If there is one thing that is certain, success does not necessarily guarantee an extended stay at the Bernabeu. Rafael Benitez lasted 25 games at the helm, winning 68% of them. If you had the same, ludicrous, managerial policy as Real Madrid, every single Premier League manager with over 100 games coached would be out. Sir Alex Ferguson’s win percentage was 65%, Arsene Wenger is hovering around 58%. The bottom line is, in a game where the line between winning and losing continually gets smaller, it has increasingly become more difficult to win everything all the time. Parity is a good thing for the leagues but is a disaster for some owners to understand. Zidane is one of the best players and possibly the best midfielder of all-time. This will not hide him from Florentino Perez’s policies. If history is any indication, Zidane should already be looking for his next gig.
The self-proclaimed “special one” and the brains behind multiple Champion’s League champions of the past. Is this another situation where Mourinho will find himself winning every trophy available? One could look at the talent in his squad and the talent he is bringing in and say yes, this team is good enough to win any tournament on the planet. But, I will call a spade a spade and say that when an owner is too involved in any team’s proceedings, business blocks footballing magistry and at the end of the day, that team suffers. Still, expect to see a few Mourinho full-sprint knee slides in his $4,000 suits. If Ba and Torres can find some kind of scoring form, Mata, Hazard, Oscar, Lampard and the like will have no problem providing chances. Defensively there certainly are questions for Chelsea, yet when your team scores 5 goals a game, who cares about defending anyway? I see Mourinho’s first year less impressive than everyone expects. A top four finish for sure, but more than likely out of the title race.
After less than successful stints at Manchester City, Fulham and QPR, Mr. Hughes finds himself in an interesting situation. He takes over a team renowned for its directness and defensive organization and he takes over a team that can’t realistically put any kind of high expectations on the team. I feel that a top 13 finish would be a successful year for them. I want say they can go top 10 but after the way this year ended with their flirtation with relegation I don’t know how reasonable that is. Some signings are necessary and Hughes has to change the culture there. That is a multi-year job and a multi-year struggle. We will see how this all turns out.
For me, Roberto Martinez has earned the most favorable situation out of any of the new managers. He comes into a club that has enjoyed relative success given its resources and current players at the club. Moyes did a great job there and he was deservedly rewarded with his Manchester United move. Martinez was able to prove his worth by making incredible runs with a Wigan Athletic team that was undermanned but never outclassed. His tenure at Wigan was an impressive one and something that he will look back on fondly, only if he is successful at Everton. I think he will be. Better players, a bigger budget, better supporters and a nicer paycheck will put a smile on any manger’s face. Moyes has created expectations for the club but I feel Martinez will meet and exceed them. I see a top 8 finish this season with potential for a Europa League spot.
Moyes jumped ship from Everton into a glorious opportunity with Manchester United. An incredible support staff, an incredible history and a global fan-base should be enough to carry Moyes into success. Maybe. Just maybe. He certainly will have top talent. I’m interested to see how he handles that and the pressure of ridiculously high expectations. You have the best players and the biggest egos. How will he manage all the change in his life? Moyes is a Fergie protegé and I am sure Sir Alex will be available for him at any time if need be. This season will not be all roses for Moyes. I see Manchester United struggling to get involved in the title race and struggling to find a way into the knockout stages of the Champion’s League. Is it Moyes fault? Absolutely not, but who knows what the fans will think.
This is the best worst managerial job in football. Manchester City has all the riches and resources one could ever ask for. But, if you do not win the league and the Champion’s League every year, there is a great chance that you will be out of a job. Pellegrini has the credentials to manage the range of egos and talent that Manchester City has to offer. Chemistry is always an issue with teams of superstars so we shall see if he can do better than Mr. Mancini. I don’t rate Manchester City. I never have. They are easy to hate. But for all the hatred, there is incredible depth of talent. This will push them in the league and other competitions. They will be back towards the top of the league again and will make a run at the Champion’s League as well. Balotelli will be sad he left.
My good friend is a massive Bolton supporter. Any team that signs Tim Ream and Stuart Holden is fine by me. Bolton, for all its shortcomings, were fun to watch in the Premier League and made a push to get back to the top division this past season. A run a midseason poor performances doomed them. Still, Owen Coyle is a good signing for Wigan. He is used to the situation. A smaller club, with lofty ambitions and people willing to splash a bit of cash around for the right talent. Coyle will be able to find and cultivate that talent, similar to that of Roberto Martinez. Wigan will find its way back up this season and enjoy a longer tenure in the Premier League this time around.
You all already know that Sir Alex Ferguson has announced he will be stepping into an administrative role effective at the end of this season. You all know that he is the best British manager of all-time. You all know that his direction has created a global culture of mighty red soccer only rivaled by mega-giant Real Madrid. He is a legend. He is a footballing god. He is an incredible story and one that could have ending before it started when he was almost sacked in the early 90’s. And now he is gone in every sense but the literal one. Still a few games remain in the swan song of his career. And the question remains for us (apparently the team was told who the replacement will be at training this morning) who will replace this man? Who can come into an incredible opportunity and continue the ridiculous success that Manchester United has become accustomed to?
The answer is not overly simplistic. There are many viable candidates for the job.
1) The self-proclaimed Special One
Mourinho is a great option for Manchester United. He has proven his managing ability in each of the top three leagues in the world. He has won trophies with Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid. He has managed some of the most unmanageable players in the world. But, he is rumored to be on his way back to the land of the overly rich and incredibly insecure, the Chelsea Abramovich’s. Does he really want to go back to where he was so cruelly sacked? I don’t think so. I also think that his close relationship with Sir Alex is playing a major role in why Ferguson is stepping down now. He has set it up. Mourinho’s desire to leave has already been out in the open. Manchester United is high profile. Mourinho is high profile. He wants to be back in England. I think it’ll be in red.
2) David Moyes
David Moyes is an incredible manager. He has turned zero transfer budget into a well-built machine of a team that was only a few results away from a spot in the Europa or in an incredible season the Champion’s League. With the budget he has, there was never a chance to win the league but he has continually proven to mold a team that will fight and scrap til the end. Fellaini and Baines could possibly be out at the summer transfer window and it is the right time for this boss to make the jump to the big time. I am not convinced that this will happen but all the tabloids seem to feel that it will.
3) My man Klopp
Brought a team from the bottom half of the Bundesliga with a less than satisfactory budget to become Bundesliga champions. Check. Brought said team to the Champion’s League final using many homegrown players brought through the Dortmund youth system. Check. Jurgen Klopp is touted as the next big manager in the game. “Next” should be switched to now. He is the real deal. He is devoted to his teams as he showed when he managed Mainz 05 even after they were relegated. He loves his job. His passion is relentless and his philosophies are apparent in his teams play. Could his style be successful in the Premier League with a team selected from the cream of the crop? Probably but it would be a transition from Fergie’s ways and do the Glazer’s have that kind of time to wait? I know the fans are expecting instant success. This is a long shot but a move I am secretly holding out for.
This is an exciting time for English Football Management. I use the term management because it can be argued that the Bundesliga has overtaken the Premiership as the best league in the world. Two massive jobs are open and there are plenty of well-qualified and hungry managers ready to grab the.
What do you think will be the outcome? Will United make the right choice or find themselves struggling to compete for a Champion’s League spot next season?