Former Manchester United defender Paul Parker insisted on Tuesday that bringing in Jose Mourinho as manager is not the answer to the Red Devils' problems and suggested Tim Sherwood as a better alternative.
Current United manager Louis van Gaal is under huge pressure following Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Sunderland. He looks set to be shown the door if United don't finish the season in the top four of the Premier League, and Mourinho is his likely successor, per Neil Custis of the Sun.
However, Parker, writing in his Eurosport column, does not believe the Portuguese would be a good fit, and he indicated that Sherwood may be better for United's players:
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.
Parker's overall theory is that United should stick with Van Gaal for now as there are no decent alternatives available.
It seems he may be in the minority, though, especially given the results of a recent Manchester Evening News poll on Twitter:
Would you sack Van Gaal? #mufc— Man United News (@ManUtdMEN) February 14, 2016
The clamour for Van Gaal to be sacked is rising, not only because of the continued bad results—United have won just three of their last 13 Premier League matches—but the turgid style of football the Dutchman has installed.
While Mourinho's appointment would hardly signal the return of the swashbuckling football played at Old Trafford under Sir Alex Ferguson, it would almost guarantee an upturn in results.
He has won three Premier League titles with Chelsea, and despite Parker's claim that "merely winning isn't reason enough to appoint a manager," the Old Trafford faithful would surely be satisfied with a simple upturn in form at the moment.
Per Samuel Luckhurst of the MEN, appointing Mourinho immediately could well give the Red Devils a chance of claiming an all-important top-four spot this season:
Van Gaal says 'it will be difficult' to overhaul six-point gap. It will be with him in charge. Get Mourinho and #mufc have a chance.— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) February 14, 2016
Furthermore, Bleacher Report's Dean Jones believes that bringing in the 53-year-old would give United more sway when they attempt to rebuild in the summer transfer window:
The United hierarchy held off sacking Van Gaal when United endured one of their worst-ever periods of form around Christmas—a run of eight games without a win during which they were knocked out of the Champions League.
The former Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss may not survive, though, if United fail to qualify for next season's Champions League, and Mourinho looks like the man to come in despite Parker's reservations.