This article is nothing more than some general and hypothetical thoughts targeted at getting a debate on a hot topic started. That hot topic is, in a nut shell, Manchester United's terrible season under new manager David Moyes. Their fall from champions to mid-table has been nothing short of a disaster for a team of Manchester United's caliber, with many questioning Moyes, his players, transfer activity and the sort.
I have no doubt that David Moyes will be in the Old Trafford hot seat come August and given at least another year starting now, but if this was at any other club, he would likely receive the chop. So that does beg the question, who should or could replace the Scotsman in this prestigious role? Take a look at the following 7 managers who could be well suited to take charge at North West club.
1. Louis van Gaal
Louis van Gaal is the current Dutch national manager but will be stepping down from this role after the World Cup. It has been rumoured that he will be the one to take over for Tim Sherwood after the tournament in Brazil, but maybe the lure of Old Trafford might beat White Hart Lane.
Prior to his national post, he was formerly a coach for Ajax, Barcelona, AZ and Bayern Munich. He won three league titles, a UEFA Cup and a Champions League with Ajax, two league titles and a Spanish Cup while he was posted at the Camp Nou, but most impressively, he took AZ, a mid to lower league Dutch club, to league champions in 2008–09. This led to Bayern Munich, where he won the league and cup double and took the German side to the Champions League final.
An advocate of total football, his sides are great to watch. As a Spurs fan, I want this guy in charge down at the Lane, but Louis van Gaal's successful record should ensure Man United fans pursuit of his appointment.
2. Diego Simeone
A bit of a gamble this one, but what Diego Simeone is doing at Atlético Madrid most deserves a mention. Having a fraction of the financial muscle and grandeur that Barcelona and Real Madrid have, Simeone has somehow kept his side in the title race this season, currently sitting three points behind first place Real Madrid and joint second with Barcelona.
Capped over 100 times for Argentina, he went to three FIFA World Cups (1994, 1998 and 2002). Naturally his managerial career started in South America, having held the top seat at Racing, Estudiantes, River Plate, San Lorenzo, Catania and Racing.
However, he has been in his current La Liga post since 2011, having been in charge of Atléti for 129 matches, winning 84. His 65% winning percentage is impressive, even if it is La Liga, and one that United could consider.
3. Antonio Conte
As manager of Juventus, this would be a difficult appointed to pursue, but one that might be worthwhile. Despite their fairly poor showing in this season's Champions League group stage, Antonio Conte is turning Juventus into the formidable side they once were.
Having spent a lot of his managerial career at clubs bouncing between Serie A and B (Arezzo, Bari, Atalanta and Siena), Conte was given his big club chance in May 2011. He won the league (unbeaten no less) at first attempt and again the following season, this time with more points than Juve had ever previously received.
He has been likened to Jose Mourinho, with his tactical astuteness and ability to bring players together. However, he significantly differs with the Chelsea boss regarding playing philosophy. Jose has a tendency to be assured and conservative, where as Conte is all about attacking football. This is best demonstrated by Vidal and Vucinic being Juve's top scorers in 2012-13. Maybe an attacking Mourinho-type manager is what United need?
4. Cesare Prandelli
The current Italian national manager who guided the Gli Azzurri to the final of Euro 2012. Putting Italy back on the international map is an impressive feat, and his club record isn't too shabby either.
A manager at a fair few Italian clubs (varying lengths and success) including Atalanta (caretaker), Lecce, Verona, Venezia, Parma and Roma, but his best success came at Fiorentina. Prandelli advanced the Viola club from relegation candidates to a UEFA Champions League side, finishing the season in fourth place.
Unfortunately, Fiorentina were caught up in the match fixing scandal, which resulted in their Champions League spot being revoked and a deduction of 15 points the following season. Amazingly the points deduction did not prevent Prandelli from leading his side to 6th in the league (level points with 5th).
Maybe a move back into club management is in order for Prandelli.
5. Jürgen Klopp
Borussia Dortmund's current manager, Jurgen Klopp, would be a perfect appointment by United. His record with the Black and Yellows is hugely impressive having won two Bundesliga titles (2011 and 2012), and a variety of other cups (DFB-Pokal and DFL-Supercup twice).
He was awarded the German Football Manager of the Year in 2011 and 2012, taking Dortmund to Champions League final. That was an incredible achievement in itself when you consider the group of death they got through without loosing a game (Manchester City, Real Madrid and Ajax). They topped the group with some extraordinary performances against José Mourinho's Madrid side.
They had to beat Real Madrid again in the semi-finals, but lost to an 89th minute Robben goal in the final. With Dortmund consistently selling their top players, which may eventually involve Ilkay Gündogan and Marco Reus going to United, Klopp may start to look for a new challenge, and United would fit the bill perfectly.
6. Glenn Hoddle
This is possibly the one where I loose you all, but let's think about this logically. As a manager, he hasn't had the great success as previous candidates on this list. He got Swindon Town promoted to the Premier League, Chelsea to a FA Cup final, Tottenham to a League Cup final and England to the World Cup.
But Hoddle has a tendency and aspiration to develop young players, as shown by his active involvement with his academy and his eagerness to get the England U21s job. Young players are exactly what Manchester United have right now, with the likes of David de Gea, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Adnan Januzaj, Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck in the ranks.
Furthermore, Hoddle is all about flowing attacking football and would most certainly get the best out of Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Robin van Persie, as well as others already mentioned on this list.
Might be out the box this idea, but could it work?
7. Alex Ferguson
I am not even going to explain why this would work but I must have crossed your mind, whether you are a United fan or not. Could or should Fergie return to save the day? They clearly lost about 15 points just from him being boss, his reinstatement could return them to glory.