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France, not Ferguson's successor, should be Blanc's future

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Phil Minshull | 08:00 UK time, Tuesday, 17 November 2009

To read some British newspapers at the weekend, it looks almost a done deal that the former France and Manchester United defender Laurent Blanc could take over from his mentor Sir Alex Ferguson.

Sorry, United fans, but others are in the queue to sign up Blanc before your club's owner Malcolm Glazer or chief executive David Gill get the green light from Sir Alex to lure him to Old Trafford as manager.

For a start, the French Football Federation (FFF) almost certainly has got designs on arguably the best European coach under the age of 45, with the possible exception of Barcelona's Pep Guardiola.

Laurent BlancLaurent Blanc has been tipped to replace Sir Alex Ferguson when he leaves Manchester United

Ferguson has yet to set a date when he'll to hand over the keys to his famous wine cabinet at Old Trafford, from which favoured visiting managers are usually entertained.

By contrast, the tenure of French national coach Raymond Domenech is coming to an end sooner or later and Blanc is also now a clear favourite to take over the job after his outstanding work at Bordeaux.

After taking Bordeaux to second place in 2008, in his first year as a coach which earned him the French Manager of the Year Award, last season Blanc then guided them to their first Ligue 1 title in a decade.

This year, Bordeaux are back on top domestically with a 100% home record and he has taken them into the last 16 of the Uefa Champions League which, in turn, will leave one or the other of former winners Juventus or Bayern Munich out in the cold.

By contrast, with Blanc's star in the ascendancy, you don't need to be fluent in French to know that Domenech's days are numbered.

Just have a look at this article in the Irish Times, written in the wake of France's unimpressive 1-0 win over Ireland on Saturday and the coverage of him about storming out of the post-match press conference.

"There is tension in the room as Mr Domenech's relationship with the French media has utterly disintegrated," is one particularly damning sentence.

Domenech's relationship with the players and the French public, which had been on the slide since their disastrous showing at Euro 2008 and plummeted further since they started their Fifa World Cup qualifying campaign with a 3-1 loss in Austria, has also disintegrated as well.

It's not only journalists who have been saying that Domenech has lost the plot, it's now a matter of public record that Thierry Henry was publicly criticising his own coach in the team hotel last Friday, just a day before their crucial World Cup play-off.

If Ireland can turn the tables on France in Paris and eliminate the 1998 World Cup winners, few people I've spoken to imagine that Domenech will be in the job this time next week.

Even if Les Bleus make it to South Africa, nor is he likely to be in the job on 12 July, the day after the World Cup final in Johannesburg.

This leaves the door open for Blanc to conveniently take up the reins of the country for which he won 97 caps and a World Cup winner's medal, even if he was controversially suspended for the final.

Raymond DomenechRaymond Domenech's days as France national coach look numbered

Trying to get a bit more Gallic insight into what Blanc is really like and how things stand in relation to him taking on the French job, I spoke to Pierre Ausseill, a senior journalist with the Agence France-Presse news agency.

"I think people in France will be surprised to see that Blanc's been so closely linked with Manchester United because he has been regularly talked about in recent times as a serious possibility as the next French coach," said Ausseill, who follows matters relating to French football very closely.

"He's cultured, intelligent, but a little bit cold. You can't compare him exactly with Arsene Wenger but there are similarities. I'd say he's got more of a northern European than a southern European personality.

"I can't see him leaving Bordeaux in December (if France do fail to qualify), that's not the way I would imagine Blanc would do things, but next summer would be the ideal time for him to move across to the national team.

"Most people think Domenech will be leaving after the World Cup, whether they win it or whatever the result. Of course, he took France to the World Cup final in 2006, but he's been hanging on since the disaster at the last Euro," added Ausseill.

So if Blanc decides to stay on home soil, who could take over from Ferguson?

It looks likely that United will appoint their first coach from the European mainland.(I've chosen my words carefully as I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who will point out that Frank O'Farrell was Irish not British.)

The name that keeps cropping up is Jose Mourinho, who remains extremely fond of English football. It wouldn't be the biggest surprise in the world to see Mourinho back at the helm of a big Premier League club.

Even if Blanc doesn't become the next French coach, he might still not end up at Old Trafford.

Not so long ago, there were a plethora of Spanish media reports suggesting that Zinedine Zidane had been bending the ear of his former benefactor and Real Madrid president Florentino Perez about his former team-mate.

Whatever happens, Blanc's quiet but decisive impact at Bordeaux has meant that he will have no shortage of suitors, with a lot of cash to offer, coming around next summer.

Comments

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  • 1. At 08:49am on 17 Nov 2009, john wrote:

    Excellent blog Phil, but it needs to be remembered that the French league isn't one of the "big 3". Surely winning this particular division is not proof that Blanc would be able to maintain the standards that Man United expect in such a pressure cooker atmosphere.

    I would love to see O'neill or Moyes given a chance with better players and a bigger budget.

    Sadely there appears to be no English managers knocking on the door for this position at an english club !

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  • 2. At 08:59am on 17 Nov 2009, anandmann wrote:

    Two matches and everyone is gaga about Blanc. I believe its too early for him especially when he was just a match away from sacking last season. Mourinho won't be at United even with all the recommendation. He has this habit of keep asking for more money to buy new players in every window and Glazer won't have him that and they don't want a manager who will make the fans go against him as it happened in case of Chelsea.

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  • 3. At 09:12am on 17 Nov 2009, Thom wrote:

    Surely the ideal would be to have coaches prove themselves over a longer period of time than just two seasons? It always seems that when a young coach starts doing well, both press and public start falling over themselves to recommend them for a top job, be it Man Utd, Liverpool, England, or in this case, France. More often than not, the coaches end up not being able to fulfil these wild aspirations and end up either dropping down the ladder (Roy Keane), or settling in to learn the trade a little more sensibly (Stuart Pearce). True, Guardiola did incredibly well last season but he still has to prove himself consistent.

    I understand there is a hunger to get top former players managing at the highest level but to give Blanc another couple of years to prove he can maintain this momentum wouldn't be a bad thing, would it?

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  • 4. At 09:15am on 17 Nov 2009, hermmy wrote:

    I'd like to see what Bordeaux achieve in the last 16. Lyon, France's best club for the l0 years, have always fallen at the quarter final stage or earlier in the champions league. Nothing seems to indicate Bordeaux will do better but let's see...

    It has to be remembered also that Blanc had a huge slice of luck in that Gourcuff was twiddling his thumbs on the bench in Italy and so fancied his chances with a loan move to Bordeaux. It just so happened that he then went on to find the form of his life and the rest, for him, Blanc and Bordeaux, is history.

