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He’s Left Us Twice…But Would You Have Queiroz Back At United?

When there was speculation that Carlos Queiroz and Cristiano Ronaldo were set to leave us this summer, I was far more bothered about us losing out on our Assistant Manager. Whilst not popular to begin with, there is no denying what a massively positive impact he had on our team and our tactics towards the end, with Sir Alex Ferguson giving Queiroz the freedom and access to the team no other assistant had enjoyed before at United.

“It’s impossible to be at United for five years and forget the things that I experienced,” Queiroz said. “I’ll never forget that period of my life working with the players, the staff, the manager, and especially the fans.”

For Queiroz, becoming the manager of Portugal was a chance of a life time, something he couldn’t turn down, and something which the fans had to begrudgingly accept.

“The chance to become the Portugal national team manager was difficult to turn down,” he added. “I left Portugal in 1993 and my initial decision was to be away for six months. Then, nearly 15 years later, I still hadn’t gone back. After five years in England the chance to manage Portugal was the combination of two wishes; firstly, that it is a very difficult to ignore the offer of being manager of your country; the second being that I could return home and be with family and friends. It was a great attraction. But, on the other side, there were a lot reasons to stay – the majority of the reasons were to stay at United. It wasn’t an easy decision. I didn’t say goodbye when I left United, it isn’t goodbye. Manchester United is a special place and I will always have a huge fondness for the club.”

It isn’t goodbye? Well Queiroz is certainly leaving the door open here. The question is, would you take him back?

After leaving us for a ‘dream’ opportunity to manage Real Madrid, then leaving us again for a ‘dream’ job with Portugal, would it be asking too much of the fans to have him managing United when Fergie leaves, or would it be a case of third time lucky?

Personally, I’d take him back in a heart beat. Firstly, for most managers, it is a dream come true to take charge of the country they call their own, so it would be rather harsh to expect him to stay as Assistant at United for a further two years and shun the Portugal job.

Secondly, the appointment of Ferguson’s replacement will be one of the biggest ever in World football, and it is crucial we get it right. Whilst we can push the debt to the back of our minds for the time being, if our success was to dwindle, we’d certainly be hearing a lot about how much money we owed and how could we possibly pay it back.

Queiroz has been at the club through some of our most successful teams, winning the league with us on three occasions, as well as the European Cup. He has a good relationship with the players and would ensure continuity at the club after Ferguson’s departure.

Thirdly, had Queiroz been given a choice between managing us and managing Portugal, it would be easier to feel hard done by when he chose the latter. However, the Portugal job was possibly a once in a life time opportunity, whereas he knew the United job would be coming up in two to three years time.

Just imagine Queiroz wins the World Cup with Portugal in two years time, achieving a life ambition, and Manchester United come knocking asking if he’d be interested in Ferguson’s job. I’d certainly fancy that!

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. AlexOfMancunia says:

    If he proves himself at Portugal, then yes I definately would take him back.

    The thing Queiroz would bring should he take Fergie’s place would be continuity. Queiroz knows the club already inside out, and he knows the players too (the majority of whom I imagine will still be at the club when Fergie does call it a day).

    It will be a shock when Fergie does go, but Carlos’ appointment would make the transition much easier.

    However like I said, he needs to prove himself at Portugal first. He didn’t really get the freedom at Madrid, so now is his golden opportunity.

  2. Stephen says:

    I suppose it does depend on his success or lack of with Portugal. If they win the World Cup or Euro’s under his stewardship, then why not.
    It still grates on me that he has left us twice, and his record with Madrid was pretty poor, but I understand things were tough there with the control, but surely the manager of United has to be his own man, and make really tough even blinkered decisions, no matter what Gill or the Glaziers tell them to do?
    With the United job does come available (hopefully no time soon!) there will be a list of very good manager prepared to sell their left bollock for the position, maybe we should see then who throws their hat into the ring.
    The plus point with CQ is that he knows the club and players, but if he has a poor time at Portugal then he shouldn’t be considered.

  3. suhayl says:

    Stephen bob on….

    The thought of SAF leaving always sends shivers down my spine…very worrying scary thought. Hve nightmares about it ALL THE TIME He is more than a manager, an employee or a person working for a club. No otheR club in the world can say. That their manager is the GUARDIAN THE AMBASSADOR THE REPRESENTOR THE BASTION THE PROTECTOR THE FACE THE EPITOME THE HEART AND SOUL AND SPIRIT OF THEIR CLUB.

    Manchester united = SAF and SAF = Manchester united. END off.

