When Eric Cantona speaks, you listen. A man who can reference sardines in a philosophical outburst following a community service order is clearly a man to be reckoned with.
Yet, ever since his shock retirement from football at the age of just 30, Eric the King has maintained something of a dignified, low profile when it comes to discussing matters at Old Trafford.
However, with the impending arrival of The Special One, Jose Mourinho, as Manchester United boss, Eric has given his thoughts in an interview with The Guardian - and he believes that United may have appointed the wrong man.
“I love José Mourinho, but in terms of the type of football he plays I don’t think he is Manchester United,” says Cantona. “I love his personality, I love the passion he has for the game, his humour. He is very intelligent, he demands 100% of his players. And of course he wins things. But I don’t think it’s the type of football that the fans of Manchester United will love, even if they win. He can win with Manchester United. But do they expect that type of football, even if they win? I don’t think so.”
He goes on to say that Pep Guardiola, now installed at Manchester City, would have been a superior fit for the club, despite United never really seeming to pursue him.
“Guardiola was the one to take. He is the spiritual son of Johan Cruyff. I would have loved to have seen Guardiola in Manchester [United]. He is the only one to change Manchester. He is in Manchester, but at the wrong one.”
But, with Guardiola already signed up at City, who should United appoint to compete with his brand of beautiful football? Well, it's obvious isn't it?
“I do many things and I’m very happy. But if they asked me to become the manager of Manchester United, I would. Because Guardiola is in Manchester City and they want someone to win things with wonderful football? It’s me... Yes, I’m serious. I say that just because it’s like when you are in the pub or the club. When you say you don’t care, all the girls want you. Maybe if I say I don’t care about that job, they will ask me. If they asked me I’d work very hard, of course.”
Okay: let's do this. Cantona in at United. Mourinho can take the Everton job, and then they can line up against Guardiola, Conte, Klopp, Pochettino, Ranieri and Wenger next season. Can you imagine the touchline fireworks?