    Personally I'd like to see him in the premier league. But when you look at what happened to Paul le Guen in Scotland after a similarly successful period at Lyon, you wouldn't fancy Blanc's chances.

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  • 5. At 09:20am on 17 Nov 2009, Tim wrote:

    Blanc is best remembered at Old Trafford for being for being Japp Stam's hastily acquired replacement. He's too young and ambitious still to take the French national team. If Mourinho leaves Inter then, as a former player there, he could be a suitable candidate for the vacancy.

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  • 6. At 09:35am on 17 Nov 2009, Mikey wrote:

    I can't see Mourinho ever taking up the reins at Old Trafford.. I just think it goes against the style in the way that Man Utd are run.. of course that could go out the window when Sir Alex leaves..

    I don't think Blanc will take up the national post either.. I still think these jobs are for ageing managers.. losing the day to day contact with players is not a good idea when you are still learning how to be a manager.

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  • 7. At 10:29am on 17 Nov 2009, OptimumDJ wrote:

    I think Mourinho would be a great replacement at Old Trafford, Blanc is still very much "un-proven" in his trade as a manager. The style of play that Mourinho would bring to United can only be admired, just look what he did for Chelsea!

    I do agree with post #1 though, seeing David Moyes or Martin O'Neill in the driving seat at United would be extremley interesting, as both are talented managers, but both are restricted financially in such an economically dominated game.

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  • 8. At 10:40am on 17 Nov 2009, I am not a number wrote:

    "So if Blanc decides to stay on home soil, who could take over from Ferguson?"

    How about Carlos Queiroz?

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  • 9. At 10:45am on 17 Nov 2009, captainlazytim wrote:

    Jose at OT? Did you not think that his philosophy is almost the opposite of AF's? He doesn't do youth teams, likes to buy and have a small squad, and thinks he's the best thing since breathing (oh wait, that last one is perfect)

    But still, Phil, you see my point.

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  • 10. At 10:48am on 17 Nov 2009, sirbricktop wrote:

    I really don't fancy Mourinho at United - too emotional to build any sort of dynasty at a football club. His Chelsea days prove that, got too close to his players and created a "me vs. them" relationship with the board.

    I accept what Sir Alex has done over the past 23 years will never be repeated, modern day football has too much money at stake for managers to be given the amount of time Fergie was given in his first three-and-a-half years in charge, but his successor has to be someone who has the guile and tenacity to carry on and develop the United empire.

    I like Moyes and O'Neill, both have done incredible jobs at their clubs and the only thing missing is experience at Champions League level, although O'Neill did get Celtic to a UEFA Cup final. As for Blanc I don't know enough about his style to comment fully but on the face of it, winning the French League and getting through their Champions League group is pretty good going.

    Other candidates? Mark Hughes has cut his ties after taking the City job, Bryan Robson never matched his incredible playing career as a manager. One hat in the ring - Steve Bruce? If he has a good few seasons at Sunderland and spends all that money wisely, could be an outside chance.

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  • 11. At 10:54am on 17 Nov 2009, Jon N wrote:

    i hope that blanc does bcome the next french manager, and following that will be ready to replace monsieur wenger at the emirates stadium whenever wenger feels it is the right time for him to move on!!

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  • 12. At 11:04am on 17 Nov 2009, Dan wrote:

    Post #8 do you seriously feel after his disastorous spell at Real Madrid after which he had to come running back to be Fergies number 2 and a world cup qualifying campaign that has left Portugal needing to go through the playoffs that Carlos Queiroz would be a suitable replacement for Fergie? I for one would not be happy if that appointment were to be made, hes a good number two but has been very limited in success by himself

    As for Mourinho at Old Trafford? I personally see him ending up at Real Madrid in the not too distant future.

    Moyes, Bruce or O'Neill have all done well with limited budgets and I would love to see what O'Neill could do with the resources united could offer him, we saw the success he maintained at Celtic for years at a time and Leicester and Villa being good footballing teams whilst hes been at the helm in the english leagues, given money and time I believe O'Neill would be a perfect replacement for Sir Alex

    Laurent Blanc was a good player and clearly knows his way around management but Bourdeax is not even on the Radar compared to managing United, see how he does for a few more years and then anything could be possible, for now, Fergies still the man for me, lets hope he doesnt leave anytime soon

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  • 13. At 11:05am on 17 Nov 2009, Tori_torres8 wrote:

    No one thinks jose would fit manU but once he gets there he'll bring more trophies in 5years than saf in whole his working years.

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  • 14. At 11:26am on 17 Nov 2009, Walter wrote:

    Good blog Phil.
    #8, Carlos Queiroz can't manage on his own. See how Portugal are struggling in the qualifications. And more is to come when they finally qualified for the SA 2010. They be degenerated into a small team.

    I totally agree with those who opine that the successor for SAF should come from within the UK.

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  • 15. At 11:28am on 17 Nov 2009, Nick wrote:

    As a United fan i realise that SAF is one of the last of the "oldschool" of manager. When United recruit a replacement they will have to move with the times. Gone are the days a coach remains at a club for more than a decade.
    Mourinho could work at OT but it would need compromise on both parties behalf.
    Plus if anyone has noticed whenever Mourinho visits OT be it on a tactics mission or just for pleasure he sits in the directors box, he takes his seat about an hour before kick off and surveys the ground as if he owns it. He also enters OT via the Players/ Managers entrance.

    I think United have a pretty decent youth set-up at the moment and there would be no need for Mourinho to get involved as long as he struck up a good working relationship with whoever is in charge. SAF is different because he likes to be involved in everything. The arrival of Mourinho wouldnt signal the end of Uniteds commitment to youth.

    As for Blanc? Why the criticism because its "only" the French league? That it is irrelevant. Its about what he does as a coach. How he has improved players, the systems he uses etc etc. That is what United will be keeping an eye on

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  • 16. At 11:42am on 17 Nov 2009, tomefccam wrote:

    i am unsure as to whether it is a good idea for young managers to take international jobs, it ruined hoddle who was potentially an awesome manager. and as far as i can remember, it is nearly always the experienced, older coaches who win major international tournaments...

    Rehagel, Lippi, Aragones, Scolari, Lemerre, Jaquet, Vogts...

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  • 17. At 11:59am on 17 Nov 2009, Nick wrote:

    Man Utd have been lining up their "new manager" for years. This time a couple of years ago it was generally accepted that it would be Mark Hughes. Not happening now he's at City. Then it was Steve Bruce, now Laurent Blanc, next it will be Giggs or even Beckham. By the time Fergie actually retires there'll be talk of Rooney taking over.

