Zinedine Zidane knows the reality if he joined Manchester United

Zinedine Zidane is among the top contenders to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as Manchester United boss.

Zidane is a three-times Champions League winner with Real Madrid and is out of work after leaving the Spanish side last summer.

His previous success came with United stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphael Varane, a promising sign if the Red Devils made the move to dispense with Solskjaer in favour of Zidane.

But Zidane is under no illusions that he would be given time. He knows the demands, and he knows the reality of a top manager at a big club.

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Short shelf life

As much as United hoped Ole Gunnar Solskjaer might transform into a Sir Alex Ferguson like figure, modern day football is not set up for long term success.

United are likely to be looking for the club’s fourth manager since Sir Alex’s departure.

Speaking after his exit from Real Madrid in June in an open letter to fans, Zidane was quoted by AS: “These days the life of a coach in the dugout at a big club is two seasons, little more.

“For it to last longer the human relationships are essential, they are more important than money, more important than fame, more important than everything. They need to be nurtured.”

Zidane was unhappy behind the scenes at Real, but his exit was punctuated by a failure to win silverware in his final season.

He added: “I understand football and I know the demands of a club like Real Madrid. I know when you don’t win, you have to leave.”

A dose of realism

Zidane will take his next job under no illusions. If that is Manchester United, he will not be kidding himself that he is here to build a Sir Alex Ferguson type dynasty.

He knows the reality is far harsher, and simpler. He needs to win, and right away.

Zidane, or any new manager, will be judged on the end to this season, and the 2022/23 campaign, and then it could be time up.

Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

For Zidane to be approaching the job with the acceptance of the demands in mind, makes everything easier for Manchester United.

Yes it is the short term-ism Manchester United have tried to move away from with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but the Norwegian has steadily been drawn back into this, with moves for veteran forwards Edinson Cavani and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Whoever the next Manchester United boss is, Zidane’s words ring true. The life of a top coach at a club like this is likely little more than two seasons, until the next change comes.

Rather than try to fight against it, it’s time for Manchester United to embrace that short-term approach once again. The long term approach does not seem to be working.

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