Man City must learn from Manchester United's Sir Alex Ferguson mistake amid Brendan Rodgers links
We've been here before.
A highly-regarded British coach, proven at a Europa League-level club for playing attractive football and bringing his club a sustained period of success in the top reaches of the Premier League. There are dreams of Champions League football, and regular calls for various annual awards.
It's only natural that the bigger clubs would look towards someone with that record and profile. They would offer something of a safety net when it comes to making a big appointment.
In 2013, the manager in question was David Moyes, handpicked by Sir Alex Ferguson to succeed him at Manchester United.
Now, with Manchester City being linked with a similar appointment in anticipation of Pep Guardiola's eventual departure - Leicester's Brendan Rodgers - they should maybe heed the warnings of Moyes' ill-fated season at Old Trafford before going all-in on the Premier League's 'best of the rest'.
This isn't to say that Guardiola is a direct comparison to Ferguson, or even that Rodgers is stylistically similar to Moyes. However, following Guardiola at City will arguably be as difficult as it was to succeed Ferguson given his control over the club and clear stamp on the team. Not to mention the fact that City are now accustomed to challenging for every trophy, winning most of them.
Moyes was the safe bet for United given his record of building a team over time at Everton and returning relative success. If United were looking for another long-term manager to build and re-build a team over time like Ferguson did, Moyes was their ideal man. His start wasn't great, though, and players have since complained that he offered a more negative outlook as a result of his time at Goodison Park as opposed to the confident, slightly arrogant, attitude needed to win titles.
However, to sack a manager ten months into a long-term contract showed that United weren't actually looking for another years-long project at all, they wanted to continue the success Ferguson had built, and they wanted it now. Moyes might not have been the ideal man, but their experiments with Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and even Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have since shown that it's not as simple as just appointing a good manager. Patience and support will be needed for whoever City choose to appoint next.
Perhaps Rodgers would be a good pick. He's delivered trophies to Leicester, built up experience of managing expectations at a 'big' club in Celtic, and has shown to have the tactical adaptability to potentially build on Guardiola's system to move it forward after he leaves. He's even put a difficult spell at Liverpool behind him when others could have let it define their careers. He's certainly got the qualifications to be considered.
Now, reports say Newcastle want Rodgers to lead their new post-takeover project, but that the Northern Irishman will resist them as he is in contention to replace Guardiola in 2023.
Earlier this season, Guardiola was quoted as saying he plans to leave City when his current deal expires, before clarifying that he has not decided his future either way. Now, with the Rodgers links, it has once again raised the question that City fans don't want to entertain - who should succeed their greatest ever manager?
According to the bookmakers, Rodgers and Mauricio Pochettino are 9/2 favourites, with less-inspiring choices of Nuno Espirito Santo and Patrick Vieira next at 5/1.
Gian Piero Gasperini is at 15/2, while recently-appointed Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann is still 10/1. Giovanni van Bronkhorst, with links to the City Football Group, is at 12/1 along with Max Allegri, while Erik ten Hag (14/1), Juanma Lillo (16/1), Mikel Arteta (16/1) and Thomas Tuchel (16/1) are also on the list.
Longer odds can be found for the likes of Laurent Blanc, Antonio Conte, Zinedine Zidane and Carlo Ancelotti (all 20/1), while the list of managers in the rest of the field includes the likes of Didier Deschamps, Diego Simeone, Enzo Maresca, Joachim Low, Luis Enrique, Ralph Hasenhuttl, Roberto Martinez and even the 66/1-rated Jose Mourinho.
That list has some exciting possibilities (and some less exciting ones - Neil Warnock at 500/1, anyone?), but there is no stand-out candidate, especially with Nagelsmann only starting at Bayern Munich this year.
City may well go for Rodgers, and he may well be a success. However, when they do decide who takes over from Guardiola, they have to learn from United's mistakes when Ferguson left.
They must decide a long-term strategy and stick to it, back their chosen man, and allow them to instil their own philosophy. They must accept that going for the quadruple every year isn't normal. They would also do well to remember Guardiola's trophyless first year.
As United have proven, it will be a decision that could define their next decade, or more. City will be watching closely over the next two seasons to judge whether Rodgers really fits the criteria or not.