Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s five potential replacements and their record vs Manchester United
There is no worse time to go into an international break than off the back of a defeat, especially not to your rivals and worse still, when the odds are firmly stacked against you with names already touted as a possible replacement.
Unfortunately for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, that’s the fact of the matter.
Despite a promising start to the season, the Premier League rollercoaster has been going down, and down and down with a couple of bumps, in the form of body blows, none more so than the harrowing 5-0 defeat to Liverpool and the latest failure against Manchester City.
As a result, names such as Brendan Rodgers, Zinedine Zidane, Erik ten Hag, Mauricio Pochettino and Ralf Rangnick have been mooted to succeed the Norwegian in the Old Trafford hotseat.
But how have they fared against Manchester United? Here’s a look at how the numbers stack up.
A familiar foe. Rodgers was frequent in the opposing dugout for United’s East Lancs Road rivals, Liverpool, until his sacking in October 2015.
The 48-year-old’s arrival at Anfield came during a period of transition as they picked up the pieces from an almost devastating failed ownership of Tom Hicks and George Gillett. He followed in the footsteps of Kenny Dalglish after impressing with an eye-catching philosophy with Swansea City.
After his dismissal from L4, he ventured to Scotland and enjoyed a successful spell with Celtic before returning to the Premier League undertaking the role of Leicester manager.
Old Trafford, and United as a whole, has been an unhappy stomping ground for much of his managerial career. At the Theatre of Dreams, he can boast just the single win against David Moyes’ side in 2014 after Steven Gerrard’s brace from the spot before Luis Suarez rounded off the scoring in the dying embers of the clash.
Since then it has been a bitter experience facing the Reds up until recently where Rodgers has a 100 per cent record in his last three meetings. A 3-1 victory set the Foxes on course to their first-ever FA Cup triumph before Premier League wins in May and October, the most recent of which added to a dismal run of four league games without a win.
Overall record: P 16, W 5, D 1, L 10.
The Argentine is a manager who knows the Premier League all too well following his spells with Southampton and Tottenham. Now in charge of Paris Saint-Germain, the 49-year-old has a plethora of world-class talent at his disposal in the form of Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Neymar.
His system in England can be married up with a similar set-up that Manchester United have tried over recent years but it was in North London where he found his success against the Reds.
Similarly to Rodgers, Pochettino tasted victory at Old Trafford once, when his Spurs side dismantled Jose Mourinho’s side 3-0.
Despite helping Tottenham to a Champions League final in 2019, he was relieved of his duties in November of that year after a disappointing start before he arrived at the Parc des Princes in January.
Overall record: P 14, W 4, D 3, L 7.
A serial Champions League-winning manager during his two spells with Real Madrid, the Frenchman boasts one of the best managerial records in recent years.
The 49-year-old helped Los Blancos reach the pinnacle of World football once again, a position that they maintained for a number of seasons as he led them to three consecutive European Cup triumphs.
Also, a two-time league and cup winning tactician, he has been without a club since departing the Bernabeu after his second stint in charge in 2021.
While talk remains he appears set on succeeding France manager Didier Deschamps, he may have to wait another year with the current boss preparing the national squad for their World Cup defence in Qatar next November.
His only meeting with Manchester United came after Jose Mourinho’s Europa League triumph in 2017. Sadly for the Reds it was a successful clash as they won 2-1 in the UEFA Super Cup.
Overall record: P 1, W 1.
A well-known figure in the German game, with his managerial career dating back to 1983 with Viktoria Backnang, but vastly unknown outside of his homeland.
The 63-year-old has spent two years out of management after a run of senior roles with Red Bull’s Bragantino, Salzburg and Leipzig.
His only showings against United came in 2011 when Sir Alex Ferguson’s side found themselves beaten by a well-drilled Barcelona side in the Champions League final at Wembley.
Rangnick was manager of Schalke that season, who United beat in the semi-finals to reach a third Champions League final in four years.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is back under pressure as Manchester United manager. The Reds’ victory at Tottenham was soon forgotten as they fell to a dire 2-0 defeat in the Manchester derby, and saw the vultures circling around the Norwegian once again.
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His time at Old Trafford was a miserable one as United took a 2-0 first-leg lead back to Manchester before a Anderson double helped them to a 6-1 aggregate win.
Rangnick did win the DFB Pokal that year, though, and boasts an impressive CV.
Overall record: P2, W 0, D 0, L 2.
Erik ten Hag
Ten Hag is a manager who has never faced Manchester United, but he is no stranger to Premier League opposition or the Champions League.
His Ajax side made light work of this season’s group which featured Borussia Dortmund, Sporting and Besiktas claiming maximum points, conceding just twice in their opening four game, to assure themselves of qualifcation to the knockout rounds.
Also no stranger to a so-called ‘giant-killing’ the Dutchman led his Ajax side to a memorable 4-1 victory over Real Madrid at the Bernabeu in 2019, en route to losing out to Tottenham in a dramatic semi-final clash at the Johann Cruyff Arena.
In his side that night? Donny van de Beek.
Overall record: N/A.