EPL: Should Manchester United Bring Back Carlos Queiroz?

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EPL: Should Manchester United Bring Back Carlos Queiroz?
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Carlos Queiroz has been made a fool of recently. A failure at Portugal, players in crisis and booted out of the job pretty soon. He does not have that many successes to his name as manager, and he is somewhat underrated by United fans. His only career highlight was to win a couple of Youth Championships with Portugal's youth squads as manager, and a spell at Real Madrid where he only won a single Super Cup. He is credited for developing Portugal's Golden Generation of players, of which Luis Figo was a part.

His reign as assistant manager at Old Trafford is not talked about often; as is the due of his post. The assistant manager is fundamentally inconspicuous, always skulking the shadow of the greater authority, another member of the club's large bureaucratic apparatus.

Queiroz was one of United's more significant assistant managers. He was remembered by the players for his revolutionary training methods. Gary Neville recalls one of these training sessions through an article in The Guardian:

"Queiroz's daily routine before the Champions League semifinal against Barcelona in 2008 was to put sit-up mats on the training pitch to mark exactly where he wanted the defenders to be to the nearest yard.

"We'd never seen such attention to detail. We rehearsed time and again, walking through the tactics slowly with the ball in our hands.

"United went through over two legs, with Barcelona not scoring in either."

Of course, all of this was not known by the United fans, and the newly gained defensive solidity put down to either Ferguson's design or defensive reinforcements, namely, Vidic, Ferdinand, et al. Quieroz was written off, as most assistant managers are. 

However, United fans should note that Queiroz was assistant manager during an important era at the club. When he came, Manchester United had been left trailing by Arsenal's Invincibles side, losing the title  by a huge margin of 15 points. United's squad was running thin, with Ruud Van Nistelrooy and Scholes having a bad patch after their good seasons before. Keane was close to retiring, and the only hope was a young winger called Cristiano Ronaldo (in fact, he was also brought in by Queiroz, as this was his second spell at Old Trafford; the first being during the 2002-03 season, when United won the title as well).

Since Queiroz came, United made several signings, but some have stuck in the mind more than others.

During the 2004-05 season: 

Date Pos. Name From Fee
1 July 2004 DF  Gerard Piqué Spain Barcelona Undisclosed
6 July 2004 FW  Giuseppe Rossi Italy Parma Undisclosed
31 August 2004 FW  Wayne Rooney England Everton £27m

(Credit: Wikipedia)

All of these players are now world superstars. Piqué is now considered one of the best center-backs in the game today. Giuseppe Rossi is holding a broken Villarreal side together and is one of the footballers tipped to move to a big club. Rooney is, well, a world superstar, England's best and United's top player.

During the 2005-06 season:

Date Pos. Name From Fee
1 July 2005 GK Netherlands Edwin van der Sar England Fulham Undisclosed
8 July 2005 MF South Korea Park Ji-Sung Netherlands PSV Eindhoven £4m
19 September 2005 GK England Ben Foster England Stoke City Undisclosed
5 January 2006 DF Serbia and Montenegro Nemanja Vidić Russia Spartak Moscow Undisclosed
10 January 2006 DF France Patrice Evra France AS Monaco

Undisclosed

Edwin Van Der Sar is now considered the second- or third-best goalkeeper in United's history, with a solid tenure that saw United reach three Champions league finals. Park Ji Sung is one of United's best players today, and he is constantly complimented for his incredible work rate. Vidic is considered the best central defender in the world. Evra is arguably the best left-back in the world. Foster is one of the only players to win the man of the match award in two seperate Carling Cup finals.

During the 2006-07 season:

Date Pos. Name From Fee
31 July 2006 MF England Michael Carrick England Tottenham Hotspur £13m

Carrick is very underrated by United fans. The defensive midfielder has one of the highest pass-completion rates in Europe and was once being campaigned as England's version of Xavi. He is one the best English passers in the Premier League.

During the 2007-08 season (Queiroz's last):

Date Pos. Name From Fee
1 July 2007 MF England Owen Hargreaves Germany Bayern Munich Undisclosed
2 July 2007 MF Brazil Anderson Portugal Porto £30m
(combined)
2 July 2007 MF Portugal Nani Portugal Sporting
2 July 2007 GK Poland Tomasz Kuszczak England West Bromwich Albion Undisclosed
1 January 2008 FW Angola Manucho Angola Petro Atlético Undisclosed
30 January 2008 MF Brazil Rodrigo Possebon Brazil Internacional Undisclosed
13 June 2008 FW Italy Davide Petrucci Italy Roma £200k

Yes, Manucho and Rodrigo Possebon as well as Petrucci have not been good signings. But Anderson, Nani and Owen Hargreaves have been resounding successes. Anderson is still a good player when on form, and Nani is one of the best wingers in the world. Hargreaves is universally acknowledged to be the best defensive midfielder available to Fabio Capello.

United trophies under Queiroz (five seasons):

3 League Titles

2 Community Shields

1 Champions League title


Since Queiroz (with Queiroz's "side"; three seasons):

2 Premier League titles

2 League Cup wins

2 Champions League finals

2 Community Shields


Before Queiroz (2000) onwards:

1 Premier League title


See it for yourself. Queiroz may not have been the manager, but is astonishing how many of United's spine today have been purchased during the his tenure as Manchester United's assistant manager.

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