Former Manchester United defender Paul Parker feels Tim Sherwood would be a better fit for the club at the moment than Jose Mourinho.
Writing in his Eurosport column, Parker said Mourinho’s lack of experience at handling a ‘crisis situation’ would be his undoing and feels Sherwood, who could give the players a bit of a cuddle, is better suited to helping Man United move forward.
No, honestly, Parker has genuinely said this. He wrote: “To suggest that [Mourinho] could walk in to a crisis situation at United and turn it around is absurd. That’s something he’s never done in his career, and this really wouldn’t be the time to start. He’s lost a huge amount of respect in the game, and I suspect the players at United hate the idea of him taking over.
“Frankly, given how unhappy the players are right now, they’d be better off bringing in Tim Sherwood between now and the end of the season: someone to soft soap the players, give them a bit of a cuddle, get them feeling good about themselves once again.
“Sadly, as we’ve seen with Tim, those sorts of managers don’t work long term. And United need to start thinking about the long term as soon as possible, because if not they face the ultimate danger: turning into the new Liverpool.
“When you think about it, it’s extraordinary that anybody is really surprised that United have struggled. It was always going to happen, after a figure like Sir Alex Ferguson left.
“And while the Glazers and Ed Woodward have tried to ease the transition by looking to similar characters – a plain-speaking Scot, followed by an old-school disciplinarian – they now need to recognise that the old-fashioned approach won’t work any more.
“Under that category, I absolutely include Mourinho. Simeone and Jurgen Klopp have shown how a modern manager can combine inspiring a team with the sort of attractive football that fans love. That’s how you build a brand, and building a brand – like it or not – is what modern top flight clubs are about these days.
“Mourinho isn’t capable of doing that. The great apology for him is that he wins games – but merely winning isn’t reason enough to appoint a manager when you’ve got someone like Klopp up the road putting on such lavish entertainment. It’s the entertainment above all that fans love, that will underpin why it’s fun and exciting to follow a club; Mourinho will not do that for United. And while he’s built successful teams in the past, I reckon his little black book must be a lot thinner than it was a few years ago. Who would want to come and play for him now, given the mess he left at Chelsea?”
Sherwood at Man United? That makes the idea of Ryan Giggs taking over seem like the most appealing thing in the world. I couldn’t imagine anyone less suited to our needs right now than Sherwood, a man who has effectively done nothing but fail at the clubs he has managed.
A manager of Mourinho’s level is who United need right now, not somebody like Sherwood, and the sooner we get Jose in – or a manager of his ilk – the better but will that happen before the summer? Fans certainly hope so.
As for Parker’s suggestion, I think we can put this one firmly in the bin for now. Sorry Paul.