Even if they’re mildly delusional and almost certainly a decade behind the times, the millions of Manchester United fans who’ve been at pains to remind us they support the ‘biggest club in the world’ via social media this week, do have a point.
They belong to an institution that deserves to have one of the planet’s greatest managers at the helm. Who then?
Long-term, even though he’s never managed in his life, I’d like to think that man could be Ryan Giggs.
Having bathed in all things Manchester United since he was knee-high to a grasshopper - collecting just about every prize the game has to offer ever since – no one knows more what about what it takes to be successful in the north-west of England than he does.
And, having met him on a number of occasions, I am convinced he’s management material.
While Kenny Dalglish and Pep Guardiola proved that great players can mutate into great managers right away, it should also be noted they inherited Liverpool and Barcelona teams in far better condition than United’s rabble of 2014. In need of a total rebuild, for a rookie gaffer there’s possibly too much to do.
Right now Ed Woodward needs a head coach with credible European experience, a man who’ll attract star names, while also reverting back to the swashbuckling style that made them so famous. He needs that man to be a proven winner, and someone who’d be comfortable working with the Welshman.
In my view Louis van Gaal is a little old, too military, too formidable. For the time being he’s also too Dutch. Unable to turn his attentions to Manchester United until mid-July, I wonder if that’s too late for the board to wait for a revamp to begin. In addition, a proposed partnership with Roy Keane in the technical area sounds dangerously combustible.
With Giggs as his able Lieutenant and Sir Alex helping out with transfer targets twice a year (why not?) I think they should turn to Carlo Ancelotti instead.
OK he’s currently at Real Madrid, but with La Liga looking a long shot and the Champions League by no means a shoo-in, his job security at the Santiago Bernabeu isn’t stood on solid ground.
Even if the Italian pulls off their long awaited Decima (tenth European Cup success) where else does he go from there? Whatever happens it’s unlikely he’ll stay involved beyond two more years.
A friend of mine produced an exclusive interview with Carlo Ancelotti last season while the Italian was bossing Paris Saint Germain, and in it the Italian confessed he had “unfinished business” in the Premier League.
The Chelsea side he led to a league and cup double four years ago in his first season in English football, was exceptional. Roman Abramovich’s decision to sack him just a year later, was possibly the Oligarch’s harshest ever dismissal.
Ancelotti’s Blues had pace, power and a savage ruthless streak. If an opponent was on the ropes, it was in their make-up to bludgeon them over and over again until they were no longer a threat. They scored 103 goals.
Tell me a Manchester United fan that wouldn’t like to see their boys ripple the net as often. Players love him too. In all his years managing Juventus, AC Milan, Chelsea, PSG and now Real Madrid you’ve barely heard a whisper of discontent from the dressing rooms. Fun, firm and fair, he seems able to earn respect with ease. Big egos bow before him.
With Giggs, Butt, Scholes, Neville (and maybe Paul Clement) sat at the coaches table alongside Ancelotti, the class of ’92 would get to taste and enjoy a different style of world-class management to the one-off that was Fergie.
Learning new ideas from the Italian, as well as remembering all that the Scot taught them, it’s a future coaching team that couldn’t dream of a more invaluable education process.
Then once Ancelotti’s work is done, with Giggs and his pals handed the baton, together they’ll be ready to build another Old Trafford empire.
Let’s face it; following the man who followed Sir Alex Ferguson is arguably the most attractive job in football. They have to give it to the best candidate - and that’s Ancelotti.
Ancelotti is 7.00 second favourite to be the next Manchester United manager.