Redknapp reveals how Man United and Chelsea can respond to Man City’s signing of Guardiola

By Richard Johnson

Manchester United should go for former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho after Man City made a “statement” by getting Pep Guardiola, says Jamie Redknapp.

When the news was announced that Guardiola will join Manchester City in the summer, shockwaves were sent around the Premier League. It was a real statement.

Manchester United, and Chelsea to some extent, need to respond. The news marked a changing of the guard. United are no longer able to attract any manager, and that would have hit them like a juggernaut. They need to react; they cannot just sit back.

Ryan Giggs has the makings of a great manager but is he the right man to take the challenge to Pep? At the moment, the answer is no – he hasn’t got the experience. They’ve got to get someone that has a proven track record of winning trophies, and that man has to be former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.

A year or two years ago, I wouldn’t have said it, but United haven’t really got a choice now – they’ve got to make a statement. Jose brings a lot of coverage to your club, both good and bad, but he is still box office and I see him at United next season, unless Louis van Gaal can go and win something.

I fear the fans may have lost love for Van Gaal and he has to do something, whether it be winning the Europa League, FA Cup or finishing in the top four. There is no reason why United couldn’t come second in the league – that’s the sort of thing he needs to achieve, and that starts with Sunday’s trip to the Bridge.

United’s performance against Stoke showed that they are not as bad as we think; there just wasn’t a lot of love or enjoyment in their game. The manager has struggled to really embrace what United fans want. They hadn’t scored a first-half goal in the Premier League at Old Trafford in 11 games. That is not what Manchester United were brought up on.

However, it seems United have readdressed things. Maybe the players thought to themselves ‘let’s go out there and enjoy playing football’. Wayne Rooney has done what all good players do – he’s bounced back and rammed people’s words back down their throats.

Before this run, his place in the England team was in doubt, with Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy ahead of him. He’s shown there is still life in him and that’s probably helped Roy Hodgson, who hasn’t got a difficult decision to make any more. Rooney has found form, and this is what we want to see.

United haven’t beaten Chelsea in all competitions since 2012 and I see that run continuing, although I do fancy Sunday’s game to end level. I’m sure Van Gaal will take a draw, as too will Hiddink, who continues to build his reputation after a damaging spell in charge of the Netherlands.

Saying that, with both managers having coached the Dutch national team, I’m sure they’ll be keen to get one over each other. I can see there being goals in an evenly-matched game. There isn’t a great deal between the two sides, although the league table would tell you differently.

Chelsea have been much better since Mourinho left and Hiddink has done a really good job. It hasn’t been exciting but he’s gone in there and settled things down. A time will come, though, when he will have to have a go to win games and see how high they can get up the table. At the moment, he is doing his best to make sure they don’t lose games, but it hasn’t been great.

The announcement that John Terry is to leave the club at the end of the season adds to the feeling of transition under Hiddink, although I’ve gone on record to say I’m not convinced this will be his final season. Chelsea haven’t got a single defender better than him, so why would they let him go?

I don’t see the announcement making any difference to the way Chelsea have performed in recent weeks. John is going to give 100 percent. He is trying to win another contract as that will be in the balance for him.

John will get the same reception he has got at Stamford Bridge since he was 17 years of age. He has become an icon at the club and I don’t expect anything different. If Terry does go and Hiddink is replaced, there will be a lot of new players and a complete overhaul at the club.

New managerial appointments at Chelsea and United, coupled with Pep’s imminent arrival, mean it all makes for an exciting time in the Premier League.


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