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  • 18. At 12:07pm on 17 Nov 2009, Tess Sgs wrote:

    "arguably the best European coach under the age of 45, with the possible exception of Barcelona's Pep Guardiola"

    POSSIBLE exception?

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  • 19. At 12:07pm on 17 Nov 2009, Macattack1 wrote:

    There is another name that has not been mentioned here. Alex McLeish - who played under Ferguson at Aberdeen, and appears to have kept contact with AF. He has always canvassed AF's opinion and advice since he moved into management. He has the desire and the skills to be suited to the role. I know that MU are a huge team, but after the Rangers and Scotland jobs he has loads of experience. I am sure also the AF would continue to guide him, as well as all the backroom staff at his disposal.

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  • 20. At 12:07pm on 17 Nov 2009, Tess Sgs wrote:

    Grr, why is this happening again? I'm NOT a new member!

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  • 21. At 12:16pm on 17 Nov 2009, Stevat wrote:

    Why all this talk of managers who are in jobs to replace managers who are in jobs? If and when Domenech or Ferguson leave their post by whatever means, surely you just need to look at the managers that are available at the time. Currently Man U could have Souness, Ferguson Jr or Burley?

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  • 22. At 12:18pm on 17 Nov 2009, marrakoosh wrote:

    It will undoubtedly be one of the Scots - O'Neill, Moyes, or - dare I say - Strachan?

    Blanc wouldn't be a bad choice either. #2 - let us remember Fergie was once only a match away from a sacking - where has he gone? As much as we shouldn't get all flustered at the thought of him being a great, future United manager - we also shouldn't completely dismiss him as being "not up to it".

    I also agree with #15 - sure, the level of skill had by the players in the French League and Premier League generally is different. The processes, coaching and general man-management almost certainly isn't.

    Though despite all we've said - I'm going with Steve Bruce to be our next manager.

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  • 23. At 12:45pm on 17 Nov 2009, Wot Kuyt 'e did wrote:

    I've been saying for YEARS it would be Blanc at Utd before anyone even mentioned him. And he would not be wise to take on the France job now; it wouldn't give him the further experience he would need to carry on with club management once France fail again to win something.

    I reckon he & AF will stay put for another season though at least. Why rock the boat when both are riding relatively high.

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  • 24. At 12:53pm on 17 Nov 2009, iain carlyle wrote:

    #22 o'neil is a scot? But i have to agree with the general consensus, a good youngish UK manager should be given first crak, Fergie would stillbe the power behind the throne at least for the 1st few seasons, thats why i would go for a Moyes, O'neil or Strachan, mc Leish also outside bet.

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  • 25. At 12:57pm on 17 Nov 2009, jamtart13 wrote:

    How about Eric Cantona - wouldn't that be exciting

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  • 26. At 1:02pm on 17 Nov 2009, ikkyping wrote:

    #22 It will undoubtedly be one of the Scots - O'Neill, Moyes, or - dare I say - Strachan? O'Neill's from Northern Ireland not Scotland but is prob the FAV just now. Good young players at Villa who can play a bit. Strachan doesn't have a chance of the Man U job, he hardly covered himself in glory at Celtic so won't be touched by a bigger team in England.

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  • 27. At 1:13pm on 17 Nov 2009, IanH wrote:

    Tori_torres8: No one thinks jose would fit manU but once he gets there he'll bring more trophies in 5years than saf in whole his working years.

    I lol'd.

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  • 28. At 1:16pm on 17 Nov 2009, JonDaDon wrote:

    @22

    O'Neill is irish.

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  • 29. At 1:32pm on 17 Nov 2009, BrightRedSpark wrote:

    Re: Tori_torres8
    Besides the fact that your statement is not mathematically possible, Mourinho is not a patch on SAF in terms of management. Undoubtedly, Mourinho is a very good coach but not so great when it comes to management and commitment. He'll be like another Ronaldo, there will always be the worry that his head may be turned. I personally would love to see O'Neil take over from Sir Alex when he decides to call it a day. I wouldn't be disheartened to see Moyes at the helm either. With regards to Brucey, I want to see how well he gets on with his sizable budget at Sunderland (in comparison to what he had at Wigan) and then weigh him up for the job.

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  • 30. At 1:34pm on 17 Nov 2009, JStander wrote:

    Jose will end up at Man City with millions to spend and a 'goal' of overtaking United. Fergie's replacement is a cloud over OT that is forming NOW and will get bigger and bigger. The obvious big names will be under tremendous pressure to continue success ..... and may fail! The other possibility is an untried new manager (perhaps with OT connections) to build a new dynasty. The progress of Ole Gunnar Solksjaer is noted!!

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  • 31. At 1:42pm on 17 Nov 2009, Gerard Elliott wrote:

    Hey Phil

    Long time since I heard from you!! Pleased to see that you are now so "famous"!

    Ged Elliott

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  • 32. At 1:48pm on 17 Nov 2009, Diego-UK wrote:

    Domenech is, in very close fight with Maradona and Queiroz, the worst manager of a national side. Maradona was saved by the lack of oppositon and a fluke offside goal against Peru, so they scrapped into the World Cup (yet they were poor against Spain in the weekend). Queiroz has Ronaldo to save the side... if he is fit. Domenech has some good players (Anelka, Henry, Diarra, Benzema, Ribery, Evra to name a few) yet the football France show is indifferent if not awful. How can you lose to Austria with that talent? With all due respect to Austria.

    The truth is Domenech should have gone long ago. Back in 2006, the French struggled to get into the World Cup. He had to recall players that had left the national side, and in retun they did the job for him: We'll chose the football, you shut up and watch. As France made it through the rounds, Domenech's ego and head grew bigger, as if he had masterminded the whole thing. He should have left then, right after Grosso's penalty.

    He stayed, though, and his French side was probably the worst of the last Euros, a tournament where we saw some decent football from thebigger sides and some tireless efforts from the weaker. But France. They did nothing. And the guy still had the job.

    I do not know what will take for him to go. Surely Ireland winning at the Stade de France should do it, yet it seems unlikely (I'll be rooting for Ireland anyway) so he'll be in South Africa. He can find a kind group and repeat the 2006 story all over again.

    Now Blanc looks a great prospect of a manager. I am not sure if he needs to be ready for a job or not. Guardiola is not the only exception of someone taking a job and do grea fom the start. Dalglish didn't do too bad as player/manager, for example. It helps if you have a good squadat your srvice.

