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Manchester United news LIVE: Mauricio Pochettino keen on job, Michael Carrick press conference

The Red Devils have appointed Michael Carrick to lead the team on an interim basis for the Champions League match against Villarreal on Tuesday

Karl Matchett
Monday 22 November 2021 19:40 GMT
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fired as Manchester United manager

Manchester United begin the post-Ole Gunnar Solskjaer era this week with interim boss Michael Carrick primed to take charge of the team for their Champions League match against Villarreal on Tuesday.

Following one of the worst displays of the Norwegian’s tenure, going down 4-1 at Watford, United have opted for a change, leaving a complicated legacy for Solskjaer due to his failure to deliver silverware.

It had been a long time coming, too, with The Independent learning that the 48-year-old was made aware that he was under renewed pressure ahead of the trip to Vicarage Road, with United chiefs increasingly concerned about the mood of the players, made worse by the damaging defeat to Manchester City in the derby at Old Trafford. Cristiano Ronaldo’s feelings appear to have ultimately been relevant in the decision too, with the Portuguese superstar growing increasingly agitated by the worrying decline, feelings replicated by his compatriot Bruno Fernandes.

In terms of a longer term interim appointment, rather than an immediate long-term successor, Laurent Blanc has emerged as a strong candidate, before the club make a permanent decision on a figure such as Ajax’s Erik ten Hag in the summer. Blanc was mooted as an option when Solskjaer first arrived to stand in for Jose Mourinho in December 2018, and he has a good relationship with the hierarchy and Sir Alex Ferguson having spent two years at United as a player. 

Follow all the latest updates and reaction:


Manchester United have ‘no plan’ for manager after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, says Gary Neville

Manchester United have “no plan” for replacing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, according to Gary Neville, who has criticised the club’s hierarchy in a withering assessment of their recent record.

Solskjaer was sacked on Sunday morning following a dismal 4-1 defeat at Watford which left United seventh in the table, having lost four of the past five league games.

“They don’t have a plan for the next manager at this moment in time. The planning hasn’t been great, and you have to ask serious questions. I think the club is run on the business side OK, but culturally and from a football perspective it leaves a lot to be desired,” Neville said.

“I’ve never been there where the players have been so drained in confidence. I don’t think the players don’t care, they’re a good group of lads. What’s happened recently I can’t explain. They looked so open, they’ve not been able to get right since. Rudderless on and off the pitch. No one, when Ronaldo signed, thought this would happen.

“What has gone wrong in the past couple of months? Why does a team who were progressing in the last two seasons – third, then second – suddenly look like they’ve never passed a ball to each other? The confidence is shot to pieces. Ole will reflect with sadness but I think he will be proud. I’m not saying he rebuilt the club, but he rebuilt the soul of the club. It was in a dark place at the end of the last reign under Jose Mourinho.”

Karl Matchett22 November 2021 19:40

Manchester United next manager odds

Here are the favourites to be United’s next permanent manager:

Mauricio Pochettino: 5/2

Brendan Rodgers: 7/2

Michael Carrick: 7/2

Zinedine Zidane: 7/1

Erik ten Hag: 7/1

Ralf Rangnick: 12/1

Laurent Blanc: 14/1

Luis Enrique: 20/1

Diego Simeone: 20/1

Darren Fletcher: 20/1

Julian Nagelsmann: 25/1

Joachim Low: 33/1

Graham Potter: 33/1

All odds via Betfair

Karl Matchett22 November 2021 19:20

Man United’s Solskjaer mistake leaves club playing catch-up again

The club needlessly gave Solskjaer the permanent job only for him to prove time and again he wasn’t capable of doing it, writes Miguel Delaney - and Manchester United’s decisions taken at boardroom level have left them even further behind their rivals.

Manchester United’s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer mistake leaves them back where they started

The club needlessly gave Solskjaer the permanent job only for him to prove time and again he wasn’t capable of doing it

Karl Matchett22 November 2021 19:00

What legacy does Ole Gunnar Solskjaer leave as Manchester United manager?

When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer returned to Old Trafford on an interim basis nearly three years ago now, his track record as a manager consisted of two Tippeligaen titles, a Norwegian Cup and a handful of honours at reserve team level which still carried [citation needed] tags on his Wikipedia page.

The most recent of those trophies had come in 2013, six years earlier. Since then, Solskjaer had suffered one relegation at Cardiff City and a few seasons without distinction back in Norway. It was not the CV of a Manchester United manager. Perhaps that is why some of his former players at Molde began removing United players from their fantasy football teams.

They would soon be rushing to bring those same players back in, though, as the most improbable, the most intoxicating but mainly the most bewildering episode of United’s post-Sir Alex Ferguson era began far better than they could ever expect. In fairness, they were not the only ones to be taken by surprise.

Mark Critchley details the legacy Solskjaer leaves behind:

What legacy does Ole Gunnar Solskjaer leave as Manchester United manager?

