Manager Candidates: Rene Meulensteen


All is quiet on the manager front. The last significant news was that Fabio Cannavaro (Yes, that Fabio Cannavaro) was no longer an option for the Union. As we wait for more news, let’s look in depth at the three known candidates. Let’s start with the most visible name now, Dutchman Rene Meulensteen.

Rene Meulensteen

Best known for: Being an assistant to Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.

Previous experience:

1990-1993: N.E.C. Nijmegen

1993-1999: Qatar U18

1999-2000: Al-Ittihad (Qatar)

2000-2001: Al-Sadd (Qatar)

2001-2006: Manchester United (Coach)

2006-2007: Brøndby

2007-2013: Manchester United (Assistant)

2013 (16 Days): Anzhi Makhachkala

2013-2014: Fulham


  • Rene is considered one of the best technical coaches in the world. He played a big part in developing Ronaldo and several of Manchester United’s best players.
  • He was one of Sir Alex’s main assistants. You don’t work with one of the greatest managers of all time for all those years without picking up something.
  • At Fulham, he showed the willingness to push out the older, complacent, and established players for younger prospects.
  • Rene has asserted over and over again the importance of developing youth.


  • He has never had much success as a manager. His Brondby tenure was a particularly poor one summed up by his infamous team talk where he asked his players to imagine themselves as animals.
  • Brondby had finished either as the winner or runner up every single year between the 1994-1995 season and the 2005-2006 season. Rene’s tenure marked the beginning of a major dry spell. Brondby has yet to win a title or finish runner up since 2006. Rene complained about deep-rooted organization problems after being fired. While likely an excuse, it is worth noting that he last managed there 7 years ago. It’s hard to blame him for a continued lack of success under different managers.
  • He did not perform very well at Fulham and got fired after a few months. However, he was working with Martin Jol’s players and got fired by an impatient owner. Fulham was still relegated under his successor. It’s hard to read much into this gig.
  • He’s a foreign manager. It has proven difficult in the past for some foreign coaches to adapt to the eccentricities of MLS rules (i.e. salary cap and limited international spots).

Can Rene Meulensteen make the transition to manager? What animals do you think each of the players are?


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