This is just a hypothetical piece that includes Jose Mourinho, Paul Pogba, France Manager Didier Deschamps, former Real Madrid Manager Zinedine Zidane and Manchester United Football Club. We all know that the atmosphere at Old Trafford at present is toxic and those behind the scenes need to consider their next move extremely carefully before the current situation becomes a whole lot worse.
United are in a downward spiral and the marriage between Mourinho and the players at the club requires some form of counselling. Despite the clouds overhead, I have a plausible idea that provides a suitable solution. Perhaps it’s not the best outcome for the Portuguese manager because he would be ‘the expendable one’ in the current scenario but it would benefit United hugely and possibly the French team in the process.
Let’s speculate for a moment that Mourinho is now at the point where he can’t build bridges with Paul Pogba and co. Let’s also surmise for a second that he either resigns or is sacked within the next 14 days.
Let’s just run with that for now for the benefit of this blog.
How is it possible to recover the situation in this tense scenario? Quite easy actually, all it takes is a little ingenuity and a touch of out of the box thinking.
United have a team brimming with stars that need strong guidance, leadership and one which occasionally requires the odd arm around the shoulder. To manage these individuals requires someone who has had previous experience of massaging ego’s to get results. Someone highly regarded and highly respected, as such, either Zidane or Deschamps fit the bill.
Deschamps manages Pogba at an international level already, so he has a distinct advantage. The man has just won the World Cup and no matter where you look in that line-up, it’s hard to find someone outside the superstar bracket. Pogba, Mbappe, Kante and Griezmann – millions of pounds of talent which need to work as a unit, something Deschamps did without much fuss or trouble.
Therefore, surely he just edges out Zidane, whose get out of jail card, Ronaldo, often delivered on behalf of Real Madrid. Consider this also, where does a successful international manager go after achieving the ultimate prize? Surely it would be prudent to go on his own terms or face the indignity afforded to Joachim Low after his subsequent World Cup failure.
Better to jump ship into a sea of glory, than be pushed in to the exposed rocks as the tide goes out. Harmony would perhaps be restored almost immediately and United would be back on the road to redemption and reinvention. Now, let’s say that France need a new manager. Who better qualified than the man who has delivered three consecutive Champions League titles and is himself, a former World Cup winner. Yes, Zinedine Zidane would be the perfect fit to put fresh impetus into that particular setup.
This flight of fancy is of course nothing more than one person’s idea, mine. Yet, it ticks a lot of boxes and will certainly enthuse the United supporters who suffered greatly under Moyes and then Van Gaal, only to be given the messiah that is Jose Mourinho. That seemed like a gift, a perfect fit from a supporters point of view. A winner, with a credible CV and bags of experience but some partnerships aren’t meant to last and within a year, Mourinho started to unpick all the hard work and push the destruct button.
He’s not alone in this tale of misery, the players have to assume a degree of responsibility and I agree with Mourinho that some players care more than others. A number of the players are not fit to wear the shirt of United at present. Self absorbed, self obsessed individuals, more concerned with their own profiles than that of one of the greatest clubs in football history. The collective mindset is now undoubtedly threatening to drag United into the mediocrity of mid table.
You may think that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but not by the way things are going at the moment. If United don’t start a winning run soon, that’s exactly where they will end up, no question. Irrespective of whether you are a United fan or not, what’s happening there at this moment in time is absolutely shameful. Someone needs to take responsibility and change the circumstances immediately.
Former player Ryan Giggs thinks that the United board should continue to place their faith in Mourinho but I firmly disagree. Sad as it is, it looks increasingly like Mourinho is not the man to turn things around and time is of the essence. It’s going to be an interesting couple of weeks but if United continue to struggle, Mourinho will go. As for my theory regarding Deschamps and Zidane, it’s nothing more than a fanciful suggestion but it could solve a complex problem.