    Be it at France, be it at United, Blanc would have a good set of players so his job would be easier and a relative level of success can come his way. The United job may well be far in time - Has Ferguson confirmed his retirement? The race to take over him was, in theory, taken over by his former players (once Queiroz has shown how bad he can be and other former assistants as McClaren are in other pastures) but currently Ince or Keane have fallen behind a bit. Steve Bruce?

    The issue with chosing the next manager for United is beyond the name: What would Blanc take for them? In theory, a football basd on ball possesion and flair. What would Mourinho bring? Solid deffense, strong players, more calculated style... A British manager? A different approach too... So what United have to chose is the style; that would indicate the manager.

    Blanc woul do fine for France, but as it has been said he may fancy a big club job first. if they are available or not come the summer is another story

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  • 33. At 1:48pm on 17 Nov 2009, collie21 wrote:

    Who said Ferguson is leaving United? Not for a few years yet I'd warrant. By that time, Roy Keane might actually be a decent manager

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  • 34. At 1:53pm on 17 Nov 2009, Thoughtsonfootball wrote:

    Blanc becoming manager of France will probably happen. However, if it were to happen after Domenech then it would be a huge mistake. Obviously if it goes well then there's not a problem. However, managing your country too early and failing will likely preclude you from the job later on in life.

    Fabio Capello has done the right thing by taking International management has his swan song. Blanc should continue to learn in different leagues throughout Europe and then manage France. Look at Donnadoni of Italy - a young and gifted manager whose disastrous international reign has stunned his growth. Glen Hoddle is another example.

    There are success stories of young international managers but the cost of failure is a price I would consider too high, both from France's and Blanc's point of view.

    http://thoughtsonfootball.wordpress.com/

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  • 35. At 1:55pm on 17 Nov 2009, Phil wrote:

    No 28, no he isn't. He's from the UK. Or Northern Ireland if you would prefer

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  • 36. At 1:58pm on 17 Nov 2009, ronaldo_rocket wrote:

    Mourinho wouldn't win half as many trophies as Ferguson, or more to the point would he stick at United for more than 10 years. Saying that, very few would - especially in this day and age. I'd take (the now bitter) Harry Redknapp, he's discovered how to fit the Fergie mould!

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  • 37. At 1:59pm on 17 Nov 2009, Chizzle wrote:

    When Ferguson leaves Manchester United, I think there's only one or two options to take his place. Personally, I would suggest David Moyes, he's a bright young manager who's proved consistently with Everton what he can do (he's had them punching above their weight for years now) and he's got the same mentality as Ferguson. I think he would be the best choice, but otherwise it'd be Msrtin O'Neill. He likes his teams to play in fast, fluid attacking style and would please the fans with that style of play as United fans are used to that. Mourinho would be interesting, but his teams play with the style of a Panzer Attack unit, being difficult to break down and very organised, but not much in the way of entertainment. Whilst he would win many trophies, United fans demand more than that, they demand victory in style. If United could find someone like Arsene Wenger then they would pounce instantly, Wenger's sides have always played attractive attacking football (although lacking in the ability to tackle!).

    My first choice will probably always be David Moyes though.

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  • 38. At 2:00pm on 17 Nov 2009, Phil wrote:

    What is the obsession with former great players going back to be manager? What difference does it make if they played for the club before? Im gobsmacked O'Neill hasn't landed a top 4 job yet -- but thats more because of the stability with Pool, man u and arse (chelski the obvious exception) - for some reason i only see him taking over at liverpool or man u though.

    Id personally love to see queiroz take over at man u - role on the glory days....

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  • 39. At 2:17pm on 17 Nov 2009, Ahsan wrote:

    Great blog Phil. Mourinho will bring stardom, glamour, charisma along with him at OT but at OT these things are upto the players. Ronaldo, Rooney, Beckham, Cantona, Best and list goes on. We need a manager who can develop our youth, who makes full use of our academy and continues the tradition of our dynasty. The only manager capable of doing that right now - Martin O'Neill, end of. Look at Aston Villa, they are fluid and play with pace. Martin had Young and Agbonlahor and look what he has achieved with them. Then imagine what he could achieve with Rooney, Anderson, Berbatov and Owen?

    Also, someone might have directed a pun but imagine Beckham on the bye line as Man Utd manager and actually being successful :P lolzzzzzzzzzzzz..

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  • 40. At 2:31pm on 17 Nov 2009, Croftalicious wrote:

    13. At 11:05am on 17 Nov 2009, Tori_torres8 wrote:

    No one thinks jose would fit manU but once he gets there he'll bring more trophies in 5years than saf in whole his working years.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    by which you mean more than liverpool have won in the past 20-odd and more? what a ridiculously one-eyed comment that is mate.

    Mourinho will come with far too much extra baggage, and for that reason alone will he not be welcomed by the Glazers. United will be looking for someone with a style close to Sir Alex, as a major upheaval will be counter-productive, they'll want to keep the passage as smooth as they can. O'Neil is my favourite to be OT boss once Fergie moves on.

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  • 41. At 2:40pm on 17 Nov 2009, BleuBlancRouge wrote:

    hmmm, using an irish paper for prove of your point is very weak. before a match of this magnituted im not sure how unbiased you were hoping it to be.

    furthermore, we have one more very talented young manager, deschamps, who in his short career has been very successful everywhere he has been thus far.

    final point, i may not like domenech, like most my compatriots, but saying he is the worst manager alongside mradona and quieroz is very naive.

    none of them are half as bad as maclaren. domenech reached a WC final, yes with zidane, but he still did it. and he ahs yet to fail to qualify.
    reading the papers in england and irelnad youd think our whole country is in disaray and mayhem. i know the dislike that exists for you lot against the french, but dont always believe everything you read in the sun, or the bbc. every now and again read lequipe or kicker, gte a different perspective

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  • 42. At 2:50pm on 17 Nov 2009, Mikey wrote:

    I think everyone is forgetting the Glazer's may be a lot more vocal and visible once Ferguson calls it a day.. the only way one of they names getting mentioned ( O'Neill, Moyes etc..) will take over is if Ferguson moves upstairs into a director role and still has some influence or say in the matter..

    I personally dont think any of these names will be on the current owner's of Man Utd's radar..

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  • 43. At 2:54pm on 17 Nov 2009, Bronco3114 wrote:

    @ 18.

    Possible exception would be about right. Pep Guardiola is no doubt an outstanding young coach, but it's one thing putting a side together to challenge and ultimately topple the pre-eminent side in your domestic competiton to fine tuning a side that would underacheive in finishing 2nd... I dare say a squad already blesses with Eto'o, Messi, Inesta, Xavi, Marquez and Henry who had been together for some time and won plenty and in your first transfer window add Yaya Toure and Alves while needing a good coach would hardly need one of Brian Clough proportions.

