There’s no official word out yet, but there seems to be complete agreement between media outlets in England that Manchester United have had enough of David Moyes and will sack him before the end of this week, increasing the speculation over the identity of the team’s next manager: Louis Van Gaal, Diego Simeone, Jurgen Klopp or maybe even Ryan Giggs along with Nicky Butt?
Maybe all of this is too soon. Manchester United fans are always proud to be fans of a team that doesn’t sack their managers, although the men running the club during the bad years between the 1967 and the 1993 championships are gone. The Glazers gave Alex Ferguson the freedom to do as he pleased, but Moyes isn’t Ferguson, and neither is anyone else for that matter.
But all of the press, at the same time, announcing he’ll be sacked soon enough? Sounds like the club leaked the story or gave someone a briefing of things to come. For a club that is in the stock exchange, you expect to hear about any rumor soon enough, but there is nothing coming out of Old Trafford at the moment.
So if Moyes is really gone, Manchester United won’t pay him all £36 million owed in his contract. There seem to be some clauses in place making it a much cheaper divorce in case of a failure during the first season, which right now seems like will be about a 7th place finish, without anything in Europe next year. Ultimatum given to him about that? Who knows, but Manchester United, no matter how you look at it and no matter the culprits, are a huge failure this season.
On to the contenders for the role, if it does become available. Van Gaal, the current Netherlands head coach, seems to be the name on everyone’s lips. He is a capable manager, with his most recent titles coming with Bayern Munich, including a Champions League final in 2010. But Van Gaal never stays too long in one place (Except for Ajax in the 1990’s), and will be busy with the Dutch team until late June or early July. That’s not how you prepare for the next season, and that’s not a manager you believe will stay for years to come.
Klopp is the hottest name in Europe right now. Barcelona want, and probably every other club speculating about changing managers. But Klopp seems to be connected with Dortmund and right now, even with a fat bank account willing to be opened for him to spend, Klopp might prefer staying in Germany and working with a club he has helped build up from the ground over the last six years.
There’s the Simeone option. Manchester United does mean more money, and not fighting on a rigged stage. Atletico look like they’ll end this season as champions, but that doesn’t mean it’s a fair fight in the La Liga overall. Simeone won’t be a popular figure among most English fans, but Manchester United always take pride of not being great supporters of the national team.
And how about people from within? Ryan Giggs and Nicky Butt might be in line to succeed Moyes. Maybe promoting from within is the answer to diverting from the “United Way.” It’s going to be very interesting very soon at Old Trafford even without anything left to play for, but right now everyone is waiting to hear about whether or not David Moyes is actually going to get fired.