David Moyes’ imminent departure has left football fans across the world second guessing who will become Manchester United’s next permanent manager, with the Mirror reporting Dutchman Louis Van Gaal as his most likely replacement.
After just under a year in charge, Moyes was finally relieved of his duties on Tuesday morning, following a season plagued with disappointment. The club had seemingly lost all patience with the ex-Everton man, deciding to cut their losses after a harrowing weekend defeat at the hands of his former club.
So what is next for the reigning Premier League champions? After an eleventh league defeat of the season on Sunday, Champions League qualification is now out of the question. From here the club needs to focus its full attention on finding a manager for the future.
Whilst Louis Van Gaal boasts a wealth of experience, having taken Ajax to European Cup glory, coached Catalan giants Barcelona and won the Bundesliga during his short time with Bayern Munich in Germany, he is by no means the best option for United at this current moment in time.
It goes without saying the Dutchman has a fantastic CV, but the foremost of his achievements came pre-2000 – in the previous century. One Eredivisie, one Bundesliga and the German cup, since 1999, hardly constitutes a world class ‘modern’ manager.
Van Gaal experienced ups and down during his spells at both AZ Alkmaar and Bayern Munich and both stints at these clubs were not without problems. The Dutchman’s dictatorial style has caused friction throughout his managerial career and this could provoke further problems in an Old Trafford dressing room that has become disgruntled under David Moyes.
In recent weeks United fans have been lulled into a false sense of optimism whilst witnessing the impressive link-up play between midfielders Shinji Kagawa and Juan Mata. However, this positivity could prove short lived upon the arrival of Van Gaal.
It’s safe to predict that fellow Dutchman Robin Van Persie will be at the centre of the 62-year-old’s plans, which could see Kagawa sacrificed as he attempts to comfort the egos of both RVP and Wayne Rooney within the same starting eleven.
This provides a very short-term outlook, considering van Persie has only one or two seasons left at most. Plus it would prove a huge step backwards, essentially taking the squad back to the start of this season.
Fans of English football have been in admiration of the work of Brendan Rodgers and Roberto Martinez, of Liverpool and Everton respectively. Both are youthful managers who have provided a fresh perspective to the game, allowing them to exceed expectations despite a lack of resources.
The Merseyside duo play exciting and successful football, they have guts and appeal, and most importantly, they have proved capable of defeating teams with superior squads on a regular basis. United have been significantly inept in this department throughout the season, an aspect that needs addressing immediately. This is a feat the Dutchman has rarely achieved.
Right now Louis Van Gaal is the most obvious choice to succeed Moyes, but not necessarily the best. There are, of course, other options. Borussia Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp is also on United’s radar, whilst the club could look internally at Old Trafford legend Ryan Giggs. Even Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone has been thrown into the mix.