How the Manchester United job has become a poisoned chalice


With rumors already rife about who will succeed David Moyes as the new manager of Manchester United, you have to ask yourself this question: who would really want to take this job?

The term ‘poisoned chalice’ comes to mind as the relentless pressure associated with this job, especially given the fact that a monumental rebuild is now needed, means only a handful of candidates are ideal. Coaches who could come in are putting their own reputations at risk, as the Glazer family who own United have proved they’re ruthless in their search for success.

A special type of person is needed to take charge of United and Moyes simply wasn’t up to it.

Yet the way in which he was ruthlessly cast aside must spark some doubt in the minds of potential replacements, as how long will a new boss really get to turn things around at Old Trafford?

(MORE: Man United fire David Moyes as manager)

Moyes failed as United boss. In nine months and 22 days in charge of the Red Devils, he did little positive in the role as he turned the reigning Premier League champions into a team that will likely finish in seventh spot this season, wasted over $100 million on new players and instilled a sense of foreboding throughout the entire club. However with United’s aging squad acknowledged by many, key injuries to Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and many others throughout the course of the season, were the Glazer’s right to cut Moyes’ time short? I’m not so sure. Given time, he could’ve turned things around, yet he was never going to get that chance.

Is Dutch national team coach Louis van Gaal the right man to replace Moyes?

Now as United look for their new manager, will they be able to attract top coaches to the position?

Any manager would acknowledge managing a club like United means they’ve reached the pinnacle of the game. The endless resources handsome wages you can demand, a global outreach and the history of being England’s most successful team means it is still an attractive proposition, even after one season of supreme struggle.

(MORE: Candidates you need to know as United looks for a manager)

Louis van Gaal, Jurgen Klopp, Diego Simeone or even Ryan Giggs, whoever takes over from Moyes can’t do much worse than the 50-year-old Scotsman. Does that mean that the sentiment that has been banded around for months that ‘the manager who succeeds the manager who replaced Ferguson is the big winner’ is true? It’s hard not to argue with that.

Yet any new manager will be eying up the United job with a sight feeling of trepidation as the ruthless ownership group has shown that  finishing in the top four and delivering silverware is a must at Old Trafford. Moyes couldn’t handle that pressure and it cost him his job. The next man who arrives has to do better or similarly risk damaging their reputation by taking on a job too big to turnaround in just one season.

United’s owners need to get realistic. They are in the middle of a massive overhaul and time is needed for new players to bed in, a new philosophy to flourish and now a new manager to seamlessly knit this together.

Who will take on the immense challenge to revive England’s largest and greatest soccer club to its past glory?

MORE: Jurgen Klopp rules himself out of Manchester United gig
MORE: Is Ryan Giggs ready to take over permanently as Manchester United boss?
VIDEO: Where David Moyes went wrong at Manchester United
MORE: Premier League Playback – Why Moyes should go

Agent: “There’s no hatred” between Bale, Ronaldo

Gareth Bale & Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid CF
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Gareth Bale doesn’t at all dislike Cristiano Ronaldo — or vice versa — despite what may seem a lukewarm on-field relationship between the two Real Madrid superstars, insists Jonathan Barnett, agent of Bale.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Instead, Barnett insists that the two men with very different personalities have a healthy relationship, and competition, that pushes each Galactico to be the best player he can be.

Barnett, on Bale’s relationship with Ronaldo — quotes from the Guardian:

“They don’t go out eating every night together, but it’s fine. There’s no hatred there. Gareth is a quiet guy. They’re complete opposites. But I think Gareth can learn a little bit from Ronaldo as well, interacting maybe a little bit. But he wants his own life and he lives it. Gareth is a great footballer, he doesn’t want anything more. He has some very good endorsements but his whole life is to be the best footballer in the world. I don’t think he wants to be the best model in the world or the best underwear seller. That’s not him.”

That’s a hilarious closing quote from Barnett, but he knows exactly how some folks are going to interpret it: “Bale thinks Ronaldo loves himself too much.”

[ MORE: Giroud: “I must harden myself” to unseat Walcott ]

There’s nothing better for the ultimate success of a team than healthy, friendly competition between teammates who are spectacularly talented as Ronaldo and Bale. The former will only be around to perform at his current level for so much longer, but at what point does the latter officially take the torch and supplant Madrid’s biggest star, and how accepting will he be of passing that proverbial torch?

Olivier Giroud: “I must harden myself” to unseat Walcott

Olivier Giroud, France
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Is it just me, or does the press really only ever get noteworthy quotes from players during international breaks?

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I suppose it’s not surprising, given Premier League players get away from the mean ole British press, go back to their respective homelands and speak with journalists they’ve likely known since their early playing days, thus feel more comfortable opening up about key issues.

Anyway, today we have Olivier Giroud essentially calling himself out for having lost the starting striker’s job at Arsenal because he’s been outplayed of late by Theo Walcott. As discussed before, this is bad news for Giroud because he’s now falling down the depth chart for France with next summer’s European Championship on the horizon.

[ MORE: Aguero admits he wants Guardiola link-up ]

Giroud, on losing his place at Arsenal — quotes from the Guardian:

“At Arsenal, I am in competition with Theo for the striker position. But he is doing well at the moment, so there is no reason to change.

“Whether it was at Tours, Montpellier or Arsenal, I have never experienced a situation like this, I have often played from the start. I need to take positives and to harden myself mentally. It is something new for me.

“I was in [Walcott’s] place in previous seasons at Arsenal. I imagine what he must have been thinking. But I feel that the coach believes in me.”

Giroud goes on to cast into doubt his own confidence, stating in very certain terms he needs “to believe more in [his] abilities.” Giroud’s always come across as a bit of an existentialist, but it’s always strange to hear players publicly call themselves out — particularly their confidence — as if that’s not going to increase the pressure currently weighing down on them.

[ MORE: Rodgers reportedly chosen to take over at Aston Villa ]

The next eight months are going to be monumentally important in Giroud’s career, as the 29-year-old attempts to prove he’s worth keeping around at Arsenal and deserving of a place in the national team squad for next summer’s EUROs, which are to be played in France.