Manchester United: Solskjaer axe leaves Carrick in charge

21 November 2021 22:09:32 GMTPlus10
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been sacked

Manchester United have confirmed the departure of manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with Michael Carrick taking charge for the immediate future.

Solskjaer was shown the door following a dismal 4-1 Premier League defeat at Watford on Saturday, with the Red Devils now 1001.00 to finish in the top four this season and 1.25 to secure a top-six spot.

United explain decision

A short statement from the Old Trafford club read: "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 Ole has done over the past three years to rebuild the foundations for long-term success."

"Michael Carrick will now take charge of the team for forthcoming games, while the club looks to appoint an interim manager to the end of the season."

Who comes next?

The undoubted favourite to succeed Solskjaer is former Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane, although he has previously been thought to prefer to wait until the summer to take charge, with United saying they are initially looking for someone to guide the club to the end of the current campaign.

Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers has also been linked with the Old Trafford hotseat, however, with the Foxes having slipped into the bottom half of the table, his star has waned a little.

Current Ajax chief Erik ten Hag and vastly experienced German coach Ralf Rangnick have also been mentioned as possible candidates, although the latter has not coached directly since 2019.

With second last year, we hoped to kick on, but we can't seem to find form.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

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Former United striker Solskjaer took charge at Old Trafford just before Christmas in 2018 and led the Red Devils to sixth, third and second in the league in his three seasons in charge.

He also guided his side through to the final of the Europa League last season, where they were eventually beaten 11-10 on penalties by Spanish outfit Villarreal.

However, this season they have failed to build on their progression and currently lie down in seventh place in the table and are 12 points adrift of leaders Chelsea, with United having won just one of their last seven league games.

And that run of poor form seems even more inexplicable given that the men from Manchester brought in a trio of big-name signings over the summer, including returning Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

Raised expectations

Solskjaer had admitted after the thrashing at Vicarage Road that raised expectations had not been met, following the arrival of the likes of Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho.

He told reporters: "The signings this summer with Rapha, Jadon and Cristiano, raised everyone's expectations, rightly so, because we brought some top players in.

"With second last year, we hoped to kick on, but we can't seem to find form. I need to get the players to perform better, that's my responsibility."

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