    Moyes or O'Neill are the best qualified to take over from Ferguson with Bruce a possibility if he builds on what he has started at Sunderland, Wigan and Birmingham. Not the big continental names some might be crying out for but have plenty of experience where it counts most, in the EPL. young, ambitious and realativley very successfull. Bodes well for longevity and continuity. Personally I'd go for O'Neill.

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  • 44. At 3:22pm on 17 Nov 2009, A Ryan wrote:

    I don't think that Mourinho is the man for the United job. Manchester United pride themselves on free-flowing attacking football and Mourinho is the antithesis of this attitude. His days at Inter however are numbered so it will be interesting to see where he ends up next...Germany perhaps (Bayern are struggling under relatively new coach Van Gaal - a man who fails in bigger positions i.e. Holland and Barcelona, but succeeds with teams like AZ Alkmaar).

    Whilst I respect Alex McLeish, I really don't believe he has any chance of succeeding Sir Alex at United. They may be on friendly terms but he just isn't high profile enough. Roy Keane is too unpredictable and has suffered in management recently. Steve Bruce is a lucky manager...I say this because he has moved to clubs at the right time. Just look at how many clubs he has managed in such a short period of time. When it looks as if things could go quickly turn sour he swiftly moves on to the next challenge. That is not an option at United, where stability like Ferguson's reign is needed. I really like Martin O'Neil, and whilst I know he would be successful at Manchester United, I still think he should stay with Villa and create an O'Neill empire there...much more satisfying for him. Talks of Carlos Queiroz as manager are ludicrous as that man's managerial record is a joke on paper (I’m afraid I’ve already let known my opinions on that man in a previous blog). Lastly talks of Cantona are nostalgic and exciting but totally ridiculous as the man hasn't coached at all in his 15 years of retirement.

    That brings me to Laurent Blanc. Again he shows great potential, nevertheless he's been a manager for only 2 seasons so far and I think he belongs at Bordeaux for the time being, not United or the French national team. Possibly in the future though, if he bring to Bordeaux unprecedented success - and who knows how many years Fergie has left in him. Personally I believe he'll never walk away, so he either gets pushed (which would be unpopular), or he ends up like Jock Stein (which would be sad).



    That leaves me to my final choice...and that would have to be undoubtedly David Moyes. The reason I would punch for him is that he has already shown that he can be relied upon to build a footballing empire. Now I’m not saying Everton are potential world beaters or Premier League champions in the making. I am saying however that they are consistently finishing in the top half of the table, some years fleeting with Europe, and they can play an attractive style of football when they perform well. He also has shown that little money needs to be spent to bring stability...look at the signings he has made; Tim Howard (former Man Utd), Tim Cahill, Jolean Lescott, Louis Saha (former Man Utd), Phil Neville (former Man Utd) and my favourite so far Phil Jagielka, who before his injury was performing wonderfully and also in the England national set up. Moyes knows what he is doing and his potential talent is being stymied by the financial restraints that Everton are under - he deserves the job at United, no questions asked.

    P.S. to the author Thoughtsonfootball, as much as I dislike Glenn Hoddle (being an Arsenal fan), I have to say that his record as England manager wasn't terrible, not in the slightest - we all remember World Cup 98 and England still played the relatively decent football that rolled on from Euro 96. It was just his controversial big mouth that got him in trouble there. So i wouldn't say that coaches can be too young to manage their national teams...however I would agree with you hat Blanc is not ready for that post yet. I say this because England didn't need much tampering with under Hoddle, but France need a complete overhaul to get them back to where they should be at football's top table. With the talent France have they should not be putting in mediocre performances...some of it is down to the coach (Domenech should have been sacked after the 2008 debacle), but the majority, as we all know, is down to the players themselves. They need a manager who can make tough decisions and ruffle a few feathers, knock a few egotistical heads together. Who this man is...well my guess is a good as the next mans.


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  • 45. At 3:25pm on 17 Nov 2009, Geordie2004 wrote:

    One of your better blogs, Phil, mainly because there are no sniping comments aimed at certain clubs/people. :)

    Personally I think it's far too early to tell who Fergie's successor is going to be. There's still no sign of his actually leaving the job any time soon, and who knows who the best young coach/manager du jour will be when he does (finally!) leave the job?

    Mind you, if it was up to me, at the moment I'd opt for either Mourinho, O'Neill or Moyes. Probably Mourinho since he already has experience at the very top level which the other two don't have.

    As far as Blanc goes, I agree with other posters who have said it would be a mistake for him to manage his country at this point in his career. As others have pointed out, aside from the fact that if he failed at the post it could ruin his career a la Hoddle, he also still has a lot to learn about coaching and managing, which would be difficult to do with what is essentially a part time job.

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  • 46. At 3:27pm on 17 Nov 2009, Geordie2004 wrote:

    Whoops, wrong Phil! My sincere apologies, I should have checked who the actual blogger was rather than making an assumption based on your being called Phil in other comments...

    Regardless, good blog.

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  • 47. At 4:49pm on 17 Nov 2009, Phil Minshull wrote:


    A lot of the comments (John, OsloTim, OptimumDJ, Sirbricktop, to name but a few) focussed on who might take over from Sir Alex Ferguson and one of the reasons why I think that a European manager will take over the reins is that British managers, like O'Neill and Moyes, may ultimately shy away from the job because of the continual comparisons with their predecessor.

    Metaphorically, Sir Alex will cast such a huge shadow that any British manager will always be in his shade.

    iain carlyle said: “Fergie would still be the power behind the throne at least for the 1st few seasons,” and I tend to agree. I think that could definately be the scenario if a British manager takes over.

    O'Neill and Moyes are talented managers and taking the Manchester United job is would be a fantastic opportunity, but they may conclude that they (just like the immediate successors to Sir Matt Busby) will never be able to do things there own way.

    A European manager will not necessarily have the same attitude and baggage to contend with, or might just be able to keep Fergie far enough in the background.

    Captainlazytin asked: “Jose at OT? Did you not think that his philosophy is almost the opposite of AF's” Yes, it is. But whoever takes over after Fergie is initially going to have to have a different philosophy in order to stamp his mark on the club in a short space.

    OnlyOneRvp made an important point that Man Utd have been lining up Sir Alex Ferguson's successor for years. He may finally step aside next summer but few people seem to think so, and that's why I, and a lot of others who I've talked to, think Blanc will make a move to another big club or the French national team and not hang make around for Fergie to finally make a decision.

    hermmy wrote: “I'd like to see what Bordeaux achieve in the last 16.” Well, a lot will depend on the luck of the draw but, apart from Chelsea, I haven't seen too many really outstanding teams in this year's Champions League.

