbing replacement for Moyes (though naming anyone for the United gig would grab headlines). The 43-year-old Argentine is a fiery leader who would have a unique look behind the United bench, and would likely relish a job where his best players wouldn’t consistently be linked with larger clubs.

Roberto Martinez - Stop laughing. He’s one of the top managers in the game, and just showed the world how capable he is to take a group of players underperforming under one manager and lift them to another level. The Everton boss specifically has experience taking players Moyes couldn’t get to the Europe and propping them up a few places. Would Everton “let” him leave? Would he even want the poisoned chalice when he’s currently boasting the best win percentage in Toffees history?

Mauricio Pochettino - It would be an absolutely-inspired hire for the Red Devils; the Southampton boss has worked miracles at St. Mary’s and could bring Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana and countless others with him. Heck, you could argue the Saints are currently a better club than Manchester United… and perhaps a better gig. Maybe this one’s a bit under the radar, but the man is a master tactician who would welcome a more “Europe-ready” gig.

THE OTHERS

Sir Alex FergusonIs there any doubt the Scot has the ego to jump back into the gig, snare loads of quality players he didn’t provide Moyes and then say, “Oh well, I guess I shouldn’t have left?” Of course not. In fact, he may have to be kept from doing it. Also, Sir Alex would be really offended to know he’s on a list titled “The Others.”

Clarence Seedorf – Extremely unlikely, but the Suriname-born legend has almost-immediately restored order to an AC Milan club hit with similar frustrations as Manchester United.

Roberto di Matteo – He’s familiar with England as a player and manager, and has achieved pretty unique turnarounds in short periods of time at Chelsea and West Brom. Plus everyone’s always asking about him, apparently!

Carlos Quieroz – Twice a United assistant, the 61-year-old Iran boss has also run the ships for Portugal and Real Madrid (and the Metrostars).

Laurent Blanc – Could he leave the high-profile PSG seat for increased volatility in the Premier League?

Carlo Ancelotti – He’s done the job at Chelsea and now at Real Madrid, and would be a fairly-safe bet to have success at Old Trafford.

Pep Guardiola – Would he really depart from Bayern Munich in the throes of forming an all-time giant?

Roy Keane – We kid, we kid.

MORE: How the Manchester United job has become a poisoned chalice:
MORE: Jurgen Klopp rules himself out of Manchester United gig
MORE: Is Ryan Giggs ready to take over permanently as Manchester United boss?
VIDEO: Where David Moyes went wrong at Manchester United
MORE: Premier League Playback – Why Moyes should go

  1. Mark Whelan Writes - Apr 22, 2014 at 8:07 AM

    Reblogged this on MANCHESTER UNITED SUPPORTER'S BLOGS and commented:
    An unfair fate for David Moyes, bearing in mind where Ferguson was in comparison to Moyes’ “poor” 7th position in the EPL. During Ferguson’s first season in charge, the Red Devils were bordering the relegation zone. And after United legend, Sir Bobby Charlton persuaded the bean counters that Ferguson should be given a chance to rebuild the then-hapless squad, the rest of that story became legend.

    But, having said that, Moyes failed to dish out the famous “hair-dryer” treatment to a number of ill-disciplined players who shall remain nameless at this point. Then there was a huge injury crisis which had already threatened Moyes tenure before his appointment.

    Clearly, in football, the buck never stops at the top.

  2. mildfan - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:48 PM

    I don’t care who it is just leave the Toffee’s alone. Everton needs to do everything to keep Martinez.

  3. lewpuls - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:08 PM

    Unfair comparison: Moyes didn’t have loanees Lukaku, Barry (and more?). Quite apart from players brought in. It’s not the same group of players at all.

    • drewvt6 - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:30 PM

      The real question is, would Moyes ever have thought he needed to bring in the loanees that Martinez did? Or did he think his mediocre bunch was capable of stepping beyond the middle of the table? You can see the (over)value he put on Fellaini. You can see the way he (mis)used players that performed superbly for Fergusson. You can see the way Martinez took his Everton squad and tweaked it to perform better.

      The simple conclusion of it all, Moyes isn’t ready for the big time.

  4. drewvt6 - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    PS Why not consider Ajax’s Frank de Boer?

    • babatundew - Apr 26, 2014 at 3:49 AM

      …as an assistant and immediate successor to van Gaal

      • drewvt6 - Apr 27, 2014 at 12:40 PM

        de Boer just won his 4th straight title with Ajax. Van Gaal never achieved that level of sustained success at Ajax. He had 2 peak years before all his talent started to leave.

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