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Football

Is Zinedine Zidane fit for Manchester United project?

Zinedine Zidane is among candidates considered for United job; Photo Credit - The Sun

Since Manchester United legendary Coach Sir Alex Ferguson left the club, after 26 years of success, it’s fair to say that his shoes have never fitted well in anyone. United under Ole Gunnar solskjaer is currently under scrutiny for their performance.

Several managers have been tipped to take over the helm of the club with Zinedine Zidane among them after Italian coach Antonio Conte who was the favorite candidate switched to the North London club Tottenham Hotspurs.

Currently, Ajax Coach Erik Ten Haag is highly tipped followed by former Real Madrid Coach Zidane who is without a job now after leaving Real Madrid.

For Erik Ten Haag it is complicated given the project he is steering at Ajax but for Zidane, a deal can be made between the two parties.

Humiliating losses at home to Liverpool and Manchester City have sealed the final nail in the Norwegian’s coffin.

The United board backed the manager to turn things around. This was despite strong links with Antonio Conte and Zinedine Zidane taking over the job. both Conte and Zidane believe in team spirit and intensity. Conte’s arrival at Tottenham leaves the Frenchman as the only realistic big-name manager left for Manchester United.

Zinedine Zidane appears to make Manchester United U-turn

Zinedine Zidane left Real Madrid in 2020; Photo Credit – Red Devil Armada

Naturally, there is much debate on the pros and cons of United hiring the former Real Madrid manager. Does the club prioritize winning over the long-term aim of building the team? Does this team need someone who can handle the big egos in the dressing room and not antagonize them? Does this team need more coaching? Can the Frenchman deliver that elusive trophy to the club?

Here we take a look at what could be making Zinedine Zidane the man who can turn around United fortunes if the managerial positions fall vacant.

Emphasizing physical conditioning

Zidane’s stature as a player both at the club and the international level demanded respect.

He was able to get all these parts working in a harmonious manner. It is not to say that Zidane did not introduce his own methods into the team to get them to perform better. Zidane brought in Antonio Pintus, Ventrone’s assistant during his time at Juventus, as Real Madrid’s fitness coach in his first full pre-season as the club’s coach.

Pintus has a history as a competitive 800m and 1500m, athlete. He has done his academic thesis on the modern marathon. His tough methods earned him the nickname “The Whip” in Spain. It allowed the team to win a league and European Cup double in the 2017-18 season.

Like Conte, he would emphasize physical conditioning to be the absolute base for top performance from a player. His reputation as a player and manager will not have diminished. He can leverage this to bring United’s players up their performances on the pitch.

His relationship with Cristiano Ronaldo was key in their triumphs at Madrid. Varane’s presence will also help in transmitting his message to the rest of the team.

Zidane’s CV

Very few players have the CV that Zinedine Zidane possesses. He has won possibly every trophy at the club and international level.

He is one of the players to win the Champions League title both as a player and manager. Like Solskjaer, he replaced a full-time manager at Real Madrid mid-way through a season. He led them to three consecutive Champions League titles, something no other manager has achieved so far.

Cristiano Ronaldo 'Devastated' After Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid Exit | Bleacher Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights

Zinedine Zidane won both domestic and Champions League titles with Ronaldo at Madrid; Photo Credit – Bleacher Report

All these title wins had Ronaldo as a key factor, as the Frenchman found a way to keep his aging star fresh for key matches and kept Real Madrid competitive at the domestic level as well.

It is easy for fans to draw parallels and believe that Zidane will be the perfect fit at Manchester United. One of the key reasons why the tactician was able to extract the most out of that Real Madrid team, was the fact that the club had a strong core group of players and a leadership group, that could grab others by the scruff of their necks if they were under-performing and squeeze out results.

Los Blancos had built this side over years with each area of the pitch having star names. The midfield axis of Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, and Casemiro was a constant feature till Zidane’s tenure in 2020.

The defense marshaled by Sergio Ramos and Varane was ever-present. Karim Benzema and Ronaldo single-handedly won games when the opposition did not allow a way through.

 

I am a Multimedia Journalist with five years of experience from Digital to Broadcast Media{Radio and Television}. Interested in reporting Current affairs happenings within and across the borders. I have excellent attitude towards working with others and communication skills extremely patient and persistent with the ability to formulate unique ideas and hand eye co-ordination. Ability to work under minimal supervision, curious, hardworking and polite. In another life I am a News Anchor and Reporter.

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