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:
|1 July 2004||DF||Gerard Piqué||Barcelona||Undisclosed|
|6 July 2004||FW||Giuseppe Rossi||Parma||Undisclosed|
|31 August 2004||FW||Wayne Rooney||Everton||£27m|
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:
|1 July 2005||GK||Edwin van der Sar||Fulham||Undisclosed|
|8 July 2005||MF||Park Ji-Sung||PSV Eindhoven||£4m|
|19 September 2005||GK||Ben Foster||Stoke City||Undisclosed|
|5 January 2006||DF||Nemanja Vidić||Spartak Moscow||Undisclosed|
|10 January 2006||DF||Patrice Evra||AS Monaco||
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:
|31 July 2006||MF||Michael Carrick||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):
|1 July 2007||MF||Owen Hargreaves||Bayern Munich||Undisclosed|
|2 July 2007||MF||Anderson||Porto||£30m
|2 July 2007||MF||Nani||Sporting|
|2 July 2007||GK||Tomasz Kuszczak||West Bromwich Albion||Undisclosed|
|1 January 2008||FW||Manucho||Petro Atlético||Undisclosed|
|30 January 2008||MF||Rodrigo Possebon||Internacional||Undisclosed|
|13 June 2008||FW||Davide Petrucci||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.