Well, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is gone, so that should be problem solved for Manchester United…right?
Unfortunately not. Firstly, a quick look at the four main names being linked as Solskjaer’s replacement at Man Utd shows that there really isn’t an outstanding candidate out there right now; no sign of an easily available Jurgen Klopp-esque figure who is needed to transform a once-great club that is currently on its knees.
Clearly, Solskjaer needed to go, but one can also understand why the people in charge of the Red Devils have been reluctant to make a change now, as there doesn’t look to be anyone out there who’s ideally suited to the scale of this challenge.
BBC Sport mention Mauricio Pochettino as a leading candidate, whilst Erik ten Hag and Brendan Rodgers are also seemingly in the frame. Another report from the BBC mentioned Zinedine Zidane looking unlikely, but those rumours are unlikely to go away.
Here’s a look at each of those four names and their respective strengths and weaknesses…
Plays good football, but keeps things solid at the back. His Tottenham teams punched well above their weight and had the best defensive record in the Premier League for two seasons in a row – 2015/16 and 2016/17. Now has experience of managing big egos and dealing with big expectations at Paris Saint-Germain.
According to the BBC story above, Poch is supposedly not too happy with the setup at PSG, with the Argentine having a lack of control over transfers, where superstars are a priority over squad balance. Someone should really have a word with him about the team he’s supposedly so keen to quit PSG for.
His teams play the right way. He’s experienced in the Premier League. He doesn’t need a big transfer budget to make an impact. Got an unfancied Liverpool team just a whisker away from a surprise title victory. Won the FA Cup with Leicester City.
Bit of a tendency of bottling it in the big games – Liverpool may not have been title favourites in 2013/14, but they let it slip when they were so close to getting over the line. His Leicester teams also continue to throw away Champions League qualification when it’s in their own hands. Connections to rivals Liverpool not ideal.
Erik ten Hag
A record of delivering success and playing fantastic football with Ajax.
Yet to do anything like that in a more competitive league. His demanding pressing game also seems totally unsuited to having Cristiano Ronaldo in the side on a regular basis, and we can’t imagine leaving him out would go down at all well.
Won three Champions League titles in a row. A big name who would command respect from the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane, Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, and others.
Yet to show what he can do outside of those pretty specific circumstances at Real Madrid. Wouldn’t have anywhere near as good a squad at Man Utd, and hasn’t ever really had to take on the challenge of rebuilding a team like this.