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Forget Ronaldo – Reasons Why Queiroz Is The Man We Need To Stay

“There is a need to sweep away the dirt in the Portuguese football Federation,” Carlos Queiroz said, when leaving his post as the Portugal U-20 team, which contained the likes of Luís Figo, Rui Costa, Fernando Couto, João Vieira Pinto and Jorge Costa. His parting was an acrimonious one, seemingly shutting the door on his career with Portugal.

However, reports are coming in thick and fast that Queiroz is about to accept the manager’s job for the national side.

“From my part, there is not much to say, it needs to be resolved between the federation and United,” Carlos Queiroz said this weekend. “I can say little more than you know at this time. It’s out of my hands.”

This is a statement that worries me far more than anything Ronaldo could say about his “dreams” or preference for playing in white.

Back in May, I championed Queiroz’s cause for becoming our next manager, when Sir Alex Ferguson chooses to retire. In summary, I believed he was the man for the job because:

1. His impressive track record for unearthing young talent, with Portugal as much as at United.

2. The likelihood that Ronaldo, Nani and Anderson would be keener to stay with Queiroz in charge.

3. The prominent role he has taken in our training and pre-match set up for the past few years, outshining Fergie in this respect to a certain extent.

4. The tactics that were unpopular at first, which in the end won us a European Cup. The away displays against Roma and Barcelona last season were certainly not of Fergie’s making.

5. To aid the transition after Fergie’s departure. When a man has been in charge of a club for 25 years+, bringing season after season of glory and success, the process of replacing him has to be a delicate one. Queiroz is well aware of the Manchester United way under Fergie, and could continue that through for the long term, or until we found a better/more suitable permanent replacement.

When the harassment of Ronaldo first began this summer and all United would do was give out press releases saying he wasn’t for sale, Queiroz got stuck in, deciding two could play that game.

Whilst Real Madrid played the emotional game, insisting that the only problem in this situation was between Ronaldo and United, claiming they were honoured Ronaldo was interested in signing for them, and that they’d pay whatever it took to get him, Queiroz waded in making it about Spain vs Portugal.

Queiroz has the intelligence and know-how to deal with high pressure situations. Without directly telling Ronaldo he had to be loyal to his homeland, something the player would always do without question, he made the suggestion that by leaving United and signing for Real Madrid, he was betraying Portugal. Genius.

Queiroz has spent five years with our club now, in which we have won three league titles, the Champions league and the League Cup. Fergie has earmarked him out as his favourite to take over the managerial position, entrusting him with more responsibility than would usually be afforded to an assistant. If he leaves, we have to start from scratch.

United are likely to ‘keep it in the family’, with Brian McClair and Eric Cantona both being linked with the no.2 job. Whilst of course the idea of having Cantona back at the club is mouth-watering, how practical and successful it would likely to be is questionable.

Players come and go, but replacements for one of the greatest ever managers are not ten a penny. Queiroz was supposed to be the one, and I can’t help but dread his imminent departure will hit us far harder than Ronaldo’s.


About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Chris says:

    I’m as fed up with Ronaldo as everyone else but I can’t agree that Queiroz is more important. Were we all wrong when we blamed him for the dull football we were playing three years ago? If he leaves I will just be relieved that we won’t be stuck with him as SAF’s successor.

  2. Kevin says:

    I believe we have to begin ignoring Real Madrid pursuit of Ronaldo. Either way I think United come out ahead. If he stays we get our one transfer target (whoever he is) and pick up where we left off. If he does say he wants to leave than we get a large transfer fee and we replace him the best we can, and get our transfer target and move on. United have always been able to bounce back and move on once great players leave. If United lose him I hope it is sooner rather than later when a great replacement in Arshavin is still available. I am sure no matter what happens Fergie will handle it in a way thats best for the club.

    Losing CQ would be a big loss to the team. It is however his national side and I can fully understand the lure of coaching the team. They are a magnificent side who has a great side to win the 2010 World Cup. If he does leave I hoe Fergie can hold on till 2010 and let CQ come back and take over after 2 years of National Team coaching experience. This also opens the door to other United greats in stepping in once Sir Alex leaves. It leaves the door open for Bruce, Hughes, Keane, and possible other to get there chance at being United main man. If one of those men when can do well when CQ is gone than it gives United a choice and having a choice is better than relying on one man. It is always better to have options. If CQ stays it will seem like we have to choose him, what if he has a Madrid repeat? If he takes the job we can evaluate his success and control of his squad, and it gives the others the opportunity to get there foot in the door, which might not have been available if CQ stay on.

  3. 261 says:

    Who’s Ronaldo? I don’t care.

    I’m hoping that this is Queiroz’s hint to the United board that they should offer something more solid about who takes over after SAF; especially since we are likely entering the crucial period where SAF will gradually relinquish his control over managing the team. I don’t think that necessarily means that he’s messing us about, because I can see him genuinely wanting the Portugal job; but, I think he also wants the United job, so he’s looking for a bit of reassurance. At least, that’s what I hope!

