Brendan Rodgers has been one of the many names tossed around amid the speculation of who will become the next Manchester United manager.
Incumbent Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has struggled for some time now and as a result many have run out of patience with the Norwegian after a big summer of spending on the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho.
As a result many names have been earmarked to take over at United including current Leicester City boss Rodgers, who we reported has reached a verbal agreement to become the new manager.
However, is Rodgers the right man to takeover in the event Solskjaer is removed?
Lets analyse this.
Pro: He is tactically adept
United have often been criticised under Solskajer for being tactically naïve and approaching games in the wrong manner, with particular highlight to the games against Liverpool and Manchester City earlier this season where United were thoroughly outclassed.
Rodgers is known for being tactically competent in most games. The Northern Irishman isn’t without his flaws but his strengths far exceed those of Solskjaer.
Furthermore, Rodgers has the ability to be flexible with his tactical approach to games. This can be seen with his Leicester City side who can move fluidly between a 3-4-1-2 and a 4-2-3-1 formation from game to game, proving that Rodgers and his coaching staff have their tactics down.
Con: He is not a serial winner
Being the manager of Manchester United in the modern era requires a manager to have a certain ilk and pedigree to them. By extension this means that most managers who get the job need to have some background of winning major trophies.
Bar David Moyes who was hand picked by Sir Alex Ferguson, the managers who proceeded Solskjaer all had this pedigree, and did ultimately win trophies despite not providing the style some United fans demand. But, Solskjaer has grown a reputation at United for being a nearly man, getting into or close to the finals and top of the league but failing to get the team over the line. Rodgers to an extent can be argued to be the same.
A question for Man United fans:
Would you take Brendan Rodgers as manager at Man United?
— CaughtOffside (@caughtoffside) November 10, 2021
In his time at Liverpool, Rodgers nearly took them to the league title but ‘bottled’ the title in the last few games of the season, with the Gerrard slip becoming the most iconic moment of that season. Under him Leicester have tried and failed twice to finish in the top four, and despite spending the most time in the top four out of any club across the last two full seasons they have fallen short twice, with one time coming because they lost to Solskjaer’s United on the last day.
Rodgers did end his trophy drought in England with an FA Cup victory last season, but his lack of experience in winning trophies in competitive leagues and tournaments is sure to go against him when considering some of the other options.
Pro: His style suits a modern Man United
Style will always be a problem at Manchester United. Under SAF United played a brand of high octane attacking football that entertained and scored plenty of goals. However, after he left the style seemed to leave with him. Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho all failed to provide the style United demand to be truly content.
To his credit, Solskjaer has brought this back into the fold at Old Trafford for the last few seasons, scoring five or more goals in more games than any of his predecessors post-Ferguson.
Rodgers style would also be suited to United. Rodgers has infamously deployed a possession orientated pressing game at each of his previous clubs, using it to great success across most league campaigns. The way of the 4-4-2 is dead for nearly all top level clubs, with a greater demand for the ball demanding an extra defender or midfielder to help in build up.
The style the Leicester City boss executes would be a superb modernisation for United in terms of style. And considering Rodgers actually has an identity that doesn’t rely solely on individual brilliance in the final third. that would immediately be a step forward.
Con: He is a former manager of one of United’s most hated rivals
There is simply no escaping the fact that Rodgers was once the manager of Liverpool FC, arguably United’s greatest rivals. His time with The Reds would certainly not endear him to The Red Devils fanbase short term, so he would need to facilitate instant success if he were to take the job.
While football fans can have a short memory, they can also conjure up long held grudges for things that happened many many years ago, such as Rodgers ties with Liverpool. Without the fans supporting the manager, the atmosphere around Old Trafford can become very toxic as seen under previous regimes.
Furthermore some might questions whether his ties with Liverpool would have dampened his sense of worth for United, after needing to see them as direct and hated rivals for a number of years.
Whatever is done at Man United needs to be decided soon, with indecision plaguing many things around the club, such as record signing Paul Pogba likely being allowed to leave on a free in the summer after trying and failing to make him sign a new contract.
If United wanted a manager for right now then they have also missed out of the best alternative in Antonio Conte who has since gone to Tottenham after Nuno Espirito Santo was sacked.
United may even choose to allow Solksjaer to finish the season, but if results don’t improve quickly they will need to pursue an immediate alternative.