The Guardian published an interview this morning with Iran manager and former assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson, Carlos Queiroz, echoing many of the sentiments expressed in a recent post by Manchester La La La co-founder Mike.
Queiroz may not be a world-class manager, but many would argue he was a great assistant at United, with a big influence on signings, tactics and player development.
As Gary Neville recalls in his autobiography, Queiroz was key to United getting past Barcelona on their way to the 2008 Champions League final:
“For years, training had always been based around how we’d play, but this time Carlos was obsessive about stopping Barcelona. We’d never seen such attention to detail.”
Indeed, there was a time when Querioz was been talked about as SAF’s likely successor. When he left to join Portugal, Fergie described him as “one of the best coaches in world football,” adding:
“His attention to detail, ability to innovate and will to win have been a key factor to the team’s recent successes.
“He has played an important role in building and blending the exceptional squad of players at the club.”
Clearly, Queiroz had a hugely influential role at the club. Whilst his achievements elsewhere have been limited, when he speaks about United, I’m inclined to listen. So what does he have to say about the current state of affairs in Manchester?
“The foundation of Manchester United’s success was based always on trust, confidence, continuity – the values of the club. I think there have been too many changes that disrupted the continuity and tradition of the club.
“There was nothing wrong with building the future based on the principles that were already inside Manchester United created by Alex Ferguson, that was the right direction. OK, I understand that after Alex … the complexity of the transition was not an easy task. I have great admiration and respect for Louis [van Gaal] and David [Moyes], they are great coaches that I admire but I think they made some critical and crucial mistakes in the transition from Alex.
“I hope and expect this season that Manchester United is able to not only compete, to win but to win in style because that is what Manchester United is about, winning with style and entertainment. A club like Manchester, with its financial capabilities, the results must be there immediately. We also want to see the players shining. Great players like Best, Scholes, Giggsy, Keane, Van Nistlerooy – where are they? Where are the stars of Manchester United?
“It was always about creating players. Now it is the opposite, we see some of the best players going down and even some of the players that arrived in the team like Falcao and Di María were on the bench. I saw Di María and some games, he looked like he has never played football. There is panic buying. You have to prepare and then make the decisions together. You can still make wrong decisions but we never made panic decisions when buying players.”
What do you make of his assessment? Is van Gaal, Woodward or the Glazers to blame? Let us know what you think in the comments…