    Do I think Bordeaux will win the Champions League? No, but I do think that they potentially could get as far as the semis.

    Thoughtsonfootball also made what I thought was an excellent point about Blanc vis-a-vis Capello and Donadoni. “There are success stories of young international managers but the cost of failure is a price I would consider too high, both from France's and Blanc's point of view.”

    It's actually a view I hold as well but the public and media clamour could be just to great for Blanc to resist, especially if France do badly in South Africa (or don't even get there).

    And finally, to Geordie2004, no offence taken at being confused with Phil McNulty.

    There are a lot worse things in life than being mixed up with the BBC Sport chief football writer.

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  • 48. At 5:24pm on 17 Nov 2009, Thoughtsonfootball wrote:

    To A Ryan,

    I do agree with you that Hoddle's reign as England manager has been unfairly critised but my use of him as an example was more of a young manager taking an international post and not going on to have the domestic managerial career that one would have expected.

    Hope that clears it up

    http://thoughtsonfootball.wordpress.com/

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  • 49. At 5:40pm on 17 Nov 2009, bringmethehorizon wrote:

    "There are a lot worse things in life than being mixed up with the BBC Sport chief football writer."

    No offense but, Phil McNulty is a real lady's man. And he wouldn't write about Manchester United in a context not including Liverpool.

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  • 50. At 5:45pm on 17 Nov 2009, Bergysdeftflicks wrote:

    I have to smile whenever i see job speculation blogs like this as its obvious that O Neill will get a mention. Do many of you realise that the man is 60 or very close to it now. Villa is as big as it ever gets for him.

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  • 51. At 5:49pm on 17 Nov 2009, Bergysdeftflicks wrote:

    Realisticly, Ferguson casts such a massive shadow that Utd best apointment wont be the next guy but the one after. Utd will get a flop for a next boss and then the next real quality appointment will follow on from failure and not Ferguson hence the mantle, while still a big one wont be an impossible one to grasp.

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  • 52. At 5:56pm on 17 Nov 2009, Stevat wrote:

    As I stated before, does anyone think there could be a possibility of Ferguson Jr joining the coaching staff and being groomed for the top job, maybe work as a reserve team manager for a year or two? What about Solsjkaer? McLeish looks a good manager to me, not sure why profile should have anything to do with the choosing of a manager to be honest?

    I dare say the people in charge won't look to the appointment of Ferguson as a benchmark, rather they will look for a star name. Disappointing really, not a fan of sensationalism but that's what will sell shirts and seats I suppose.

    Oh, and I thought McNulty was a Man U fan??

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  • 53. At 6:09pm on 17 Nov 2009, Teiam - problem solved wrote:

    Madrid would give us a run for our money about taking Blanc, but after a season he'd be sacked, the French job? I think he's a bit too young and would rather stay with his club where he's doing a fantastic job. I think by the time Fergie retires we'll be getting Pep Guardiola to replace him, Barcelona are a little more stable than Madrid and so Pep will have a good few years there but will disposed of and by then SAF maybe retiring. I don't really care how long he takes, Fergie should be there for longer than life!!

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  • 54. At 6:23pm on 17 Nov 2009, ravelston wrote:

    Blanc has said that he wants to achieve more at Bordeaux then manage a foreign club before returning to manage France. SAF has said that he can't see himself managing at 70 which would give him two seasons after the current one. By then Blanc will have 5 years at Bordeaux and, if he is successful, considerable experience in the Champions League. At that point he would be a very viable candidate.
    O'Neill, for all his domestic success, had an abysmal Champions League record at Celtic. It will be interesting to see how Villa progress over the next couple of years. Moyes clearly has the ability to make bricks without straw, but that is hardly a skill set he would need at OT. His limited European experience would count against him in any selection process.
    Mourinho ticks all the boxes. If it came down to a choice between he and Blanc, United would have to weigh the trade-off between his success at a range of high profile clubs and Blanc's knowledge of the OT culture. For either of them, Ferguson would be a problematical emminance gris were he to stay close to the club. (The parallel with Busby is hard to ignore - hopefully United learned from that experience.)
    While it's too early know how things will pan out, if Blanc is successful at Bordeaux over the next couple of years, he would be my choice. Mourinho just has the potential to be too divisive and too out of line with the existing culture. of course, when the time comes, neither may be available and we'll have to start all over again.

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  • 55. At 7:13pm on 17 Nov 2009, manutd1982 wrote:

    Personally I think Blanc could be a great manager for United, has done wonders at Bordeaux stopping Lyon's dominance, and he has also made a squad with a large group of homegrown players as well as playing attractive football, 2 things that are vital to any potential manager wanting to manage United I think.

    Quieroz is a definate no no, quality coach, but as can be seen by his stint at Real and currently with Portugal, being a great coach doesnt mean you will be a great manager.

    Im interested what people think of Solkjaer who is doing a good job with the reserves and like Guadiola at Barca is a fans favourite.

    Mourinho I think is a very good manager but I just cant see him working at United, firstly his wages currently at Inter are astronomical, and secondly he doesnt play the United way. Also if you look at the past 2 teams he has decided to go on to manage they have been at the time clearly the strongest teams in their league with far more financial muscle than any of the rival teams. I think although what he did achieve at Chelsea and what he is now doing with Inter must be admired, with the money he has had anything less with those 2 clubs would have been seen as a major disappointment.

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  • 56. At 8:49pm on 17 Nov 2009, I dont want a display name wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 57. At 9:11pm on 17 Nov 2009, peterwed wrote:

    A life long United fan I really have no clue as to who will be chosen to replace SAF, but i do know that as long as Sir Bobby Charlton and SAF have a say in the running of the club i have every confidence that the right man will be chosen. Interesting to read in Sir Bobby's book how United struggled the years after Busby left as Busby himself struggled to let go of the reigns, always feeling he has to have a say in what happens and hopefully their experience regarding this will help the new manager settle in properly.(in as much that SAF doesn't have too much control once he's properly stepped down).
    One thing i feel i have to say though is how strange i find it seeing people writing that they feel Blanc doesn't have enough experience in management at a big club due to the weakness of the French league, yet the same people are recommending O'Neil and Moyes for the job? Neither of these managers have managed a real big club (sorry Celtic fans but you'll never be compared to the size of United) and I feel that neither are good enough or have the real winning desire that United requires.

