When the news was finally confirmed that Carlos Queiroz was leaving Manchester United to become manager of Portugal, I was honestly absolutely gutted. He had been the man I’d backed to replace Sir Alex Ferguson in a few years time and the idea of finding another man capable of doing the job is pretty daunting.
In a rather touching speech, Queiroz said goodbye to the club, and showing us just how hard it was for him to leave.
“It is with a very heavy heart that today I leave the greatest football club in the world after five fantastic years,” said Queiroz. “Our players on and off the pitch make the difference and to them also I owe a great deal of gratitude for their hard work, professionalism and most of all their performances. I feel we have in place the basis for the next generation to follow in the tradition of such world class players as Sir Bobby Charlton and George Best. I will forever be a fan and admirer of the club and also thankful that I had the opportunity to be part of such a great institution, a vast organisation but with a unique feeling of family and community. This leads me finally to our fans – local, national and international. I thank them for their fantastic support and encouragement in my time at the club, always there when we need them to support us both home and away in huge numbers. In conclusion I wish everyone at our club, continued success in the years to come and to continue to enjoy a brand of exciting, attractive and winning football, admired and respected the world over.”
Our thoughts immediately stray to who will be his replacement, despite Fergie’s claims they are in no rush. As well as the new tactics he implemented at United, Queiroz had a strong pull for a few of our foreign players, meaning speculation about Ronaldo’s transfer increased. Today, news has emerged that United are drawing up a shortlist, and Cristiano’s former team mate is on it. Is this a wise move?
Sporting Lisbon coach, Paulo Bento, is an up and coming young manager who has enjoyed relative success in his three years at the Portuguese club. Since making the move from coaching the Junior team in 2005, he has enjoyed his time as one of the top two teams in the country, as well as winning the Portuguese Cup and Supercup, and going a season unbeaten at home.
Last season, Sporting claimed Champions League football for the following campaign for the third consecutive year, something unheard of in thie club’s history.
Whilst Queiroz specialised in young Portuguese talent, it appears as though Bento could bring the same quality. After his time with the youngsters at Sporting, Bento successfully managed to bring the likes of Nani, João Moutinho and Miguel Veloso through the ranks.
He seems like a safe bet and I like the idea of us having a foreigner to replace Queiroz, ensuring we don’t lose out on the hard work the former assistant started. The problem is more likely to arise in getting him to accept walking out on his manager’s job at Sporting for a lesser role at United. With the hope of later becoming United boss though, the opportunity might be too great to miss out on.
Of course, this would also be pleasing to Cristiano Ronaldo, who played alongside Bento at Sporting until he left for United in 2003. Several months ago, we would have leapt at the chance, but things are very different now. The appeal of Bento isn’t as great because neither is our desire to keep Ronaldo.
Do you think Bento would come to United and would it be a good move for us?