    Wouldnt we love it if he lived to 100 and managed until

  4. Mic says:

    I love Carlos but I feel like Stevie Mac, he might be best as an assistant, unless he can prove me wrong but i’d want a proven world class manager, that SAF has chosen to take over for him.

  5. dvdpower21 says:

    There’s no denying his influence and success at United and I certainly don’t begrudge him going to Real Madrid as number 1 and then to Portugal as number 1. Real Madrid are one of the biggest clubs around and to be offered the chance to manage them considering he wasn’t a manager at the time would be hard for anyone to say no to. The Portugese national team job obviously speaks for itself when you consider his nationality.

    However, I am not convinced (yet) that he is the right man to take over from Fergie. As a manager he failed (relatively speaking) at Real Madrid – that is all he can be judged on at present. Brian Kidd was a great assistant but an awful manager. I remember Queiroz fondly but would only consider taking him as manager if he proves himself with Portugal and possibly a club side. The future of United after Fergie is too big to take a gamble on for sentimental reasons.

  6. wiuru... says:

    Got to be , Yes .

  7. Gapi says:


  8. failsworth devil says:

    I reckon thats the plan…

    Get him to prove himself at Portugal… funny how fergie says 2 more years… and then the world cup is in 2 years…

    Is it poss that he becomes United manager after the next world cup??

    A lot of the younger players brought in.. ie Anderson, Nani, Da Silva twins, and Rodrigo and Manucho, have all been brought in via Querioz’s link and scout network…

    Yes i would have him back, he knows the club, majority of the squad will be the same, and would be a really easy transition for the invetiable when SAF does hang the chewing gum up.

  9. A MAN UNITED FAN says:

    love the fact ronaldo stayed and the fact we got berba for 32million

    but if either one of these deals didnt go true cause we were brakin the bank for Queiroz id be a happy man

  10. Kings says:

    I’d take him without any question. I had my reservations about him initially, especially during the 2004/05 season, but he has had a massive influence on some of the transfers that happened recently, most notably the signings of Nani and Anderson, coupled with some successful results away from home in Europe – Barca and Roma from last season, the most notable successes. The two times he has left us for were to take up two high profile managerial roles, had he joined another Premiership club, then I would say no thanks. If Fergie is to leave in two years, then it would allow Queiroz the chance to come in as Fergies replacement, which by then he may take Portugal to new heights. I think it’s definitely a case of watch this space.

  11. denton davey says:

    Who else ?

    I’ve wondered aloud about this before on this page and I’m just plain buggered to come up with anyone else.

    CQ would bring continuity and that’s important; he’s close to a number of the current squad and he knows most of the youngsters, too. So, he ticks those boxes.

    He was undermined at Real Madrid by the idiotic “galactico” policy so it’s hard to get a true gauge on how he would do as the number-one man.

    CQ has been successful as the primary assistant to SAF from most of the past decade and, with his experience, maturity, and excellent communication skills, one would imagine that he is the “identikit” candidate.

    I would imagine that if he did return as the head man then he would have a two or three year contract so that he wouldn’t have to “prove himself” immediately. On the other hand, the Glazers’ other hobby-team – Tampa Bay Bucs – went to the wall to sign a young, vibrant coach when they bought Jon Gruden out of his Oakland Raider contract but Gruden has not been a great success there so they might rely heavily on SAF’s judgement with regard to choosing his successor.

    One thing is for sure – when SAF calls it a day, he has to vacate the premises and leave his successor to get on with the job. Who would feel comfortable with the OldFootieKnight peering over his shoulder ?

  12. Deering Tornados says:

    You can’t put ‘dream’ job in quotations like that, as if neither were his dream. ANY manager in his situation would’ve taken both those jobs – and you can’t blame him for that. It’s just unfortunate for us both those opportunities happened to come up for him.

  13. OTRed says:

    I think his influence in my opinion is highly OVERRATED, kinda like some people saying we played better in the absence of RVN. None of us know whats happening behind the scenes to know how much influence he has had on United. Theres no use saying bring him back cus he helped with acquiring this player and that player, his job is a manager not a scout. Personally i haven’t seen anything he has done in Portugal(so far) and what he did in Madrid that would convince me he’d make a great number 1.

  14. Chris says:

    He’s only just been appointed as Portugal manager so he’s not going to be leaving in two years time unless it all goes wrong.

    I don’t want him as United manager, I think he’s a good number two but we can do better. I still think he was responsible for a lot of the negative football a few years back and it was SAF who brought us back to our attacking traditions. I’m sure Quieros is a very good coach though and I don’t want to take away anything from his contribution to the success of the last two seasons.

  15. ManUnited10Titles says:

    With open arms…

  16. IndReddevil says:

    Definitely yes!

