Anyone taking great joy in the current managerial speculation as to who will replace beleaguered Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho might be interested to know that the stuttering manager merry-go-round isn’t entirely a new concept at Old Trafford.
Back when Sir Alex Ferguson was the long-serving manager, in the days before the apparent tumultuousness surrounding the club, there was a particular man in the frame to take over from the long-serving Scotsman.
In 2006, Sven-Goran Eriksson was slap-bang in the middle of his tenure as England boss, but that didn’t stop him from signing a contract to be the man to replace Sir Alex when Manchester United came calling. In an excerpt from Eriksson’s autobiography, the Swede would claim;
"I knew it would be tricky. I had a contract with England until the 2006 World Cup and I would be severely criticised if I broke that contract.
"But this was an opportunity to manage Manchester United. A contract was signed – I was United's new manager.”
Although Ferguson would reverse his decision, this wasn’t the first time he would threaten to leave club, a good period before stepping down permanently in 2013.
Fergie had made the startling claim all the way back in 2002 - a good 11 years before he would eventually leave United - to confirm on MUTV:
"I will be leaving Manchester United at the end of the season and that is it,”
amidst the backdrop of a power-struggle with the board at the time.
Back then, it was another future England coach who was in line to be the replacement, Fergie’s then-number two Steve McClaren. Instead eventually going on to become national team coach, the Wally with the Brolly would help England endure their worst period in two decades after Sven's reign, failing to qualify for the 2008 Euros and the Englishman was swiftly sacked.
Ferguson would of course stay on at Manchester United for another seven years.
After 2006, Ferguson would again bring great success to the red side of Manchester, winning an astonishing haul of an additional five Premier League titles - including three back-to-back - two League Cups, three Community Shields, a FIFA Cup World Cup, and a Champions League.
The knighted Scotsman would also win the Premier League Manager of the Season an incredible five more times, as well as picking up the Onze d’Or Coach of the Year and European Coach of the Year.
Sven managed the England national team between 2001 and 2006, and is widely seen as one of the more successful coaches to have taken the reins of the Three Lions; a win percentage only just behind World Cup winning manager Sir Alf Ramsay, and took the team to three consecutive quarter-finals in successive international tournaments.
Who knows the type of Manchester United we would be looking at now, or the history they would build up in their renaissance in the mid to late 2000s.
It is unknown whether Sven is throwing his hat into the ring to replace Mourinho, but the Swede has already sounded out the Red Devils’ arch-rivals Liverpool to be the side to take the 2018/19 Premier League title - for the first time in the competition’s history.