Solskjaer leaves having failed to win a trophy or elevating United to the level of genuine contenders for major honours, but also having achieved what he was brought in to do

Karl Matchett22 November 2021 18:40

Michael Carrick calls for focus after emotional few days at Manchester United

Michael Carrick wants Manchester United players to quickly refocus on Tuesday’s Champions League trip to Villarreal after paying an “emotional” farewell to sacked manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Carrick has been placed in caretaker charge after Saturday’s 4-1 defeat at Watford proved the final straw for the beleaguered Solskjaer, who bid his farewells to the players with an address at the training ground on Sunday morning.

“It has been an emotional time for everyone at the club,” Carrick said. “I’ve been working with Ole now for three years and I’ve known him an awful lot longer. I know the person he is, the values he has, what he believes and how he treats people.

“To see Ole unfortunately lose his job yesterday was tough for me and tough for a lot of people at the club. You could tell by the emotion around the place yesterday what Ole meant to everyone.

“On the flip side football is football and it’s business as usual today in terms of preparing the team for tomorrow’s game.

“It’s a privilege for me to sit in this position and I understand the responsibilities that come with that. The focus now is on flipping our mindset very quickly and that’s something this club has done very well historically.”

Karl Matchett22 November 2021 18:20

Manchester United: The potential candidates to take interim charge

Manchester United are looking for a new manager after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked following another chastening defeat on Saturday.

In charge since December 2018 after initially being brought in as Jose Mourinho’s temporary successor, the humiliating 4-1 loss at Watford brought down the curtain on the 1999 treble hero’s Old Trafford reign.

Michael Carrick has been placed in temporary charge, with United saying they will be looking for an interim boss until the end of the season.

Here we look at potential candidates for the role, with former United players featuring prominently.

The potential candidates to take interim charge of Manchester United

Former United players feature prominently on the list of possible managers to take charge for the rest of the season

Karl Matchett22 November 2021 18:05

Carrick faces the media after Solskjaer exit

Follow all of stand-in boss Michael Carrick’s comments from his Champions League press conference here:

"My thought process is picking the team for tomorrow night, giving it my best. I know the boys very well, the staff very well, the club very well," he said, having joined as a player from Tottenham Hotspur in 2006.

"This club's been my life for an awful long time. It's the sacrifice and dedication you've got to get and you've got to give.

"I'm prepared to do it for however long it takes, whether it's one game, two games, whether it's a little stretch longer than that, right now I'm not too sure, but that's not something that's on my mind. It’s about tomorrow.”

Michael Carrick ready to step up for ‘as long as it takes’ after Ed Woodward meeting

Carrick will lead United’s coaching staff for trip to Villarreal

Karl Matchett22 November 2021 17:50

Carrick for the season and Blanc for beyond - Berbatov on Man United job

Former Man United striker Dimitar Berbatov has given his backing for Michael Carrick to do a job for now - and picked out his two candidates for the longer-term role.

“If United want to appoint an interim coach for the remainder of the season then Michael Carrick is the guy. He's been at the club for a long time, first as player then as a coach under Jose Mourinho and Solskjaer,” he told Betfair.

“I know Carrick well and, across his career, he's learned from some of the best managers. He is an experienced leader and an excellent communicator who has earned the respect of his fellow professionals. The United players will listen to him and play for him. The club should not look any further than my old teammate until they make a permanent appointment.

“Many United fans would be pleased to see Pochettino in charge and I can understand why after his success at Tottenham and his commitment to team-building.

“Laurent Blanc is and interesting candidate. He’s an ex-United player, who won everything, has managed PSG and France, has the respect of the players and he has the charisma and composure required to manage United.”

Karl Matchett22 November 2021 17:30

Manchester United’s Solskjaer mistake leaves them behind their rivals and back where they started

When Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes were away with Portugal last week, the two naturally discussed Manchester United at length. Both liked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but neither felt he was up to it. That feeling had spread around the entire dressing room.

Outgoing executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward was well aware of this. It was why there was greater pressure on Solskjaer going into the Watford game, and a sense of unease.

Still, nobody expected it to get as bad as that at Vicarage Road. Then again, that has been the story of the modern Manchester United, and particularly Solskjaer’s time. They have frequently been blindsided by developments, due to bad decisions, writes Miguel Delaney.

Manchester United’s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer mistake leaves them back where they started

The club needlessly gave Solskjaer the permanent job only for him to prove time and again he wasn’t capable of doing it

Karl Matchett22 November 2021 17:15

Pochettino ready to leave PSG for Manchester United

The latest and most significant news for the long-term job of permanent boss comes courtesy of Melissa Reddy today.

She reports for the Independent that PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino is very much open to the idea of leaving Paris and taking over at Old Trafford - even before the end of the campaign.

He has twice missed out on the United job through the board’s hesitation and he is keen to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Mauricio Pochettino ready to take Manchester United job before summer

United have twice botched the opportunity to hire Pochettino, but The Independent understands that the 49-year-old does not want a third shot to be compromised by waiting

Karl Matchett22 November 2021 17:00

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