Manchester United could face a similar title drought to Liverpool unless they get their next managerial appointment right, according to Rio Ferdinand.
Current manager Louis van Gaal is widely expected to leave Old Trafford before the end of this three-year contract in the summer of 2017, with Jose Mourinho, Mauricio Pochettino and assistant manager Ryan Giggs all possible replacements.
Though Ferdinand couldn’t be drawn on his preferred choice, the former centre-back warned of the possibly adverse effects should the next appointment fare similarly to Van Gaal or David Moyes.
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"I think if they bring someone else in, it is a huge decision because if this doesn’t go right, it could be a long cycle," said the former United captain.
"We don’t want to be a repeat of what Liverpool have gone through. Manchester United don’t want that long time in the wilderness of not really winning or being successful and not challenging for titles.
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"That can’t afford to happen at Man United. The problem they’ve got now is who they choose."
Liverpool’s last league title came way back in 1990 with their only credible title challenges coming in 2009 and 2014. United, in contrast, have dominated much of the Premier League era, winning 13 league titles - six of which with Ferdinand at the back.
However, following Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013, United have struggled for consistency and now face failing to qualify for the Champions League for the second time in three years.
What now for United?
Mourinho is the favourite to take over the managerial hot seat at Old Trafford this summer - the 53-year-old has reportedly told his friends that it's a done deal - with his track record of consistently delivering silverware United’s best chance of returning to their former glory.
The former Chelsea manager will, however, probably be a short-term appointment - he has never completed four seasons at a club - whilst his confrontational character will cause divisions.
Alternatively, Giggs could be backed as United’s answer to Pep Guardiola, as argued by club legend Bryan Robson, but the Welshman would be bringing almost no managerial experience to a very precarious position.
Ferdinand was equally unsure who Chief Executive Ed Woodward should appoint, despite sharing the same dressing room as Giggs for over a decade.
‘Are they going to go for someone who has had success, who knows how to manage teams like Jose Mourinho, or will they go with someone who is already in the house like Ryan Giggs?’ he added.
‘That’s the problem they have got and the questions that have to be asked. If I knew the answer to that question, I would be the CEO.’
Who do you think Manchester United should appoint as their next permanent manager? Give us your opinion in the comment box below!