Teddy Sheringham names manager with “all the credentials” to succeed Erik ten Hag at Manchester United

Manchester United great Teddy Sheringham played a crucial role in some of his team’s most legendary campaigns. The 1998/99 domestic treble, to which the striker contributed five goals and six assists, has unfortunately become a rather distant memory, as a testing 2023/24 campaign saw the Red Devils struggle to a worst-ever Premier League finish of eighth – with an FA Cup victory doing little to console the Old Trafford faithful.

With club leadership reportedly exploring its managerial options and looking to refresh its underperforming squad, Sheringham has passed comment on the managers he believes would be best suited to take the helm, as well as the players he would like to see on the club’s summer shopping list.

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Sheringham, whose only managerial experience came in a pair of short stints at Stevenage and Kolkata-based ATK, has chosen Mauricio Pochettino as his preferred candidate to take over should Erik ten Hag face the sack this summer.

Pochettino, who endured a generally difficult season at Stamford Bridge, is without a job after having mutually parted ways with Chelsea at the culmination of the 2023/24 season, citing difficulties working within the club’s wider structure. Speaking via Genting Casino, Sheringham expressed a belief that his system and experience would make him well suited to United’s squad.

“I think he has all the credentials to manage Manchester United,” said Sheringham. “He’s been around the block and is a good age, I like the way he gets his teams playing football and I think he would be perfect for United if Ten Hag is to leave the club.”

He continued: “He makes players better when they are coached under him, he doesn’t just buy to fit his plan, he makes them better. In the system that he plays, his teams have the ball most of the time, it’s not all about chasing after it.”

Sheringham is also impressed by Pochettino’s counter-attacking mindset, which led Chelsea to score six against Everton and four against both Manchester City and Tottenham.

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“He takes the game to the opposition and that’s exactly how Manchester United want to play,” Sheringham said.

He also believes that the Argentine has the requisite experience to absorb the pressure that will come with managing one of football’s biggest clubs.

“He may have had his eye on the job for a while, but every manger in the world would take the United job. It’s a huge job, a huge football club and I think that if they are looking for a new manager then Pochettino would be the man,” he added.

Sheringham went on to discount rumours linking the Red Devils to England manager Gareth Southgate, who has been linked with the job should he part ways with the national side after EURO2024.

He pointed out that Southgate could continue to build his momentum with the Three Lions, saying that “I think he’s doing fantastic things with England but managing Manchester United is a completely different ball game… He knows the players inside and out and if he does well in the Euros, the World Cup is only two years around the corner. Why wouldn’t he want to stay in charge and keep producing results?”

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Turning his attention to the transfer window, Sheringham has highlighted Crystal Palace’s Michael Olise and Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite, two of the league’s most sought-after young players, as important potential squad additions, though United will face stiff competition for either player’s signature.

Despite struggling with a hamstring injury for much of the season, electric right-winger Olise was one of the few bright sparks in an otherwise difficult year, coming into his own under new manager Oliver Glasner. A late-season peak in form proved his worth as he chalked up seven goal involvements in his final six appearances.

“[Olise] has been at the top of his game for Crystal Palace over the last few months of the season and he should be at the top of United’s wish list,” said Sheringham. “United should be looking at players who are the main reason for their current club doing well… Top players like that, United should be in for them.”

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At the opposite end of the pitch, Jarrad Branthwaite enjoyed a breakout season at Goodison Park, displaying class beyond his years as he helped Everton to its best league finish since 2021. He was called up to England’s provisional Euro 2024 squad, though joined the likes of James Maddison and Jack Grealish as he was sent home following a 3-0 friendly victory over Bosnia & Herzegovina, despite making an impressive half-hour cameo.

“A lot of people have been talking about him. He is only young so could be a good option for Man United in the future,” said Sheringham. He went on to note that Branthwaite has plenty to learn from the more experienced members of United’s squad, namely Jonny Evans.

Teddy Sheringham made 153 appearances for Manchester United, scoring 46 goals and assisting a further 31 over four seasons. He also lifted three Premier League titles, one FA Cup, and one Champions League in his time at Old Trafford. He also enjoyed extended spells with Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United before moving into management.

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