Manchester United fires Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Manchester United have sacked manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the club confirmed on Sunday morning.

Solskjaer was axed after Saturday’s 4-1 defeat at Watford continued a catastrophic run of results that saw the 48-year-old Norwegian lose seven of his last 13 games in charge.

First-team coach Michael Carrick has been installed as caretaker coach while United seek a replacement to take charge until the end of the season.

A club statement read: ‘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.

‘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.

‘Michael Carrick will now take charge of the team for forthcoming games, while the club looks to appoint an interim manager to the end of the season.’

As a player Solskjaer scored the winning goal in injury time of the 1999 Champions League final to seal one of the club’s most incredible victories, but as a manager he leaves Old Trafford with no sense of glory, having won no trophies in nearly three years in charge.

Pressure had already been piling onto the Norwegian manager amid his team’s poor early-season form and the embarrassing 5-0 home defeat by Liverpool, as well as losing to Man City, but the final straw was Saturday’s thrashing by Watford.

The race is now on to land the biggest job in English and perhaps world football – the early favourites to succeed Solskjaer are Zinedine Zidane, Brendan Rodgers, Mauricio Pochettino and Erik ten Hag.

The United board had previously seemed determined to give Solskjaer a chance to turn around his side’s form and he showed signs of recovery by beating Tottenham and coming from behind to draw with Atalanta in their last Champions League outing.

But the respite was short-lived and Solskjaer, who was criticised for going to Norway during the recent international break, has now been relieved of his duties by the Manchester United hierarchy.

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