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  • 58. At 9:30pm on 17 Nov 2009, A Ryan wrote:

    To Thoughtsonfootball,

    It does clear it up indeed. It's a shame really that he left his post at Southampton as it seemed to be going rather well for him down there (pretty much like Strachan's reign there). Once again the mighty Spurs extinguished a prospering managerial career (Francis, Ramos, Ardiles to name a few others). I do believe he is heavily involved in an academy on the continent somewhere now, trying to help players that didn't make it for whatever reason...good cause, but miles adrift in the footballing wilderness however.

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  • 59. At 9:33pm on 17 Nov 2009, I dont want a display name wrote:

    At 08:49am on 17 Nov 2009, john wrote:
    Sadely there appears to be no English managers knocking on the door for this position at an english club !
    =======================================
    I would venture to suggest that there is one English manager who has proved his worth but no-one seems willing to give the credit he is due.
    If Harry Redknapp had had the resources available to SAF, who's to say he couldn't have done at least as well.
    My only problem with 'arry is that he has to tow Joe Jordan around with him. I've had to reword this entry because the over-officious moderators, who are probably too young to have seen him play won't let me use a word to describe Joe Jordan with which most people who had seen him play would agree.

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  • 60. At 9:49pm on 17 Nov 2009, the4thlion wrote:

    blanc is the best young coach (under 45) in europe and that includes a talented but tactically average guardiola.
    to have a squad with iniesta, xavi, puyol, alves, henry, etoo, toure, keita, valdes, milito, abidal, marquez, pique, gudjohnsen, ibrahimovic, busquets, and the best player in the world messi is a huge advantage. blanc had only one world class player and that was gourcuff. he wont go to man utd probably france.
    ferguson will retire when he wins another league title (to overtake liverpools 18 and knock them off their perch). he will have to wait till next year.

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  • 61. At 10:18pm on 17 Nov 2009, SonsofArabia wrote:

    Peterwed
    Come on.... Celtic are arguably the best supported club in the world, yes Man United have had more success etc etc,and yes they, along with Real Madrid and Galatasary have huge worldwide support...all these clubs have nowhere near the support that Celtic commands in every part of the world.....and no, I am not a fan.

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  • 62. At 11:14pm on 17 Nov 2009, Wot Kuyt 'e did wrote:

    #47 "There are a lot worse things in life than being mixed up with the BBC Sport chief football writer. "

    Urgh, now you've gone & spoilt it. I'm starting to feel all squirmy. Not just because of the platitudes to Mr. Chief Football Writer but also because I had put you above that intense degree of excessively average.

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  • 63. At 00:29am on 18 Nov 2009, manucrazy wrote:

    iv always supported united and admire SAF ... unfortunately we are not the same team as we were last season, i cant see us winning anything more than the premier league this season, and its most likely that talk of fergie leaving will be happening at the end of the season.

    for me mourinho, moyes, o'neil, Blanc, Brucey and ESPECIALLY quieroz will all fail hopelessly at manchester utd. there are not many proven managers around at the moment but someone like Wenger, Rednapp or titus bramble would fit the bill perfectly.

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  • 64. At 01:46am on 18 Nov 2009, manutd1982 wrote:

    "Celtic are arguably the best supported club in the world"

    This is the biggest load of nonsense I have heard, they are big, they have a very loyal following but they are nowhere near the best (which I'm assuming you mean most) supported in the world, Real Madrid and Manchester United are the biggest teams in the world fact, mostly because of their success in marketing themselves so well during the 90s. I doubt kids in Africa, Asia and South America support or even know of Celtic.

    Also, to people who say Blanc does not have the experience because he manages in an inferior league, where did Ferguson come from, I know its over 20 years ago and football has changed a great deal but Blanc has to start somewhere, and what he has achieved so far I has to be admired.

    No one will ever be able to replace Ferguson, what he has done for United is unthinkable, but I do think United need to look at the best young managers around Europe and not be too concerned with getting a British manager and in Blanc there is a fantastic young manager who plays football the right way, has a winning mentality and has played for United, what more could you ask for.

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  • 65. At 04:22am on 18 Nov 2009, Spaced Invader wrote:

    I think I would hold back on statements such as Blanc being the best young coach in Europe outside Guardiola - at least until he's achieved something in European competition (i.e. at least a CL semi-final).

    Didier Deschamps (still only 41) took Monaco (a much smaller club in terms of fanbase than Bordeaux) to a CL final just 5 years ago. Mourinho (just 46) took FC Porto, from a much smaller league than France, to victory in the same final. Roberto Mancini is 45 and has a 3 Italian titles to his name - surely a FAR greater achievement than one French title??

    I don't think United would take on a manager who hasn't taken a side to at least the last 4 of the CL. Winning a league title isn't enough in itself.

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  • 66. At 04:59am on 18 Nov 2009, drew wrote:

    Im a liverpool fan who is unhappy at benitez's defensive tactics. Mourinho for united??? you must be joking. He is even more mind numbingly boring than benitez...!!!!

    Im sorry, but if i were sir alex, i would give laurent blanc(an ex player of course) a chance way quicker than any boring defensive minded manager. Jose and rafa are schooled in the italian way of make sure you dont lose first, then try to win

    Im sorry, but jose's chelsea were effective but crap on the eye. Just like rafas liverpool(except when they ignore tactics and play.. just like that game against r madrid last season in the CL)

    Jose will only become utd manager if they are desperate. We all know they really want a Wenger


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  • 67. At 05:06am on 18 Nov 2009, drew wrote:

    I think blanc has done a wonderful job at bordeaux to smash lyons dynasty and we all know lyon buy players for 25mileuros each. They have spent really big this summer

    Bordeaux have spent modestly in comparison. OK.. they have goucuff. But he flopped at milan and they took a chance on him. It worked! But its rubbish to assume that they only won the ligue 1 cos of him.

    Blanc has proved himself to be a wonderful manager with limited resources. But i think he should be given every chance to prove himself with more finance if he can manage to get unfancied bordeaux to the semis or final this year

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  • 68. At 05:18am on 18 Nov 2009, drew wrote:

    And one more thing about mourinho. The squads he had at chelsea and inter, a blind basketball coach would probably have won everything going also

    Its his work with porto which most excites me, but again..maybe he was blessed with outstanding players too

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  • 69. At 10:36am on 18 Nov 2009, Were Ngoging to Ibiza wrote:

    @68 That is not true, look at Inter before the last few years, lots of money spent, nothing won. Chelsea under Scolari, plenty spent, poor performance.
    He is a fantastic coach if a somewhat controversial personality but you don't achieve what he has without tactical nous and managerial ability.

