Next Manchester United Manager: Red Devils need a gaffer who make players shake with fear and shiver with pride

Andy Dillon by Andy Dillon / 28 September 2018, 11:09

In the old days, Paul Pogba would be sitting in A&E nursing a black eye.

A flying boot launched by an irate Alex Ferguson leaving him with bruises and in no doubt that the manager had considered him out of order.

It happened to David Beckham some years back and when the story at last emerged from within the dressing room code of secrecy it only added to Ferguson’s standing as a man not to be messed with.

Whether Ferguson’s actions were right or wrong, there is no place for physical assaults on employees now in football. Just because your star midfielder earns £200K a week does not give his coach the right to attack him.

Nowadays, the clashes, spats, fallouts and rucks are played out in front of the banks of TV cameras which seem to occupy every little free are of space in a football stadium.

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And what is clear to see is that Manchester United have failed to replace Alex Ferguson with anyone who can hold a group of players in an iron grip. His command and reverence combined with the club’s status enough to keep unruly stars in their place.

Fergie had his battles with Roy Keane towards the end of his former captain’s career but still maintained the levels of discipline necessary to get on with his job of winning league titles.

The latest bloke to come in and try to fill the granite-faced Glaswegian’s role is failing on every level.

And he is not helped by the fact Man Utd have not won the title in five years and the club is losing its standing as one of the great cathedrals of English and world football.

When a manager is buying and ultimately picking the right players to win the league, there is little that any frustrated Frenchman like Pogba or anyone else for that matter can say.


Chelsea’s mothballed captain Gary Cahill has not started a Premier League game this season but admits: “when the team’s winning, you just have to suck it up and get on with it.”

A personality clash between Pogba and moody Jose Mourinho was always likely. The coach who labelled himself ‘The Special One’ many years ago is a specialist in being difficult in the same way he called Arsene Wenger a Specialist in Failure.

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Ferguson’s return to Old Trafford last weekend to see his old team shuffle around the pitch and settle for a draw against newly-promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers could not have been timed better for its poignancy.

The result shows what Manchester United are about now and the sight of the man who won 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles, highlights what is missing.

It is impossible to guarantee but the chances of another Ferguson coming along at this club is about a million to one.

Fergie was given four years to get everything in place, revamping scouting networks, bringing in the right players to batter into the kind of warriors he wanted out on the pitch; shaping the club in his image.

With so much pressure and demand for instant success in the modern game, no coach will be given that long to turn things around at Old Trafford. Especially with noisy neighbours Manchester City and fierce rivals Liverpool now up and running and stretching away from Man Utd at pace.

Tottenham appear to be the only big club willing to show a bit of patience in the pursuit of long term success. And there is already a growing feeling that the Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino is next in line for the Manchester United job.

Finally filling the void left by the greatest manager of all time is never going to be easy but Manchester United need to find the man who can ultimately make players shake with fear and shiver with pride when they pull on the famous red jersey and that is going to be a slow process.


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