  17. dozer says:

    How is Queiroz doing at Portugal. I think they’re in a spot of bother as of now?

  18. pet says:

    He left in good terms, he is a good manager, why not wellcome him back

  19. jacko says:


  20. nagraj says:

    Marcello Lippi

    One man shortlist for the next manager…

  21. Jackthered says:

    I’m just worried that if he came back he wouldn’t be able to have that same relationship with the players. Every manager needs a certain amount of distance.

  22. Dromarared says:

    What about Carlos as manager with Ole as assistant. I am absolutely convinced tha Ole will manage United one day

  23. North Stand,Tier 3,Back Row says:

    For some reason, over the last few years I have always felt that one man could be a brilliant long term replecement for Fergie – Martin O’Neill.
    I like CQ, that could work, no questions, but I think ONeill has the personality, drive, and man management skills to keep the United tradition going, and he’s young, so if it works, we’d get another 20 years of consistancy like we did with Sir Alex.
    I would ideally prefer a British or Irish manager to take over, I just feel that they would know more about the history and deep rooted traditions at United, and how magical a club it truely is. I know ONeill is lacking in European experience, which could be his one flaw – which is where an experienced assistant could be key.
    Saying that we have another couple of years with Fergie, so maybe between now and then, ONeill might improve on that front himself.
    I know most mightn’t agree with that, but for some reason I feel that ONeill has whats required to be a great United manager…

  24. Stephen says:

    North Stand,Tier 3,Back Row, O’Neill is a really good manager no doubts mate, but we need maybe someone who has won Championships and Champions leagues, I know O’Neill won the SPL, but that surely doesn’t count!
    I would like someone who has seen it and won it, thats why CQ really can’t fall into the equasion as he has a lack of experience of winning things on his own. OT can be a tough place to be, and especially after the Fergie legacy, I can see CQ being like Liverpool senario, bringing Roy Evans good coach I am sure (well in Evans’s probably not) but not a good manager and they are two different things.

  25. North Stand,Tier 3,Back Row says:

    I appreciate that Stephan, I agree with what you say. I just think Martin O’Neill has a real fire in his belly, and he’d be good for the club. He did well at Wycombe, moved up to Leicester, did well there, moved up to Celtic, did well there, now he’s at Villa, and it looks like he’s on to something good there too (time will tell).
    Dont forget he was a key member of the Notts Forest team that won the European Cup, and shouldve picked up some knowledge off Brian Clough. I know the European game has changed alot since then, but it shows he had what it took to win it. He did also take an average Celtic team to the UEFA Cup final, and was unlucky to lose out to a Jose managed Porto in the final (Champs League winners the next year).
    Granted there’ll be more qualified managers around in Europe, but I dont think theres any guarentees for success by appointing one of the big Italian or German names either.
    He’s made every step up and succeeded so far, and he’d have a great backrom team at United, with some invaluable Champs Leage experience that he could use (Ole, and by then maybe Giggs or Gar Nev).
    Im not saying he should definitely get the job, I just always liked the way he did his job and carried himself, and think he could possibly rise to the challenge at United.

  26. Stephen says:

    North Stand,Tier 3,Back Row, I do agree there are no guarentees, and O’Neill is his own man which in my view is massive with regards to the importance and the pressures of the job at OT.
    We can’t have a yes man, thats why CQ does worry me, and O’Neill certainly does not fall into that catagory.

  27. kazuya mishima says:

    lippi is a good shout and I know you guys will diss the brand of football but for me it would be jose mourinho on a 5 yr deal – he is the main man, the fonzie of football :-)

  28. denton davey says:

    Keane – no

    Hughes – no

    Lippi – no

    O’Neill – no

    Mourinho – no way !

    At this moment – and these things do change – the only credible alternative to Carlos Q. is the Danish guy (Michael Laudrup) who did a fantastic job at Getafe last year but then quit, looking for a bigger job I suspect.

    A few alternatives that don’t quite work for me would be:

    Laurent Blanc

    Didier Deschamps

    and the guy at Roma, whose name I’ve completely forgotten for the moment (and doesn’t that tell us something about him !).

    So, if SAF is going to depart OldTrafford in 2010 then the transition with CQ would be close to seamless as he could start for our club after the World Cup. And, I agree that OGS would be a very good shout for assistant manager.

  29. denton davey says:

    Luciano Spalletti is the name of the guy at Roma.

    The mists parted and his name appeared in my mind’s-eye.

    Memory – as one gets older – is more-and-more like a screen saver: if, at first, the name is lost then wait a while and it will re-emerge.


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