    On the Guardiola note, he has only been manager 1 season but he has been part of the clubs infrastructure ever since he left the playing field, learning his trade and getting to know the ins and outs of one of the worlds greatest clubs, the fact he has been such a part of the club, working with the players as a coach for several years was obviously integral to his success as manager because the players knew him, liked him, respected him and trusted his ability. If Blanc was to become Man Utd manager without more experience it would probably be of real benefit to him to go and work there alongside Fergie for a season first.

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  • 70. At 1:43pm on 18 Nov 2009, Johnny Maher wrote:

    Phil et al,

    MUFC face a serious dilemma.

    SAF is their most valuable asset and has become essentially irreplacable, in the traditional way of replacing one manager with another.

    But he has to go at some stage.

    They can't sack him and no matter who would directly replace him, he will never achieve what SAF did, so he would be on a loser, ab initio. In reality, the fear of perceived failure may actually result in the field being reduced to a few interested Super Egos like Mourihno.

    So, what can be done?

    Well, they should agree a retirement date (but not publicise it) and bring in an assistant for two seasons, with a view to him taking over after SAF's departure. Somebody like Blanc, Bruce or Moyes, who know him and could work as No 2.

    In the first season, No 2 could take full control of managing the team in the Carling and FA cups, under SAF's supervision.

    In the seond one, No 2 could take some more responsibility in the Premiership and Champions League. This would be particularly pertinent as SAF inreasingly gets banned from the sideline for berating referees.

    It would allow the successor to get to know the squad's strength and weaknesses and the general culture/ambience of the place. Hw would also get the benefit of SAF's vast knowledge and experience in realtime.

    Such a position could not be tsken up by the likes of Mourihno or Hiddink - they could just not take direction in footballing matters.

    But there could be a lot of potential in an ambitous, hungry manager filling the role.

    It's fraught with difficuties, but may be a way of resolving the dilemma caused by the lack of proper succession planning.

    Otherwise they're just going to have to fire a centenarian.












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  • 71. At 3:22pm on 18 Nov 2009, manucrazy wrote:

    im sorry folks but are you telling me that the person who was taunted by newcastle fans for most of his career ... the person who was forced to move to wigan to resserect his career ... the same person who was once thought of as a decendent of the great god himself george best is not ready for the untied job?? the guy i am talking about and the person u all should respect is titus bramble. the guy is a living legend and i have full faith in him when others show no form of mercy towards him. praise be to god titus.

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  • 72. At 3:58pm on 18 Nov 2009, Geordie2004 wrote:

    Lol@manucrazy

    Phil, glad to see that you weren't offended by my mix up, because, as others have pointed out, I would have considered it an insult to be mixed up with Mr. McNulty...

    It'll be interesting to see which route Man U. actually go down as far as replacing Ferguson goes. They could go for a veteran, a bright star of a young coach like Blanc, someone like Solskjaer (or maybe even Giggs?) who's been trained for the role from within.

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  • 73. At 5:23pm on 18 Nov 2009, bringmethehorizon wrote:

    Every team wants Wenger. What else is new?

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  • 74. At 8:41pm on 18 Nov 2009, Feldman61 wrote:

    #2 - Don't forget Sir Alex was one game away from the sack, before we won that game. Look where he is now? Why couldn't blanc do that at United, no reason why he couldn't be a success.

    I reckon it'll be an old United player who takes over, don't know who.

    By the time Fergie retires it could be; Roy Keane, Steve Bruce or Laurent Blanc. They are the front runners, at the moment, for me. If Blanc can show he is consistant then he could be a good manager. Roy Keane has time to improve, and I think he can be very good. Steve Bruce, I feel, could be very good given time.

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  • 75. At 09:04am on 19 Nov 2009, Charlie wrote:

    Given Wednesday nights events at the Stade de France, Henry has all but ended the career of Domenech at the helm of the french team. The reaction by the press to the hand-ball has ranged from "Shame on us/you"...to "We are a disgrace".

    Blanc is seen in most quarters as the successor with Didier Dechamps also in the mix.

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  • 76. At 1:02pm on 19 Nov 2009, Ryan Giggs_sent from Heaven_won 12_ wears 11 wrote:

    Ole Solskjaer was picked out by Sir Alex many years ago as someone who had the potential to be a top manager, well before his retirement.

    The fact that 20legend was put straight in to managing the second most important managers position at Man United, says one hell of a lot.

    And as he's so far done extremely well, it bodes well for his chances of taking over the top spot whenever SAF decides to pass the reins.

    My dream is that my yet to be conceived son signs for United, and I get to meet the manager, Ole, and talk about the 99 final with him.

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  • 77. At 7:51pm on 20 Nov 2009, CoatsyNI wrote:

    I think Manchester United need a manager of Mourinho's calibre to take over when Ferguson retires.

    We need to hit the ground running and Mourinho has the experience to keep that winning mentality going during the biggest transition period in the clubs recent history.

    Mourinho will not bring the style of football or youth development that Manchester United fans have become accustomed to over the last 20 years but he will bring us winning football and that is exactly what will be needed. Sure he'll cost a fortune in wages and demand big transfer budgets to buy the best players available but that's going to be the price we have to pay for success.

    Then in 5 years time once we are past the transition period the time will be right to hand the reigns over to a manager like Martin O'Neill who will focus on youth development and exciting attacking football.

    If Manchester United make the wrong appointment then we will share the same fate as Liverpool when their dominance ended.

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  • 78. At 6:49pm on 21 Nov 2009, Aussie69 wrote:

    I may be biased as he coached my country to above expectations but Guus Hiddink would be ideal at OT. IF and only IF they go the path of a complete and utter severence of SAF. As stated he would not take directions from anyone from behind.

    He has proven himself at club level and international level. (The russians just hung themselves and should have qualified) As Australian manager I know how he galvinised a squad and earns respect. Just look at what he did at Chelsea. He took a bickering, indifferent team (albiet a champion team still) and turned them around. If Man U hadn't had such a head start Chelsea would have won the league. Being a liverpool supporter I was worried when he was appointed manager of Chelsea. You know a manager has done well when the supporters in the stands make banners telling him to stay.
    I think alot of club and international teams ears pricked up when Russia failed to qualify. They are even talking in the papers in Australia about bringing him back to the Australian managers job after Pim Verbeek (a one time Guus 2IC and a fellow dutchman) has breezed Australia into the world cup. Says something..
    If Man U don't take him I hope Liverpool sack Benetez and take Guus :)

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  • 79. At 07:58am on 22 Nov 2009, FOLKDISCO wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 80. At 6:46pm on 22 Nov 2009, collie21 wrote:

    Roy Hodgson for United.

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