Winter shopping season may be over for football managers, but the speculation window is at its peak.
After flunking against Midtjylland in a 2-1 battle, Manchester United’s future under the current boss, Van Gaal, looks grim, and the club hierarchy is on a lookout for Dutchman’s replacement to bring back Fergie’s legacy era at Old Trafford. The expectations may seem resounding, but a club of riches like United can afford to dream big.
Former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, who was sacked by London club following a poor start to the season, is the man widely tipped to fill in Van Gaal’s shoes. The Portuguese tactician, a known trophy charmer, has the ability, experience, and zeal to completely turn around ailing sides. However, the “Special One” is not the only boss on United’s radar. According to speculations, Atletico’s Diego Simeone, Hotspurs’ Pochettino, and a good number of other managers have been linked to the Red Devils so far.
Regardless of the manager, we take a look at top five things that can rehabilitate United:
CATERING AND DEVELOPING THE FRENCHMAN:
Anthony Martial is the only newcomer who has lived up to the expectations to an extent in this season. However, Van Gaal utterly failed to turn the Frenchman into a real striking threat. If Mourinho finally finds his way to Old Trafford, Martial is one player he will be looking to develop into an emerging talent of the next decade.
Comparisons of Martial’s playing style to that of his compatriot, Thierry Henry, are surfacing over the web. No doubt that Martial can follow in his footsteps.
REHAUL OF ATTACKING MIDFIELD:
United have undoubtedly suffered in creating chances and winning crucial battles in the attacking midfield which has been unable to compliment United forwards in last two seasons. Yes – they sealed Depay and Martial’s bids, but none of them have enough experience to challenge for the title.
United have made 200 key passes and a further 19 assists in Barclays Premier League (BPL) this season which is significantly lesser in comparison with the top six teams in BPL. Van Gaal got it wrong when he decided not to bring in any experienced attacking midfielders to enhance goal threat. Any incoming manager would be on a lookout for a creative partner for Mata and a skilled winger on the right side.
FRAILTIES IN FRONT OF DEFENSE:
Apart from attack, a defensive midfield pair is required to dominate in the centre. Any manager, Mourinho in particular, will be bringing in a replacement for the veteran, Michael Carrick and the Belgian, Fellaini, who have underperformed for United for way too long.
Carrick does no have enough stamina to work in that position while Fellaini and Morgan Schneiderlin do not have enough quality on the ball. A young player with quality like Pogba could be the answer for United’s incoming manager.
ATTACKING SURGE FOR DISAPPOINTED FORWARDS:
A lot relied upon the shoulders of Memphis Depay and Adnan Januzaj regarding the attack. However, Depay failed to make a significant impact considering the number of chances he availed while Januzaj has only been utilised in three games in EPL so far.
Jesse Lingard has also been quite ordinary when it comes to consistency. There is still room to bring in, at least, one more experienced guy to replace all these youngsters to strengthen the squad.
Rooney plays a versatile role for Manchester United where he has to score goals as well as create chances. But his abilities usually require another composed finisher at the end of the line. His poor run of form in last two seasons under Van Gaal is enough evidence to suggest that Rooney needs another strike partner.
Two seasons ago, Rooney assisted 22 goals in all competitions but had been restricted to 6 in the last season and four so far in the current season. Robin Van Persie’s out of form touch in the last season, followed by his departure last year has not helped Rooney’s cause much. Hopefully, any new incoming manager would be looking forward to pairing him up with someone the likes of RVP to give United fans some cheer.