Football

Next Man Utd manager: Four replacements for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

It’s been a tricky couple of years for Manchester United. And all of the problems have now culminated in the sacking of manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The Norwegian was the fourth permanent boss since Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down at the end of the 2012/13 season. Solskjaer’s win percentage (54.2%) at United was the second-best of those four managers. Jose Mourinho (58.3%) had the highest, with David Moyes (52.9%) and Louis van Gaal (52.4%) in third and fourth respectively.

The club have confirmed that former midfielder Michael Carrick will be in charge for the next few matches. They will then appoint an interim manager until the end of the season. That leaves the position open for a permanent boss to be appointed in the summer.

Unfortunately for United, there are not many big names available. But many fans believe that any new face would be an improvement from club legend Solskjaer.

Here are four managers who could potentially take on the role:

Zinedine Zidane

Perhaps the only really high-profile name out there. The Real Madrid and France legend certainly has an impressive honours list. The former midfielder won three successive Champions League titles while in charge of his old club. He also clinched the La Liga trophy twice.

United fans may, however, point to Jose Mourinho’s time at the club in this instance. The Special One achieved huge success elsewhere, but it didn’t quite work out at Old Trafford. Latest reports also suggest that Zidane doesn’t favour a move to Manchester at this time.

Graham Potter

Brighton fans certainly won’t be pleased with this potential move. But Potter has shown his credentials in recent years, with his tactical nous coming to the fore this season. The Seagulls currently sit ninth in the league table after some very impressive results.

It would undoubtedly be a risk to take on someone as young and as inexperienced as Potter. The 46-year-old has only previously managed Ostersund and Swansea. But perhaps United need an up-and-coming manager, as opposed to a big name that has been in the game for decades. The likes of Mourinho and Van Gaal both underperformed in the role.

Erik ten Hag

One of the most exciting bosses in world football. The Ajax manager’s CV may not be as impressive as other potential candidates, but his tactical approach would be welcomed by United fans. Previous clubs include Go Ahead Eagles, Bayern Munich II and Utrecht.

The 51-year-old has won two Eredivisie titles with his current club. The manager also took Ajax to the semi-finals of the 2018/19 Champions League. Moreover, the Dutch outfit have now scored 500 goals in all competitions under Ten Hag. They have arrived in just 185 matches.

Mauricio Pochettino

Undoubtedly a man who the United hierarchy have eyed for several years now. Many supporters would also welcome him with open arms. A lack of honours in the dugout, however, will be a big worry. That was a huge issue for Solskjaer.

The Argentine is currently contracted with PSG until 2023. But the footballing world is well aware of the huge challenge that comes with managing the Ligue 1 side. It is seemingly either win the Champions League or bust. One can imagine that Pochettino would adore building his own squad, and he would have plenty of time to do so at Old Trafford.

About the author

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Peter Lynch

Sports Journalism graduate from the University of Stirling, huge Liverpool and Northern Ireland fan, currently working as a freelancer.

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