Manchester United should not higher Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone as their next manager, according to Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler.
Fowler has criticised Simeone’s management style and tactical philosophy, insisting he couldn’t see it being welcomed by Man Utd fans.
This column from Fowler in the Daily Mirror came as a response to a surprise suggestion from Red Devils legend Gary Neville that Simeone could be a good candidate for the job, even though he conceded a move was unlikely.
Simeone has enjoyed great success in his time in La Liga, winning two titles and reaching two Champions League finals despite not having much money to spend in comparison to rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Fowler, however, does not want to see Simeone’s defensive style of football rewarded with a big job in the Premier League, and instead named Inter Milan boss Simone Inzaghi as a possible surprise candidate to come in at Old Trafford.
Fowler said: “I laughed this week when I heard Gary Neville shouting that his former club should make Diego Simeone their next manager. Honestly. C’mon. I’m not saying he’s anti-football, but some of the antics his team get up to, some of the horrible stuff they do, and the tactics they pursue. Not at Manchester United. The fans would be calling it out within weeks, and even if he actually won things with it, they wouldn’t put up with it for long. United have a certain expectation about how they should be playing, which was laid down by Sir Matt Busby and Ferguson.
“Simeone doesn’t fit with that. He doesn’t fit with anyone who loves football, he essentially exists to stop opponents playing football. Which no one should welcome. And that’s what I mean by identity. It’s not enough to be simply winning – even if it helps, obviously. Jose Mourinho found that out at Old Trafford. Clubs need a fit with a manager, as well as a winning team, and his philosophy didn’t fit.”
He added: “I have a shout for them though. Simone Inzaghi, the younger brother of Filippo. You can see with Inter he has taken them on beyond the dour football of Antonio Conte, despite the club having financial problems. They are in contention for the title, performed well – and I think above their level – against Liverpool in the Champions League, and all with budget constraints.
“Before that he was at Lazio, where he won three trophies and was hugely popular with the fans. Would it be a gamble? Of course. But United need someone with an ability to build something now, not simply a ‘name’.”