Following the departure of Ole Gunner Solskjaer from Old Trafford, the search is now on for his next successor to take Manchester United into a new and glorious future. But who will be the next man to do that?
1. Michael Carrick
Solskjaer’s assistant is likely to take over the role as Caretaker Manager until Ed Woodward manages to find their next permanent manager.
Carrick was part of Mourinho’s coaching staff when the Portuguese was at Old Trafford during 2018 and became the Norwegian’s Assistant during his three-year spell at the Club. He also captained the side for 12 years with half of that stint being under the eagle eyes of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Given the fact that the club could be looking for someone who can make the team get back to the old United, which was consistently challenging for the Premier League title, this may not be a permanent choice for Woodward to make, but as of now, the 40-year old remains temporarily in charge for the moment.
2. Zinedine Zidane
The former Real Madrid boss is amongst the leading candidates to take the role as The Red Devils’ boss. Zidane, aged 49 won a bagful of trophies with the Galacticos, even as the Manager.
Madrid picked up two La Liga titles, two Spanish Super Cups, three Champions Leagues, two UEFA Super Cups, and two FIFA Club World Cups. Surely a manager with that much success deserves another opportunity of managing another of the World’s biggest football clubs?
Madrid’s best season under the French Legend came in 2017 when they won La Liga and the Champions League in the same season. They also remained top of the league in 32 of the 38 match-weeks of that season.
Zidane is tactically flexible according to the teams which his side faces. he uses a range of formations to set up his team. His most preferred formation is a 4-3-3.
With the team now fighting for a top-four finish, will he be willing to drag them out of a hole?
3. Jaap Stam
The ex-United defender is next on the list of candidates for the hot seat at The Theatre of Dreams. As a player, Stam was a big asset to Ferguson’s reign at United, particularly in the late ’90s and early 200s, where they won three League titles, an FA Cup, the Intercontinental Cup, and the Champions League. He then went on to win the Coppa Italia with Lazio and reached the Champions League final with Ancelotti’s AC Millan.
His managerial career kickstarted at Reading, where he guided the Royals to the Championship Play-Offs in 2016. However, his second season at the Madjeski Stadium did not go as planned as Reading had only one win in their first 18 games, forcing him to step down as the Royals boss.
Stam’s spell at Feyenoord did not go so well as the Dutch side failed to perform consistently through the first half of the 2019-20 season. As a result of this, he resigned as Head Coach. He then joined Major League Soccer side FC Cincinnati on an 18-month deal.
However, the club did not get off to the best of starts in the 2021 season, as they were second from bottom in the Eastern Conference, having only won four of their first 25 games. This led to his exit from the club on September 21.
So, judging by his history as a manager, perhaps not the best option for Woodward to choose.
4. Erik Ten Hag
Perhaps a potential target for the next summer, due to the success that the 51-year old is having at Ajax. Ten Hag joined the Dutch giants in 2017, where he guided them to the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2019, where they lost out in that amazing second leg tie to Pochettino’s Spurs. The Stoppage time winner from Lucas Moura must be still stinging somewhere in the back of their minds.
The Dutch side also won KNVB Cup twice in his last two seasons with the Club. Will the Red Devils be tempted to go in the direction of the 51-year old?
5. Ralf Rangnick
The Head of Sports and Development at Lokomotiv Moscow is fifth in line for the manager’s role at Old Trafford. The 63-year old has been in coaching for over 30 years. He started off as a player coach in the 1980s for his boyhood club Viktoria Backnang, and then went on to coach VfB Stuttgart.
The Club finished eighth in the Bundesliga in his first season in 2001. The team also reached the Last 16 stages of the UEFA Cup in the same season.
His best tenure as a manager came at Schalke 04, where the German side reached the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2011, where they were knocked out by United under the reign of Sir Alex.
Rangnick’s tactics are based around a 4-2-2-2 formation, which allows the front four players more freedom to attack if there are two holding midfielders. but as Nemanja Matic is the only out-and-out defensive midfielder, Ragninck may have to persuade the club to look for one in the January Transfer Window. But as his tactics are usually offensive, he could be just what the team needs.
So, these are the top five candidates.
Who will take the hot seat in the Manager’s office at Old Trafford?
Find out on World in Sport.