Carlos Queiroz’s second stint at United ended yesterday officially as he took up the top job as Portugal’s coach.
It remains to be seen, however, if United are looking to get a replacement manager from abroad or just looking to promote personnel from within the club’s coaching hierarchy. So let’s spend a little while talking on who you think to be ideally suited to the assistant manager job.
Before we pick out names let’s decide what we want from our number two. An assistant:
- should be technically and tactically astute. He is the one that runs the daily training sessions as the manager looks on from a distance. Fergie has tended to be less hands on than he used to be in his early days, so a willingness to oversee daily training is a must.
- should be a guidance counsellor — someone the players can look to fall back on during the toughest of times — a friend, a father figure.
- should be conversant in a number of languages, typically reflective of the composition of our side. So a Portuguese/Spanish tilt would be ideal. He is basically the one that listens to players almost daily, so communication is vital.
- should be of a certain pedigree; after all this is Manchester United we’re talking about.
- could, as an optional attribute, be well connected all over the place so that upcoming talent can be scouted.
- should be able to deal with the media, because Fergie won’t talk to the BBC.
I’ll throw four candidates and give a two pennies worth on each. And I’d like some ideas from you all too.
Laurent Blanc — Has had a successful start to his managerial career with Bordeaux. But I haven’t seen enough to really judge him, although he has been touted as being a possible candidate. However I think he lacks experience.
Michael Laudrup — Very impressive with Getafe, although he may lack experience. Fluent in different languages, and will command respect from players. Wouldn’t mind seeing him at United.
Eric Cantona — has charisma but little experience. Can’t say much although it would get lot of fans excited. And we’ll get to see colourful interviews on MoTD
Frank Rijkaard — Has European pedigree and experience at top clubs. Can speak English, Spanish, Dutch and Italian. Must have learned some Portuguese considering the large Portuguese contingent he managed at Barca. However, not sure of his tactical nous because it was widely thought that Ten Cate was the tactical man.
Manuel Pelligrini — I’d love this guy to come over to United because he seems to get so much out of rejects and potentially good players. I know there is little chance of that happening, plus I’m not sure if he speaks English. This Villarreal coach has got the best out of players like Riquelme (although he did fallout later on) and an ageing Robert Pires — not to mention, Diego Forlan and Rossi. He also seems to have excellent contacts as he seems to have an eye on the bargain buys.
There, those were some of my candidates. Now your turn…
* * *
The entire press corps are running with the story that United have lodged a £20 million bid for Dimitar Berbatov. Not entirely sure if Spurs would be interested to sell for that much. But there are reports that the lily whites might settle for something in that region because they may need to raise some cash for buying Espanyol’s Luis Garcia. So two and two add up to umm… something. I don’t know, and I don’t care. I’d stick with: show me the money (or rather, show me a transfer) before I even begin to care. At the moment though, the press can wet themselves wild with speculation. I’ll read them for my own err, reading pleasure. There may be some merit to the story, but let’s wait and watch.
Back to the topic, assistant managers… I want assistant managers! Go on, give us a shout.
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