Jason Wilcox has made his first mistake before even starting at Man Utd

Only three managers have ever won titles at Manchester United. The first, Ernest Mangnall in 1908 and 1911, left few discernible traces of method or style. The second, Sir Matt Busby, rebuilt the club twice, initially from the rubble of the Second World War, secondly from the wreckage of British European Airways Flight 609. The third, Sir Alex Ferguson, invoked the spirit and style of Busby to create a 25-year dynasty that yielded 13 Premier League titles.

Between them Mangnall, Busby and Ferguson contributed a record 20 championships. The other 20 coaches to have led the team from 1892, when official club records began, failed the ultimate challenge. Which begs a question of new technical director Jason Wilcoxwhen setting the parameters for success at Old Trafford, what is the fundamental element he must get right? Playing style? Methodology? Player recruitment? Technical teachings? Or none of those things?

Rather than coding a particular “game style”, which reports this week say Wilcox will tackle as his first priority at Old Trafford, the evidence suggests the priority is identifying the right manager, the man not only capable of bringing technical appreciation and coherence to the whole project, but who is able to evince from his players a base level of performance beneath which they dare not dip.

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