New Year, New manager for the Reserves

Manchester United are thinking of appointing a permanent manager for the Reserves team after Warren Joyce’s departure in November. At the moment, Nicky Butt is their manager but the Academy Chief is thinking of a possible name for the future. Paul Scholes, Phil Neville and Adrian Viveash are the rumoured names that may take the job.

The new manager has to find balance in a team that has been in a phase of transition lately as they have had to work with a small group due to departures. This season, the Reserves sit eight in the League, an uncomfortable position for the last year’s champions. It hasn’t been an easy first part of the season, as the Reserves are yet to find their leader and the lack of a clinical striker have been big issues for the U23’s.

Let’s have a look shortly to the potential candidates, their backgrounds, what can they offer to the Reserves and are they the best solution United have. All three are top names and it will be up to the club, especially to Nicky Butt and Jose Mourinho to make their choice.

First name in the list is unsurprisingly club legend Paul Scholes. The 42-year-old English is currently in the position of caretaker of Salford City along with other former United players Ryan Giggs, Phil and Gary Neville and Academy Chief Nicky Butt. However, Scholes hasn’t been directly involved in managerial terms, but hasn’t stayed out of the world of football, making comments regarding the team from time to time. There were talks that he would join Warren Joyce’s coaching staff at Wigan but nothing concrete so far.

As stated above, it comes in no surprise that Scholes may be appointed Reserves manager as he knows the club really well having spent all his career at United. Paul Scholes came from the club’s youth ranks meaning that he knows the importance of the youth tradition at the club. In case of a possible appointment, what can he offer? The problems are obvious and the solution he might have in mind is simple. The English has always worked hard and is one of the England’s greats, meaning that he will be a figure of authority for the youth prospects that are expecting to make the break at the club.

Having made the same road himself, Scholes is the right person to learn the youngsters that determination and attitude are the only things that count in the end. Since his retirement, United have failed to find his successor and the only one who is covering that area is Michael Carrick who himself is near retirement. Clearly showing that a new Scholes or new Carrick needs to be found among our academy ranks. That’s where Scholes can be helpful, offering assistance for the new centre defensive midfielders that want to play for the first team in the near future. Already a star in the Reserves, Sean Goss would be more than happy to have Scholes around. It’s not just Goss as Scott McTominay, despite being used upfront is a natural CDM that will be looking forward to work with him.

What makes Paul Scholes the perfect candidate is that he has a winner’s mentality. For many, Scholes is an idol and this will help them grow in confidence that some day they will become as great as him. However, it’s Scholes who decides in the end and managing a group of youngsters might not be in his plans.

Conclusion: It would be the perfect appointment, the right man to find his own successor.

Another familiar name is the one of Phil Neville. Also a part of the Class of ’92, the former United and Everton player would be a good choice for the Reserves. He already has a few managerial experience in his account, as he followed David Moyes at United being his assistant. Valencia is a different stage in his career as he joined them under the role of the assistant under Nuno and his brother but left them briefly after Gary Neville was sacked.

Phil had considered taking on the England’s U20 team in 2013, but later thought of the Everton job. Just like Scholes he knows what it means to be part of the United’s youth ranks, making the players understand the way things work around. Differently from his brother, Phil is not a strong figure and not successful enough to take on the team and another failed spell wouldn’t be ideal for the Reserves and Phil himself.

Conclusion: Experienced, but not exactly what United are looking for right now.    

The last choice is the current Chelsea Reserves’ manager Adrian Viveash that sees United once again after a London club youth team manager. This might be an easy link due to Jose Mourinho’s past as Chelsea manager as he has worked with the Portuguese close. He is mostly notable for his managerial career in Chelsea’s youth ranks, being part of the blue’s academy since 2008/2009.

He has won the UEFA Youth League twice in a row with Chelsea U19’s and under his management Chelsea U18’s have won the FA Youth Cup twice. Since 2014 the English is manager of the Reserves. His side sits fifth in Premier League 2 and have given United a hard time in their past clashes. Looking at his trophies, Viveash is a winning manager that takes care of his squad, something that United are looking forward to it.

Conclusion: A true winner among academy ranks, but Chelsea won’t let him go.

These three candidates are all good names that would be a great addition to the team. Yet, the real problem seems to be the lack of clinical finisher. There are really good prospects that are looking forward for more minutes but thing is that the manager isn’t the real problem. Both Warren Joyce and Nicky Butt used the same team but the problems would always stood out. Point is that new signings must be made to help this team go back to winning ways.


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