Barcelona Have Taught Manchester United A Great Lesson About Their Next Manager

Last November, two of the best teams in the world found themselves in similar positions as they looked for a new manager to help them recover from a poor start to the new season.

After a humiliating defeat to Watford, Manchester United later fired Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the end of the month.

Michael Carrick took over as caretaker before being replaced by Ralf Rangnick, who will serve as interim manager until the end of the season.

By that time, Xavi had been in his new post as Barcelona head coach for a few weeks, having come in early November to help Ronald Koeman fix this mess that had been left in his path.

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The fact that Barcelona acted before the international break while United waited two weeks underlines a significant contrast in the management styles of both teams, as well as the various degrees of pressure imposed on them.

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Barcelona was clear about what needed to change when they sacked Koeman and appointed club star Xavi as their top contender for the managerial position.

Their complete faith in their former midfielder was a massive gamble, but it appears to have paid off. But, more importantly, it was still a hasty decision that had to be made.

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When United terminated Solskjaer, on the other hand, they were unclear of what to do and had no plan in place, bumbling through the days and weeks before identifying Rangnick as a short-term answer.

Given the lack of a long-term strategy, it made sense to just give Rangnick the job until the end of the season, but there is still confusion about what his exact function would be at the conclusion of it, as well as questions about how much authority he will truly have at the club.

After being proactive, Barcelona appears to have turned a corner, whilst United seems to be running in circles after being reactive.

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