Gary Neville is right; Mauricio Pochettino is the right man for the Manchester United job
It finally happened. Manchester United decided to cut their losses and sack the Special One. Mourinho had survived scare after scare this season and was beginning to look like a cat with nine lives. His lives suddenly ran out after the 3-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield.
It wasn't supposed to end this way. Mourinho, when appointed, was viewed as that top manager that would bridge the gap to Manchester City. He was supposed to take the club to the next level after the two disappointing post-Ferguson eras.
Since the announcement of Mourinho's termination, speculation has been rife about the identity of his replacement. Laurent Blanc, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Carlos Queiroz, Michael Carrick and Antonio Conte have all been touted as potential replacements. Solskjaer and Blanc have emerged as the early frontrunners to take the reins at the club in the short term.
Much debate has been made as to the perfect candidate for the job. Many ex-players and pundits have come out to declare who they feel is perfectly suited for the job.
However, what anyone who knows football will agree with is this. Mauricio Pochettino is the perfect man for the job. In fact, he can be said to be tailor-made for this job. Gary Neville certainly seems to think so when he went on to say:
"I said last season that the next manager of Man Utd should be Pochettino. If I look at the values of United, you look at Pochettino's belief in young players at Southampton and with Tottenham.
"You look at his performance levels and style of play, the way in which he carries himself at all times - publicly and in private. My view is they need someone who meets the three key principles of that football club - the promotion of youth, entertaining football and to win football matches.
"He is the individual who fits the profile of what Man Utd need in terms of what he has done in the Premier League over the last five, six, seven years at both clubs."
Pochettino may not have won any trophies in his coaching career but there are very few managers who have improved players and believed in young talent as Pochettino has.
The likes of Harry Kane, Delli Alli, Harry Winks, Ryan Mason, Kieran Trippier and Danny Rose were not always the household names they have now become under Pochettino. He has helped the development of many players in his spell with Southampton and Tottenham.
His appointment will give hope to Manchester United's young players like Martial, Rashford, Lingard and Shaw whose progress has somewhat stalled under Jose Mourinho.
Pogba, Lukaku and Fred will also hugely benefit from the coaching and player development drills they would receive from the Argentine tactician.
He may not have won any trophies but Pochettino has not done badly. Taking a Spurs team with less financial muscle than their rivals to the top six and making them competitive against the traditional giants of English football. This achievement is no mean feat.
Off the field, United will also benefit from the calming influence of Pochettino. Mourinho's last season in charge was marred by digs at Ed Woodward, public altercations with the press and opposition, feuds with players, public demands for transfers and other antics that did not go down too well with the United board.
Mauricio Pochettino is a calm, affable and non-controversial man. The other upside to hiring Pochettino is that he already knows the league so well. He knows what his team will require to stay in the title race and what they must do to make the top four. Left field appointments like Laurent Blanc or Leonardo Jardim do not possess that know-how.
Manchester United have appointed three different coaches in the 5 years since the retirement of their legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Mauricio Pochettino may just prove to be the appointment that suits the Red Devils most and takes them to another unprecedented period of success.