It seems like every week Louis Van Gaal faces a 'win or lose your job game' and he should have been sacked about ten times by now if the media were correct in their assumptions. With this in mind and Manchester United in crisis, the decision concerning their next manager is absolutely crucial.
Jose Mourinho’s name has been synonymous with United for a while now. No announcements have been made, however, which leaves the job in question once Van Gaal surely goes. One name that has been mentioned a few times is Ryan Giggs who has been quietly learning under Van Gaal how not to manage the Red Devils.
The problem with his potential appointment is obviously his lack of managerial experience and the fact that not many United fans actually want him to take charge, according to the Manchester Evening News. This is probably due to his association with Van Gaal’s failing tenure and the fans possibly see him as part of the problem.
Interestingly he has the support of United’s legendary knights – Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton – and they are the sort of people you want a vote of confidence from. This leaves Ed Woodward in somewhat of a predicament with a big decision to make, though.
Van Gaal has to go, we all know that much. Mourinho wins trophies and in the short term will probably bring success back to United but his style of play and the long-term effects of his tenure may not be as desirable as they first appear.
Giggs is untested and a definite risk but certainly has United’s best interests and principles at heart, and with a mini run he'd surely get the fans on side. It doesn't take long to win the fans round these days, does it? Especially when you're a club legend. He also will probably have better relationships with the players than most managers would as he'd, perhaps, take a more modern approach to managing them as he's not long out of the game himself.
So the decision is a tough one but that’s where, I think, Gary Neville comes in. I don’t think Neville will be Manchester United manager, that’s not the solution, but it is his influence in La Liga that I think could have an impact in Manchester.
Neville is, like Giggs, a United legend and currently managing Valencia. There’s no denying he struggled in his first managerial role at first but three wins in a week has steadied the ship and he could well push on to be a big success in Valencia.
If Neville does turn Valencia’s season around then I think it is definitely a situation that Ed Woodward could look at and think about replicating with Giggs at United. With Zidane and Neville both appointed fairly recently in La Liga, there is a growing trend of ex-players joining the ranks of the managerial elite.
I think Woodward should pay close attention to what Neville manages to do at Valencia because it could well be the difference between Giggs or Mourinho taking over in Manchester to go toe to toe with Guardiola across the city, which is no mean feat.