You get the feeling that it’s stick or twist time for Man United. Again.
They’ve been here before since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.
David Moyes. Louis van Gaal. Jose Mourinho?
The Special One is staring down the barrel of an embarrassing exit as his seemingly inevitable third season syndrome kicks in again.
United dismissed rumours that Zinedine Zidane was already in talks to replace Mourinho following their disastrous 3-1 defeat at West Ham on Saturday.
But, hypothetically and just for a bit of fun, would a United team look like under Zidane after the January transfer window?
A serial Champions League winner at Real Madrid, Zidane struck up an instant rapport with his players at the Bernabeu without making any real marquee signings during his three-year tenure.
Certainly you’d feel Paul Pogba would welcome the appointment of his French counterpart and thrive with more freedom.
United undoubtedly need defensive reinforcements with centre-back a glaring area of weakness, whilst Antonio Valencia’s performances at right back smack of a player on the wane.
January is historically a tough time to entice players but two realistic targets would be Zidane’s French compatriots Presnel Kimpembe and Benjamin Pavard.
With that in mind, below is a vision of what Zidane’s United could look like come the end of January.
Crucially Pogba is installed as the beating hub of the side, much like he was for France at the World Cup with two defensive midfielders behind him doing the dirty work.
And there’s no place for Alexis Sanchez, with the pace and dribbling of fan favourites Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial preferred.
There’s a common misconception that Zidane’s Real played pulsating football, instead prioritising effectiveness and ruthless proficiency.
But more than anything United are crying out for a coach who believes in his players rather than one who hangs them out to dry.
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