  4. Gary says:

    It would be a loss for United if he went, but I seriously disagree with you tho Scott on Queiroz having the credentials to take over from Fergie. His actuall mangerial experience is limited having short stints with club’s in Portugal and having no notible success, and also that one year at Real Madrid in which he won nothing. Hes a great coach dont get me wrong and I do appreciate what hes contributed to United’s success, but he is not the man to take over from Sir Alex, no way! I also think Ronaldo is far more important to United then Queiroz. Anyone who thinks other wise is clearly just saying that because they have the hump with the way Ronaldo has handled the transfer speculation this summer.

  5. denton davey says:

    Gimme a break – does Carlos kick the ball and score goals ? The game is about players – not robots or “fromations”.

    Just about the only successful “seamless transistion” I can think of in sports is the Shankly/Paisley succession. In most cases, planning for a “succession” after the departure of a great man is disappointment. One need look no further than the Busby/McGuiness fiasco to know the truth of that.

  6. Drew Vader says:

    look, if ronaldo leaves and Carlos stays, we will still have his influence at training to work with andersonsonson and nani which will be huge. But, if both leave, then, to put it simply, we’re fucked. What incentive woudl either of those two soon to be super stars have to stay? Loyalty? HA, not in this day and age.

    Thats what bothers me most about all this transfer shit. I could honestly care less if ronaldo leaves, fuck him, but i’m worried sick about what effect its going to have on the other two.

  7. Tom F says:

    “Players come and go, but replacements for one of the greatest ever managers are not ten a penny. Queiroz was supposed to be the one, and I can’t help but dread his imminent departure will hit us far harder than Ronaldo’s.”

    I couldn’t agree more.

    You’ve pretty much touched on all I could say.

    There is no other man, than CQ who I feel right to suceed SAF. It’s isn’t just his ability but you have to be in the right time and place also to make this transistion work.

    If he goes I hope he gets bored after a year and returns though it’s not until World Cup 2010 is over that will happen.

  8. azza says:

    forget quieroz, get eric in as numba 2, 3yrs unda fergie then let him put his magic on the team himself!!!

  9. Gary says:

    I can not believe that over 70 per cent of United fans think Quieroz is more important to United then Ronaldo!!!! What a joke!!!

    Also our tactic used in Europe were the making of Fergie and not Quieroz as susgested. To even think otherwise is silly!

  10. Tom F says:

    Gary Fergie has said himself that the different sides of coaching that CQ has brought in are things that he couldn’t have done himself.

    Wisdom can be passed down from SAF to Quieroz along with experience and a respect is then grown.

    I think CQ would’ve made the managerial transition a hell of a lot smoother in 2 years time.

  11. Gary says:

    Well of course your entitled to your opinion Tom and people are going to see things differently. Like I said I am gratefull to the work Quieroz has done at United and I would wish him luck at Portugal if he goes.

    Seriously tho he is not the man to manage United after Fergie. There are only a handfull of people capable of taking that impossible job and Quieroz is not one of them. He doesnt have the mental strength to cope with the pressures of being the main man at a club like United. Putting your ideas across to someone and coaching the players is one thing, managing the team is another. Great coach, never will be a great manager.

  12. Kevin says:

    What has he done as the top man? Nothing. If he leaves and does well than he will have proved he can be the main guy at United. He will have respect from the players who remain if he returns but I want nothing part of Quieroz if it resembles his fiasco at Madrid. If he can take Portugal to the World Cup and get them into the Semis, he will have proved his worth, but if not, lets go for Keano, Cantona, or any other manager who has barely proved himself on that level. Being a number 2 is vastly different than being number 1. I am an asst. coach and being the head is a much tougher job. You have to set the tone in a way people buy in, you have to make sure each level of coaching is working in a way that meets your final goals, you have to produce, make split second decisions, and deal with the fact the buck stops with you. At Madrid he struggled with that, if he can do it for Portugal, I think he can do it for us. But then again what do I know.

  13. Red77 says:

    Cantona as number 2 is preposterous…we need a assistant manager who knows the tactical side of the game and has contacts in the european market which will facilitate future transfers.

    Some of the fans need to realize that great players don’t necessarily make good second in commands. Plus you have to wonder if Cantona’s ego would even allow him to play second fiddle while Sir Alex is still running things.

    Finally, thanks Carlos for doing an unbelievable job with the team. His presence will be missed as demonstrated by United’s performance the last time he left the club. We need a solid 2nd to come in now that he has left…I’m afraid Cantona isn’t that man.

    No matter how much the fans would like to believe.

  14. Hughsie says:

    If Queiroz goes there will be no one to shield the players from the excesses of Fergies Hairdryer. Prepare for a barren season, it has happened before! A forceful manager is ok but tactical nouse is as important.


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