Jurgen Klopp’s Manchester United starting eleven?
Some still believe that David Moyes is the right choice for Manchester United – that we will all suddenly wake up one day and the crisis will have bottomed out.
You might also argue that there is no guarantee that a new manager would do any better. The fact is that Manchester United would have to wait until the summer to appoint a major coach anyway, as most are currently busy winning stuff.
So you might think it’s a knee jerk reaction to start talking about appointing a manager who is currently hot but may be yesterday’s news in 6 months time. But we believe that Jurgen Klopp would be a fantastic manager of Manchester United. He has a clear idea of how he wants his teams to play. He has done it at the top level in The Champions League and he’s worked with top players already. Experience that was missing from the Moyes CV.
The most alluring part of the Klopp idea is that the style he likes to play is so Manchester United. It’s fast, attacking and swashbuckling football – Borussia Dortmund play with the sort of freedom that Manchester United so patently lack right now.
So, if he was in charge of Manchester United, how would he set the team out? How would he deal with the abundance of number tens and lack of quality out wide?
We imagine that Klopp would immediately reinstate Shinji Kagawa into the side. Last year he said of his former player:
‘Shinji Kagawa is one of the best players in the world and he now plays 20 minutes at Manchester United – on the left wing!
‘My heart breaks. Really, I have tears in my eyes.
‘Central midfield is Shinji’s best role. He’s an offensive midfielder with one of the best noses for goal I ever saw.
It’s so true. Everytime we have seen Shinji play more centrally he has done the business. But Moyes either benches him or puts him out wide as a conventional winger.
But Klopp would still have the problem of squeezing everyone into that same eleven. We think that he would decide to play either Mata or Kagawa alongside Carrick in the ‘2’ of a 4-2-3-1 – someone to ping the ball around more quickly and set up attacks. That would free up another space in the ‘3’. It would be a team packed full of creativity and one that kept the ball much better than it is currently. The lack of natural wingers would be compensated for by the marauding full backs.
So here’s our prediction of how Klopp would use this current team of players:
Manchester United (4-2-3-1) De Gea, Rafael, Jones, Ferdinand, Evra – Carrick, Mata – Kagawa, Rooney, Januzaj – RvP
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