Who should Manchester United fans want as their manager?

After another completely lifeless performance in a 2-0 loss to Stoke, their fourth loss in a row, Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal’s seat has never been hotter. With several high profile managers either available or becoming available, several writers and fans have begun calling for the Dutchman to lose his job. United fans have been split over who they want to become their team’s next manager should van Gaal get the sack, so the question is, which manager is the right man to lead Manchester United? Who is the man that Manchester United fans should be pining for?

Louis van Gaal

At this point it’s pretty clear that van Gaal has lost the support of the fans and, based on the body language and on field performance, the players as well. Nevertheless there are still a small few who feel the club should stick with van Gaal as they don’t want Manchester United to become “a sacking club.” If not wanting to become a sacking club is the only reason to keep your manager around, that means you don’t have the right manager.

Jose Mourinho

Since leaving Chelsea just over a week ago, the Jose Mourinho to Manchester United rumors have heated up and refused to go away. What Mourinho brings to the table is his resume, he’s won the league everywhere he’s gone and won the Champions League with tiny Porto and with Inter Milan.

However there’s also another side of Mourinho’s resume. He’s never lasted at a club for more then three seasons and often that third season becomes even more of a mess then what Mourinho walked in to clean up. He’s not the best judge of players’ ability, as his recent transfer record suggests his signings or short sighted, and his sales are even shorter sighted. He’s the one that sold Juan Mata to United, so already you’d have a new manager who doesn’t get along with one of the club’s top players. To top it all off, just like van Gaal, Mourinho also plays a very boring and defensive style that United fans hate. He’s not the manager fans should want.

Ryan Giggs

Louis van Gaal’s number two would be the obvious choice to take over on an interim basis should United sack van Gaal during the season and not bring on Mourinho. Giggs has already done the job once after David Moyes was fired in 2014. The questions surrounding Giggs all have to do with his experience. Is he ready to be United’s permanent manager? If he’s not ready, then why put him in charge for half the season? If you feel that he’s ready to be the manager for that amount of time, then surely he can the handle the role permanently.

Pep Guardiola 

The Bayern Munich manager is the other hot name in the streets after he announced he’d be leaving the club at the end of the season. There are many rumors that Guardiola to Manchester City is already a done deal, but there are also plenty of reports saying that if United were to reach out to the Catalan he’d prefer the red half of Manchester. As a player who played against Sir Alex Ferguson’s great teams of the 90’s, Guardiola has an appreciation for United’s history and the idea of restoring them to their greatness is certainly something that appeals to him. He’s won everywhere he’s gone, but his short stints at both Barcelona and Bayern Munich do make him a flight risk. If you’re looking short term he’s your guy, but if you’re trying to find the next Sir Alex Ferguson, you may want to look elsewhere.

Gary Neville

I’m a big believer that world class players don’t end up making good coaches because since most of their talent came so naturally to them, it’s often very hard for them to teach that to others. That is certainly not the case for Gary Neville. Of all the great Manchester United players of the 90’s and ’00s, no one would ever say Neville was the most talented. However he more then made up for that by working hard and using his immense knowledge of the game to his advantage. That is something that can translate to being a good manager. United may have missed their chance to get him now that Valencia has snatched him up, but if they wait until the summer to look for a new manager they be able to lure him away from Spain.

Anyone else

At the end of the day Manchester United fans want to find the next Sir Alex Ferguson. While you may say that there will never be another Sir Alex, let me remind you they used to say the same thing about Sir Matt Busby until Ferguson came along. Finding the next Sir Alex is no easy task but the truth is, it’s most likely not going to be any of the people listed above. Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville are both inexperienced. We think they’ll be successful managers but we’re not sure. The other ‘continental managers’ have all been successful, but they also have all bounced around from club to club because they weren’t as great as Ferguson.

The truth is if you want to find the next Sir Alex Ferguson, maybe it’s best to use the same blueprint as the one they used when they found Sir Alex. Find a young hungry manager who has had success in a smaller country and give him a shot. Borussia Dortmund did that when they poached Jurgen Klopp away from FSV Mainz and did it again when they hired Thomas Tuchel away from the same club. You may strike out a few more times, but every great manager got his start at somewhere small, you just need to discover which one is ready for the big time.

About Pauly Kwestel

Pauly is a Producer for WFAN in New York and the CBS Sports Radio Network. He has been writing about the beautiful game since 2010 and can be followed on twitter @pkwestelWFAN