Why Michael Laudrup Could Be the Next Man Utd Manager

Rob BlanchetteFeatured ColumnistDecember 12, 2013

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 17:  Michael Laudrup, manager of Swansea City looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Swansea City at St James' Park on November 17, 2012 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.  (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Looking at David Moyes at the moment, his face tells a story of a thousand words.

The Manchester United team are the cast in his sorry tale, being filmed in front of disbelieving "Red Devils" fans across the globe. It is very much a "video nasty" at present.

As United lie closer in points to the relegation zone than they do to Premier League leaders Arsenal, there is no doubting Moyes has picked the wrong script when trying to make a good first impression on his new team's supporters. 

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 04:  Manchester United Manager David Moyes looks on prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Everton at Old Trafford on December 4, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty
Michael Regan/Getty Images

The press have gone relatively easy on Moyes almost out of respect for the enormity of his task, and the level of difficulty he has to face as the successor to the greatest manager these isles have ever seen. However, the cracks are not easy to disguise. Moyes is in trouble, and it is not even Christmas yet.

The Glazers hold the key as to how much time and money David Moyes has to fashion his own Manchester United, but the early results may well have changed their perspective. If this is the case, there is every chance they will look to someone else to lead the club forward.

On the surface United look like a rudderless ship on a sea of icebergs and tidal waves. 

If a change does occur, the owners could look towards a "hot property" European coach, moving away from the British managerial model the club has always followed. 

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 21:  Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp faces the media during a Borussia Dortmund press conference ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group F match against Arsenal at Emirates Stadium on October 21, 2013 in London, England.  (
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

The obvious choice would be Jurgen Klopp, and he is the bookies' favorite at present. However, with Klopp signing a contract extension until 2018 and proclaiming how he "is still a little bit in love with Dortmund" it feels like he will not be leaving his German oasis anytime soon. 

So who could United look towards?

Danish footballer Michael Laudrup playing for the Spanish club FC Barcelona, early 1990s. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

During his playing career, Michael Laudrup was one of the greatest footballers in Europe, representing Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid. He was capped over 100 times for his country and won La Liga on no less than five occasions. His brilliance was noted by Franz Beckenbauer who remarked:

In the 1960s, the best player was Pele; in the 1970s, it was Cruyff; in the 1980s, it was Maradona; and in the 1990s, it’s Laudrup.

Laudrup's rise to managerial fame with Swansea City might seem meteoric, but this follows a 10-year spell as a first-team coach in Denmark, Spain and Russia. He has certainly done his apprenticeship.

If United were to look away from Moyes, a manager who favours function over flair, the dynamism of Laudrup would be favoured by United fans, and in keeping with the spirit of the football club. 

Laudrup's age and philosophy would be perfect for United—a man only six months short of 50 years old, and a manager who wants to play attacking and creative football. It seems like a marriage made in football heaven. 

SWANSEA, WALES - AUGUST 17: Michael Laudrup (L) the manager of Swansea City shakes hands with David Moyes (R) the manager of Manchester United during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Manchester United at the Liberty Stadium on Au
Michael Steele/Getty Images

One facet Laudrup has over David Moyes is his vast knowledge of, and involvement in, "big club" football as a player. This surely gives him an understanding about the psychology of the top players, than others who have not experienced such challenges. 

Even though Laudrup has only been in English football for one full season, it is clear he is a highly developed manager and tactician. Similar comparisons can be made with Southampton's Mauricio Pochettino, a former Argentinian international footballer who spent three years cutting his managerial teeth in the top division in Spain.

Though he is not as decorated as Laudrup, he is almost a decade younger. He could be the type of manager United would look towards as well, but the time does not seem right for him yet. 

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 20:  Everton manager David Moyes with Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Manchester United at Goodison Park on February 20, 2010 in Liverpool, England.  (P
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

If United's form continues to sink then there is no guarantee Moyes will get the time he needs to prove Sir Alex Ferguson was right when making him "The Chosen One."

If United did sack Moyes after such a short tenure, it would be more of a failure by the Glazer family, than that of the departing manager. However, in a world where commerce and sponsorship dominates with more weight than the love of the sport, the financial-driven logic of the Glazers might direct them towards a new tactic. 

Laudrup would be a popular appointment in terms of the United brand.

If Manchester United decide a sea change is coming, there is no doubt the opportunity to manage one of the giants of world football would not be one Michael Laudrup would pass on. 

If Moyes' luck does not change very soon, yet again a Swansea City manager could be on his way to the biggest job of his life, in the north west of England.