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!