You know things are bad at Manchester United when the national press is already widely speculating over a replacement for manager Louis van Gaal, before talk of him being sacked has even truly got underway.
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It’s hard to pick out the positives from United’s turgid season, other than the fact that their still miraculously in with a chance of making the top four. The Red Devils crashed out of both domestic cup competitions, and of course have no European commitments this term.
Despite spending over £150m in the summer, the Dutch boss has failed to inspire the turnaround supporters were hoping for. Marquee signings such as Radamel Falcao and Angel di Maria have massively flopped, while existing stars such as Robin van Persie have also struggled.
United are essentially still undergoing the difficult task of searching for a replacement for Sir Alex Ferguson. After their first choice, David Moyes, could only manage a seventh place finish last term, United went for Van Gaal, but have been disappointed thus far.
The style of play is another major concern for the Red Devils’ hierarchy, and one that could inspire another change. Carlo Ancelotti is a proven winner, with three Champions League titles and host of domestic honours to his name, but is he the right man for United?
We’re not convinced. Ancelotti might have an enviable CV, but would he offer the fresh ideas and bold tactics that United desperately crave? He’s enjoyed success at AC Milan, Chelsea and Real Madrid, but on each occasion was accused of being a ‘soft touch’ with the club’s biggest stars.
That’s certainly not what United need. They need a manager that’s brutally honest, prepared to build a team rather than focus on the big names, and someone who isn’t weary from an already lengthy career in management.
According to the Daily Mail, Ancelotti’s laid-back style has been criticised by fans of the current European champions, who have been thoroughly uninspired by their team’s recent run of form, which culminated in a 4-3 defeat at the hands of Schalke on Tuesday.
Ancelotti has been well-liked wherever he’s been – John Terry, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole took him to the pub when he was sacked by Chelsea – but he’s not going to rejuvenate a struggling team such as United. The Manchester giants need a motivator and a leader to put them back on top, and for us they’re going to have to look elsewhere.