Manchester United have sacked manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer following a disastrous run of five wins in their last 14 matches across all competitions.
Gunnar Solskjaer formerly played for United between 1996-2007 but returned to the club in December 2018 as replacement for Jose Mourinho, yet the club has endured a disastrous slide in form this season with just seven wins in 17 matches across three separate competitions.
Gunnar Solskjaer’s departure also comes just months after he signed a contract extension until Summer 2024, despite failing to guide the club to any trophies during his reign although the club fell short on penalties in last season’s Europa League Final to Villarreal after a 1-1 draw.
A shambolic 4-1 Premier League defeat at Watford yesterday (20 November) though was the final straw as Utd struggled against Claudio Ranieri’s direct and physical Hornets, which David De Gea described as “embarrassing” and “hard to watch” like “a nightmare after a nightmare” of poor quality.
De Gea also spoke of his fears at deep issues in the squad as he said: “The players are trying to give our best, to fight for the team but, for sure, something is very wrong. You can see in the games that what we’re doing is very low level, very poor.
Utd’s board consequently convened at an emergency virtual board meeting where it was decided to sack Gunnar Solskjaer, despite the Norwegian insisting that he “always have belief” in his ability despite accepting their form is “difficult” and vows that he still trusts his squad to deliver their best effort.
Explaining what he thinks is required to turn Utd’s slump around, Gunnar Solskjaer added: “I need to get the players to perform better. That’s my responsibility, that’s the biggest thing now. They’re low, so disappointed, they’re trying to find their confidence back.”
Utd though has decided that Gunnar Solskjaer is no longer the right manager to guide Utd back to title success, although they hailed him as a club ‘legend’ in their official statement in which they expressed ‘regret’ at the ‘difficult decision’ to part company with the Norwegian.
Club officials iterated that recent results shouldn’t mask the overall positives of his reign, as they said: ‘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.’
It was also confirmed that Gunnar Solskjaer’s legacy at Old Trafford is ‘secure’ after achieving immense success as a player whilst helping the club make progress as a manager and ‘he will forever be welcome back at Old Trafford as part of the Manchester United family.’
Michael Carrick will now take charge of Utd’s away Champions League match to Villarreal on Tuesday 23 November, with the club seeking an ‘interim manager’ for rest of this season.
Zinedine Zidane is now the bookies favourite to replace Gunnar Solskjaer but Leicester manager, Brendan Rogers alongside with Mauricio Pochettino are thought to also be hotly tipped favourites for the job.