Ole Gunnar Solskjaer leaves Manchester United after failing to win a trophy in nearly three years as manager; Michael Carrick placed in temporary charge as United seek to make an interim appointment until the end of the season

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been sacked as Manchester United manager after an “embarrassing” 4-1 defeat at Watford.

United have confirmed Solskjaer’s assistant Michael Carrick will be placed in temporary charge, with the club also revealing their intention to appoint an interim manager until the end of the season.

Solskjaer signed a new three-year deal in July but leaves after overseeing five defeats in their last seven Premier League matches – a run which sees them 12 points behind leaders Chelsea.

TVs and Audio Category

The Old Trafford hierarchy had ignored increasingly vociferous calls to relieve Solskjaer of his duties in the wake of a humiliating 5-0 loss to rivals Liverpool and a 2-0 derby defeat to Manchester City in early November.

But his position was discussed by United officials on Saturday evening following the crushing defeat at Vicarage Road, before the announcement of his dismissal followed on Sunday morning.

ALSO READ:4 things Ole Gunnar Solskjaer got wrong as Man Utd suffer humiliating defeat at Watford

A club statement said: “Manchester United announces that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has left his role as manager.

“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.”

See also  Manchester United's next 10 fixtures after the November international break

The United hierarchy believed Solskjaer had earned the chance to turn around his side’s slump, but the chastening nature of Saturday’s defeat made it clear to them change was needed.

Following a second-placed finish in the Premier League last season and the summer signings of Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho, United chiefs expected to see further progress this campaign.

The club are satisfied Solskjaer has left them in a far stronger position than when he took over in December 2018, with their recent appointments of Darren Fletcher as technical director and John Murtough as football director considered to be crucial in minimising the disruption of a mid-season managerial change.

United added: “Ole leaves with our sincerest thanks for his tireless efforts as manager and our very best wishes for the future. His place in the club’s history will always be secure, not just for his story as a player, but as a great man and a manager who gave us many great moments. He will forever be welcome back at Old Trafford as part of the Manchester United family.”

Solskjaer was booed by a number of the United fans in the away end at full time at Watford, although midfielder Bruno Fernandes appeared to try to redirect their frustration towards the players.

Goalkeeper David de Gea labelled the defeat “embarrassing” and “unacceptable”.

After the game, Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher described Solskjaer’s position as “untenable” but described the performance of the club’s players as “scandalous”.

Ronaldo keen on Enrique as Solskjaer replacement

United forward Ronaldo is understood to be keen for Spain head coach Luis Enrique to take over at Old Trafford.

See also  #BREAKING :The Olympic flame has been lit in Greece for the #Beijing2022 Winter Olympics.

Enrique, who won the treble with Barcelona in 2015, is expected to be one of several candidates placed under consideration to replace Solskajer

It’s thought Enrique would be interested in talking to officials about the vacancy, and he is understood to have the backing of Ronaldo, who thinks he is the right calibre of coach to enable United to compete with Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea.

With United looking to appoint an interim boss until the end of the season before finding a permanent manager in the summer, the club’s and Enrique’s timeframes would need to align.

Spain last week secured qualification for next year’s World Cup, and it remains to be seen whether Enrique would leave the role just months before the tournament, which begins in November 2022.

Former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane, out of work since leaving the Bernabeu in May, and the current Ajax manager Erik Ten Hag, are also names that United are expected to consider.

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers has been widely tipped for the role, but he dismissed the speculation last week, saying he was happy to remain at King Power Stadium.

Manchester United’s bosses are long-time admirers of Mauricio Pochettino, who is currently in charge of Paris Saint-Germain

Ole’s journey ‘at the wheel’ ends without a trophy


Former United striker Solskjaer returned to the club initially as caretaker manager after the dismissal of Jose Mourinho in December 2018 and immediately produced an upturn in United’s form – including the 3-1 win at Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.

See also  BREAKING: Manchester United board considering on sacking Ole

‘Ole’s at the wheel’ became a trending topic as Solskjaer was appointed on a permanent basis in March 2019.

He was unable to lead United into the top four of the Premier League that season but did achieve third and second-place finishes in his two full seasons in charge.

However, Solskjaer failed to deliver silverware during his tenure, with the defeat on penalties to Villarreal in last season’s Europa League final being their best effort.

Men Smart Shoes