Antonio Conte’s Spurs collapse proves Manchester United’s Premier League crisis has no easy fix – Casey Evans


Manchester United have improved as a unit since Ralf Rangnick took charge but the results haven’t exactly been brilliant.

After a night of wasted chances saw the team crash out of the FA Cup against Championship side Middlesbrough, United resumed Premier League action with a similarly frustrating evening at Burnley.

Before the 2021/22 season kicked off, expectations at United were high. A dismal run of results under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer soon saw fans scrap their dreams of a Premier League title charge, though a lot of the United faithful still harbor hope that the campaign will end on a high.

It’s still far too early to deem the season a failure and it’s clear that Rangnick is working with the future in mind, but the demand for instant success has been seen by the club heavily criticized for failing to make a move for Antonio Conte earlier this season.

When United suffered embarrassing losses to Leicester, Liverpool and Manchester City, supporters had every right to believe the club should have chosen to cut ties with Solskjaer, especially with an international break around the corner to provide a window for transition.

With Conte out of work when United were put to the sword by both Leicester and Liverpool, a move for the former Chelsea boss seemed to be a no-brainer.

After all, if it’s success that you’re after then a manager with five top-flight titles in the last 10 years on his CV is always going to look appealing.

As we all know, United decided not to move for Conte, with Rangnick’s appointment as interim boss allowing the club time to assess their options before appointing a permanent boss in the summer.

While United were keen not to make a hasty call, Tottenham took a very different approach.

Spurs appointed Conte the day after they sacked Nuno Espirito Santo. A missed opportunity? Maybe not.

The early stages of his Spurs reign have shown that even he is not a miracle worker and so the belief that he could have waltzed into Old Trafford and transformed United’s season is perhaps a little naive.

Spurs’ bid for a place in next season’s Champions League suffered a blow on Wednesday night as they lost 3-2 to Southampton. Conte’s pragmatic football was picked apart by Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men who twice came from behind to secure the three points.

Despite going ahead twice, Conte’s Tottenham lost 3-2 to Southampton on Wednesday night

While you can see the improvements made under Conte, Spurs are still the same team, bar a few additions in January, and they still make the same errors that we saw under Jose Mourinho and Nuno.

If United had made a move for the Italian boss, it’s likely that the club would have been more willing to back him in the January transfer window than they did interim boss Rangnick, but how much could he have realistically changed midway through the season?

Given there are no guarantees that Spurs will finish in the top four or win any silverware this season, it seems United made the right choice by waiting until the summer to make a decision on their next permanent manager.

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Luring a top boss away from a club is never easy midway through the season, meaning United should have far more options available to them at the end of the season and their new boss should have a full pre-season to evaluate his squad.

Conte wouldn’t have been afforded such luxury had he been appointed midway through the season but the expectations would still have been sky high.

Who do you want to be Manchester United’s next permanent manager? Follow our United On My Mind writer Casey Evans on Twitter and get involved in the discussion in the comments section below.




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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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