Pros and cons of Manch­ester United re­plac­ing Jose Mour­inho with Zine­dine Zi­dane

Zambian Business Times - - SPORTS -

Spec­u­la­tion link­ing Zine­dine Zi­dane with the Manch­ester United man­ager's job re­fuses to go away - and it won't do un­til cur­rent boss Jose Mour­inho turns the team's on-field for­tunes around.

The stance of the United board af­ter Mon­day's hum­bling by Spurs at Old Traf­ford was that Mour­inho re­tains the club's faith, and re­cently a club in­sider bat­ted away a ques­tion about Zi­dane pos­si­bly re­plac­ing the Por­tuguese, say­ing: "Why would we dis­cuss Zi­dane when there is no job avail­able?"

De­spite this, the book­ies have Mour­inho priced up as favourite to be the next Pre­mier League man­ager to leave his post, while Zi­dane is the book­ies' favourite to re­place him.

Here, we take a look at the pros and cons United chiefs must weigh up if they are to con­sider re­plac­ing Mour­inho with Zi­dane.

Pros Cham­pi­ons League record

Two-and-a-half Cham­pi­ons League cam­paigns, three Cham­pi­ons League tro­phies.

That's quite a record, isn't it?

Real Madrid's call to sack Rafa Ben­itez in Jan­uary 2016 wasn't sur­pris­ing but their de­ci­sion to re­place the Spa­niard with their rel­a­tively untested B-team boss was.

Zi­dane's Castilla record was un­der­whelm­ing and there were sig­nif­i­cant doubts that he would be able to make the step up to the most de­mand­ing man­age­rial job in club foot­ball.

He did ex­actly that, though, win­ning the Euro­pean Cup in his first few months in charge be­fore repli­cat­ing that suc­cess in 2017 and 2018 to be­come the com­pe­ti­tion's

Re­spect he would com­mand

The re­cency of Zi­dane's man­age­rial achieve­ments will mean the play­ers are more likely to buy into his meth­ods than Mour­inho’ s.

For all of Mour­inho’ s suc­cess over the pre­vi­ous 15 years, there is a grow­ing feel­ing that he may be be­com­ing yes­ter­day's man, with his prag­matic style prov­ing less ef­fec­tive than the ex­pan­sive ap­proaches of Pep Guardi­ola and Jurgen Klopp.

Zi­dane would also com­mand the re­spect of United's play­ers as a re­sult of his vast suc­cesses as a player and a man­ager.

Paul Pogba and An­thony Martial are stag­nat­ing at the mo­ment and the French pair would likely get a boost from the ar­rival of their es­teemed coun­try­man.

Change in ap­proach

The foot­ball at Old Traf­ford since Sir Alex Ferguson's re­tire­ment has been a turgid watch for some sec­tions of the fan­base.

David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mour­inho have all been guilty of low­er­ing the ex­cite­ment fac­tor at Old Traf­ford over the last five years and the ap­point­ment of Zi­dane, a more at­tack-minded coach, would get United back on the right track.

Zine­dine Zi­dane could help United re­turn to a more vi­brant at­tack­ing style There are no guar­an­tees of suc­cess in foot­ball man­age­ment but Zi­dane's ap­proach suits United more than Mour­inho’ s and a change might be just what the Reds need.

Cons Still, bizarrely, an un­known quan­tity

The 46-year-old was thrown in at the deep end at the Bern­abeu and thrived in a man­ner that no­body could have pre­dicted but, in­cred­i­bly, ques­tions about his man­age­rial cre­den­tials still re­main.

Zi­dane in­her­ited a far bet­ter squad in the Span­ish cap­i­tal than he would find at Car­ring­ton were he to re­place Mour­inho and his abil­ity to trans­form a club in cri­sis is untested.

Dis­ap­point­ing league record last sea­son

Zi­dane en­joyed un­prece­dented suc­cess on the Euro­pean stage dur­ing his time at Madrid but his do­mes­tic achieve­ments were less im­pres­sive.

Madrid won La Liga in the French­man's first sea­son in charge but fol­lowed that suc­cess up with a dis­ap­point­ing ti­tle de­fence last term, fin­ish­ing in third place and 17 points be­hind cham­pi­ons Barcelona.

Madrid's fi­nal points tally of 76 was their worst in the Span­ish top flight since 2007.

Could be a short-term ap­point­ment

Whether this is a con or not is sub­ject to opin­ion, but Zi­dane lasted less than 30 months at Madrid be­fore walk­ing away.

Be it Sir Matt Busby or Sir Alex Ferguson, United's most suc­cess­ful pe­ri­ods have come when there has been somebody in charge for a lengthy pe­riod of time.

Manch­ester boss Jose Mour­inho

Zine­dine Zi­dane

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