Ole Gunnar Solksjaer sacked by Manchester United – Who will Take Over Old Trafford?
Manchester United Sacks Solksjaer After Crushing Defeat Against Watford Over the Weekend
Ole Gunnar Solksjaer was dismissed by Manchester United on Sunday following an “embarrassing” 4-1 defeat against the newly promoted Watford at Vicarage Road. The pressure has been mounting on the Norwegian manager due to recent run of poor form and the heavy defeat against Watford was the final straw. Following an emergency meeting after the game on Saturday, the United board has decided to part ways with the club icon after almost 3 years. United has also confirmed that Solksjaer’s assistant, Michael Carrick will be placed in temporary charge until a new manager is appointed.
Manchester United’s Premier League Performance This Season has Been Disappointing
Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s side has failed to fulfill the pre-season expectations, with the club sitting in the eighth place in the Premier League, losing four of their last five matches including a traumatizing 5-0 home thumping against their arch rivals Liverpool and a 2-0 defeat against their city neighbours Manchester City. United only managed to win 5 of their 12 Premier League outings and already fell 12 points behind leader Chelsea.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE 2021-2022
- Chelsea - 29
- Manchester City - 26
- Liverpool - 25
- West Ham United - 23
- Arsenal - 20
- Wolverhampton Wanderers - 19
- Tottenham Hotspur - 19
- Manchester United - 17
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The team managed to finish second in the premier League last year and was heavily tipped for the title this season following the additions of superstar Cristiano Ronaldo along with other high profile players like ex-Real Madrid star Raphael Varane and English international Jadon Sancho.
Despite the heavy defeats and the poor run of form, the Old Trafford hierarchy stuck by the 48 year old and ignored the increasing calls of fans and the critics to relieve Solksjaer of his duties at United. The United Board truly believed Solksjaer had earned the chance to redeem himself and to turn around his sides bad fortune, but the chastening nature of the defeat against Watford and the fan’s reactions after the full time whistle forced them to cut him loose.
Even after parting ways, the club still supports the former United manager, letting everyone know they are satisfied with his achievements at the club. A club statement said:
"Ole will always be a legend at Manchester United and it is with regret that we have reached this difficult decision. While the past few weeks have been disappointing, they should not obscure all the work he has done over the past three years to rebuild the foundations for long-term success."
Despite the Early Promise Solksjaer Couldn’t Live up to the Expectations
Ole Gunnar Solksjaer, who played for United from 1996 to 2007 under the legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson, became a club icon after scoring the dramatic late winner in the 1999 Champions League against German giants Bayern Munich. The former striker took over the Red Devils as an interim manager in 2018 following Jose Mourinho’s departure and was subsequently given a permanent contract after a promising start. Manchester United, under Solksjaer, managed to finish the Premier League third and second in the last two seasons suggesting future glory. However, the regression this season completely changed the narrative around the Norwegian implying he was only a nostalgia appointment that gone wrong. This season he was heavily criticized for his tactical limitations and was blamed for the teams inconsistent performance ultimately leading fans doubting his ability as a manager.
During Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s 3 year tenure, United did not win any silverware, losing four of the five semi-finals and the single final they made. Solksjaer signed a new three-year deal in July but leaves after overseeing five defeats in their last seven Premier League matches.
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Who will be Manchester United’s new Manager?
The United board has already confirmed that the assistant coach, former midfielder, Michael Carrick will be temporarily in charge of the team for their upcoming fixtures, while the club searches for a permanent placement.
Among the many managers being promoted as possible successors to Solksjaer, PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino, former Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane, Ajax head coach Erik ten Hag and Leicester City manager Brandon Rodgers seem to be the front runners.
It is believed that the Argentinian Mauricio Pochettino is the club’s first choice as the permanent manager. Pochettino was heavily linked with United in 2019 following his departure from the Spurs, but eventually joined PSG instead. He currently has another year in his contract with the French Club, making him less attainable to United.
Both Erik Ten Hag and Brandon Rodgers are said to be “100% interested in the job” but the likelihood of their teams allowing them to leave during mid-season seems unlikely.
Former Real Manager Zinedine Zidane, currently without a team, is a favorite due to his good relationship with Cristiano Ronaldo during his time in Spain, as well as the number of French players in the Manchester United squad.
There are also rumors around current Spain boss Luis Enrique being backed by the influential star Cristiano Ronaldo.
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