Will it be Zinedine Zidane or Brendan Rodgers? Amidst all the chatter it might be easy to forget that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is still the Manchester United manager.
The Norwegian tactician is surely on borrowed time, however, with his Man Utd side badly struggling at the moment following particularly humiliating home defeats to rivals Liverpool and Manchester City, though these issues feel like they’ve been a long time coming.
Solskjaer was a risky appointment by the Red Devils after his spell as interim manager, with the former Molde boss’ lack of experience at this level always likely to have caused problems some way down the line.
Someone who’s shown in the past that they could overcome that hurdle was Zidane, who was thrust straight into the Real Madrid job for his first management position back in 2016, and who is now being linked with United by the Times and others.
Like Solskjaer, Zidane undoubtedly benefited from being a club legend in getting him to the job in the first place, but the similarities end there, as the French tactician enjoyed huge success in his stint at the Bernabeu, winning the Champions League three times and picking up two La Liga titles.
Zinedine Zidane to Manchester United?
Alan Feehely, editor of Football Espana, is convinced Zidane is actually underrated as a coach, and that he’d be an instant upgrade on Solskjaer, even if he’s not quite in the Jurgen Klopp or Pep Guardiola mould.
“Zinedine Zidane is underrated as a coach,” Feehely tells CaughtOffside. “Despite winning the Champions League three times, the Frenchman isn’t considered to be amongst the elite of the coaching elite. The perception is that he’s a horse-whisperer – a man supremely talented in getting the best out of an already highly-talented squad but not one who can produce a cohesive unit that’s greater than the sum of their parts like Pep Guardiola or Jurgen Klopp.
“Zidane isn’t a Guardiola or a Klopp, but neither is he Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. I’d argue the coach he’s closest to would be his mentor, Carlo Ancelotti.”
Solskjaer has occasionally looked like he isn’t the kind of figure to command respect, which means even if you have great…