Next Manchester United manager: Club should appoint Tim Sherwood, not Jose Mourinho, according to Paul Parker

Former defender with unusual choice of successor for Louis van Gaal 

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Manchester United are in need of one of the best coaches in the world to return the club to the upper echelons of the game, goes the argument. So why wouldn't they appoint Tim Sherwood?

That's the bizarre choice of coach mooted by former Manchester United defender Paul Parker, who thinks the twice sacked Tottenham and Aston Villa manager could arrive at Old Tafford and give the players "a bit of a cuddle".

The current favourite to replace Louis van Gaal, who is expected to leave at the end of the season if not before due to Manchester United's poor form this season, is Jose Mourinho. 

The former Chelsea manager is keen on the role and talks are understood to have been held. But Parker, who played for the club from 1991-96, explained why Sherwood is a better option than the Special One. 

"Bringing in Jose Mourinho? That is absolutely not the answer," Parker wrote in his Eurosport column. "To suggest that he could walk into 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."

Parker had some more advice for the club.

"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."

Paul Parker with Ryan Giggs

He added: "None of the other available big name managers currently out of work would fit the bill either. You could give someone like Fabio Capello a call, but he'd have all the same problems that Van Gaal has faced. He's too old school, he doesn't understand the modern game and how players need to be handled today. 

"There are plenty of guys out there who do - Diego Simeone, say, or Mauricio Pochettino - but none of them are going to leave at this stage of the season. There is just nobody out there who could come in, lift the dressing room, and then go on to build a brighter future for United."


Manchester United are in action on Thursday when they play Danish minnows Midtjylland in the Europa League.