Let’s not pretend Manchester United know what they want.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may be gone, but just a couple of weeks ago you can bet there were enough high-up people at Old Trafford who thought the club legend was the right man for the long term, otherwise he surely would’ve been shown the door after that embarrassing 5-0 home defeat to Liverpool, instead of keeping him on for further embarrassments against Manchester City and Watford.
What exactly were those extra few weeks for? Now we hear that Man Utd want Mauricio Pochettino, but there’s no indication that a big club like Paris Saint-Germain are going to let their manager leave in the middle of the season, according to the Telegraph.
Is there a plan beyond that? We’ve also heard about Ernesto Valverde being eyed up as an interim manager, according to BBC Sport, and CaughtOffside understands there have been talks with Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers.
The strengths and weaknesses of the four main candidates for the Man United job
As usual, none of this screams of a club that knows what it’s doing. But perhaps United just need to embrace that uncertainty and use the second half of what is essentially a dud season to experiment.
Sure, if they could get Pochettino now that seems like it would be ideal, but can we really be so sure the Argentine would thrive in these circumstances? It took him time to really work his magic at Tottenham, where he was working under a lot less pressure than he would be at United. At PSG, where standards are high and patience is thin, he’s not been quite as convincing. Just because he seems like the obvious choice, no one at United really knows any better than you or I if this move would actually work.
But maybe that’s okay. Maybe for once, United don’t need to have all the answers. It’s taboo for a club of this size to talk about ‘transition’ seasons, but this is a team that will never get back to where it used to be by chasing some mythical ‘Man Utd way’. There will never be another Sir Alex Ferguson. There will be far more high-quality opposition than ever before in the Premier League era as English football becomes more and more dominant and when…