Replacing Jose Mourinho with Zinedine Zidane in Manchester United would be the same as opening a few heavy curtains at Old Trafford. The daylight would flow in.
Few coaches contrast the gloom that seems to be hanging above Mourinho at this moment more than Zidane. He laughed his way through most of his two and a half years in Real Madrid, without even a wrinkled grin, and won nine trophies.
The relationship with the players would be different. He wanted Real to sign Paul Pogba in 2016 and if they would eventually work together, the connection would be immediate.
Zinedine Zidane is the perfect manager to eliminate the gloominess of Manchester United
The Frenchman would form a clear contrast with current manager Jose Mourinho when he came in
His presence on the training ground would be different, because he is rolling his sleeves
Zidane & # 39; s presence on the training field alone would lift the club. Viewing the session prior to Real traveling to Kiev for the Champions League final against Liverpool last season illustrated that, with the Frenchman, crosses to the edge of the six-yard-box threw for Cristiano Ronaldo to play volleyball.
A good relationship with the players was not limited to the superstars. Zidane defended them all at Real, in the same way as Mourinho did in his early days in Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan.
When the club wanted to sign a goalkeeper last January – Kepa Arrizabalaga, who eventually joined Chelsea this summer – he vetoed because of loyalty to the players he already had and the feeling that the group he started the campaign with would be the one he'd had finished it with.
His good relationship with his players could also give new life to stars such as midfielder Paul Pogba
He was not the best friend of any player, but even when relations were tense with James Rodriguez and Gareth Bale, grievances were never publicly broadcast.
The days of spotting United for & # 39; park the bus & # 39; tactic would be over. His team sometimes fell off on defensive negligence last season. Real admitted 15 goals more than Barcelona and 22 more than Atletico Madrid.
He trusted his players to score more than the opposition and that philosophy worked at least in the Champions League, although often because of moments of individual brilliance in contrast to choreographed teams, fine tuned to the training field.
United would not coach his own Pep Guardiola, but it would be a mistake to ignore Zidane as no more than a grinning genius with all his brains in his boots and no bigger football vision.
& # 39; You can win a Champions League winner one time & # 39 ;, said former Real player Pedja Mijatovic. Zidane won three times as well as La Liga in 2017.
The 46-year-old is immediately available when he left Real Madrid after a victory in the Champions League
His Real Madrid party turned out to be offensive and exciting and that would appeal to United fans
If there was a secret for those triumphs, it was the communication he had with his main players, again something that Mourinho once had but seems to have lost.
Zidane was teammate in his last match days at Real with Sergio Ramos and their league was unbreakable. He also had a close relationship with Raphael Varane, forging when he called him to convince him to join the club in 2011. He had to call back when Varane put down the phone because he thought it was a practical joke. United wanted Varane that summer, but Real got their husband thanks to the charisma of Zidane.
It would be difficult to build similar relationships with Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof, and there are no indications that he would transform them or that he would not eventually ask the same as Mourinho: a completed article central defender in his first transfer window.
And if he felt that he was not being supported, he would not hang around. When he ran away from Real in the summer, fatigue was only half the reason.
It is unclear whether Zidane could significantly improve the players in the club
Although United is a huge club, it seems that the Premier League has to sell him the job
He did not like to replace the plans for the coming campaign with Keylor Navas, Ronaldo to leave and no move for Eden Hazard because money was held for the arrival of Neymar in 2019.
United will not only be able to take him with a huge contract. He tore the two years he had left on his £ 8 million-a-season deal when he quit Real, money is not a priority.
Those close to him say that he has not been in a hurry to return since he ran away from Madrid. The job in France would have been attractive if Didier Deschamps had not won the World Cup.
United should sell the job to him. Come and make us exciting again would be a way to do that.
Zidane outside the limits of Real – would it work? The only guarantee is that it would not be joyless.