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How the Manchester United job has become a poisoned chalice

Apr 22, 2014, 8:58 AM EDT

FBL-ENG-PL-MAN UTD Getty Images

With rumors already rife about who will succeed David Moyes as the new manager of Manchester United, you have to ask yourself this question: who would really want to take this job?

The term ‘poisoned chalice’ comes to mind as the relentless pressure associated with this job, especially given the fact that a monumental rebuild is now needed, means only a handful of candidates are ideal. Coaches who could come in are putting their own reputations at risk, as the Glazer family who own United have proved they’re ruthless in their search for success.

A special type of person is needed to take charge of United and Moyes simply wasn’t up to it.

Yet the way in which he was ruthlessly cast aside must spark some doubt in the minds of potential replacements, as how long will a new boss really get to turn things around at Old Trafford?

(MORE: Man United fire David Moyes as manager)

Moyes failed as United boss. In nine months and 22 days in charge of the Red Devils, he did little positive in the role as he turned the reigning Premier League champions into a team that will likely finish in seventh spot this season, wasted over $100 million on new players and instilled a sense of foreboding throughout the entire club. However with United’s aging squad acknowledged by many, key injuries to Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and many others throughout the course of the season, were the Glazer’s right to cut Moyes’ time short? I’m not so sure. Given time, he could’ve turned things around, yet he was never going to get that chance.

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Is Dutch national team coach Louis van Gaal the right man to replace Moyes?

Now as United look for their new manager, will they be able to attract top coaches to the position?

Any manager would acknowledge managing a club like United means they’ve reached the pinnacle of the game. The endless resources handsome wages you can demand, a global outreach and the history of being England’s most successful team means it is still an attractive proposition, even after one season of supreme struggle.

(MORE: Candidates you need to know as United looks for a manager)

Louis van Gaal, Jurgen Klopp, Diego Simeone or even Ryan Giggs, whoever takes over from Moyes can’t do much worse than the 50-year-old Scotsman. Does that mean that the sentiment that has been banded around for months that ‘the manager who succeeds the manager who replaced Ferguson is the big winner’ is true? It’s hard not to argue with that.

Yet any new manager will be eying up the United job with a sight feeling of trepidation as the ruthless ownership group has shown that  finishing in the top four and delivering silverware is a must at Old Trafford. Moyes couldn’t handle that pressure and it cost him his job. The next man who arrives has to do better or similarly risk damaging their reputation by taking on a job too big to turnaround in just one season.

United’s owners need to get realistic. They are in the middle of a massive overhaul and time is needed for new players to bed in, a new philosophy to flourish and now a new manager to seamlessly knit this together.

Who will take on the immense challenge to revive England’s largest and greatest soccer club to its past glory?

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. Ian's Rushtache - Apr 22, 2014 at 9:43 AM

    You say the Glazers are ruthless, I say they are clueless. Here are my reasons.

    1. The success, or lack thereof, that they have had with their NFL team. The Buccaneers have been a clown show for the majority of their ownership. It seems that the success they have had owning United lies solely in the fact that SAF was already there. If their history of appointing coaches in the NFL is any indication it could be a hard road over the next few years for United supporters.

    2. Who in their right mind allows the outgoing coach to appoint his successor? It seems that SAF was calling the shots, not the owners or the board, which is fine for on field matters, but not acceptable when looking to fill a vacancy at one of the biggest clubs in the world.

  2. ningenito78 - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:57 AM

    I don’t know sh-t about soccer but hard to argue with either of the 2 points above.

  3. talgrath - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    Let’s be honest here, expectations being what they are, whoever took over after Ferguson was going to have a rough time of it unless they were somehow as dominant (or more so) than he was, which is pretty much impossible. The question is whether United’s fans and ownership realize exactly how lucky they were to get and keep Ferguson or not now that Moyes is gone; personally I expect they haven’t reached that realization yet, and won’t until they go through a couple more. If I was a coach at a top European team, I’d wait it out a couple of rounds until expectations have been lowered and then come in and look like a genius.

    • Ian's Rushtache - Apr 22, 2014 at 5:44 PM

      Well put. That’s why we LFC supporters are so excited, we know we have a gem in Rodgers.

  4. Vnice - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    One season of struggle does not necessarily mean ManU is a poisoned chalice. It just means it’s a high expectations environment. Chelsea, on the other hand…well, you saw what winning the Champions League did for DiMatteo.

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