It seems only a matter of time before Carlos Queiroz leaves Manchester United to take up the job as Portugal manager.
According to Queiroz himself the final decision rests in the hands of Manchester United and Portugal Football Federation and while United are adamant in holding on to their best people, the lure of Portugal could prove to be too much in the end for Queiroz and the man is good enough to manage a club / country and will want that opportunity sooner or later.
“From my part, there is not much to say, it needs to be resolved between the federation and Man Utd. I can say little more than you know at this time. Currently, the matter is out of my hands. We must wait calmly. I have spoken with the two parties and now I wait for movement.”
The last time he went Ferguson spent the rest of the season without a formal assistant manager, preferring to share duties between himself and the other coaching staff. This time around Ferguson is older and less likely to take on additional duties. There’s always the possibility that Queiroz reduces his role at Manchester United to a part-time option and manages both the Portugual job and the United job but it’s unlikely.
Assuming that Queiroz was to take up the Portugal post, who would replace him as assistant manager? Anyone who was a serious contender to replace Ferguson can be ruled out – no current manager is going to give up their job to come be an assistant manager, no matter how much they love United.
This leaves either those already at United or someone from the outside who doesn’t hold a management post but is still quality material.
For me, there are a few options such as promoting Neville / Giggs to a youth coaching role (along with their playing duties) and then promoting one of the academy coaches to the first team. Another option would be to either promote Rene Meulensteen, Mike Phelan or Brian McClair to the empty assistant post. If Brian McClair is promoted it could mean that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gets thrust at the deep end of the pool in terms of management as he was already due to assist McClair with the reserve team this season. However, McClair’s responsibilities with the youth academy could make his promotion a bit difficult.
There’s always the option of bringing someone in from outside. Some United fans are pointing towards Eric Cantona and while it’s a dreamy assignment a lot will have to fall in the right places for Cantona to come into such a post. The player may command instant respect but to sign an untested assistant manager above coaches who have served United for so long might disrupt the harmony of the club and while Cantona might still come in, he would be more likely to come in at a youth / reserve level.
Unless Ferguson finds an outstanding candidate, he’s going to share the duties around and possibly give one or two senior players coaching responsibilities (it’s worth noting that United don’t have a fulltime goalkeeping coach and that EVDS has turned down the opportunity to take up that post in the past).
Do you know of any suitable replacements for Carlos Queiroz?