Manchester United may have a hard time trying to ignore Ole Gunnar Solskjaer when they choose their next permanent manager, according to Gary Neville.
Solskjaer took charge of United in December on an interim basis following Jose Mourinho’s sacking on an interim basis, with the club revealing they would be searching for a permanent appointment for the end of the season.
Should Man Utd give Solskjaer the job full-time? Five key things to know…
- Solskjaer was named caretaker manager of Manchester United following Jose Mourinho’s sacking in December.
- The Norwegian has overseen eight wins and one draw in his first nine games in charge.
- As a result, United have burst back into the race for the top four as well as reaching the fifth round of the FA Cup.
- Manchester United are yet to make any official announcement over their permanent managerial role.
- But former United defender Neville believes it will be hard for the club to ignore Solskjaer.
There was some initial scepticism over the Norwegian’s appointment following his struggles at Cardiff City, but Solskjaer led United to eight straight wins in his first eight games to send the club back into the top-four race as well as reaching the fifth-round of the FA Cup.
And former club captain Neville believes United may have a dilemma when it comes to appointing Mourinho’s full-time successor.
“It will be hard to ignore him,” he told Sky Sports.
“Ultimately, what Man Utd were going to do six weeks ago was to scour Europe for one of the best managers in the world to take over in the summer.
“And they should still continue to do that because you do not know what is going to happen in the next three or four months.
“But if Ole keeps on doing what he is doing – in fact, anything like he is doing – then there is a real dilemma in March or April in terms of what the club’s plans potentially were, in terms of who would have been brought in and then obviously in terms of what they may become.
“Because if Ole has the fans on his side, the players on his side and most importantly he has got the results to the level they have got now, then it will be incredibly difficult for the board at Man Utd to look anywhere else.”
When Mourinho was first sacked, the likes of Mauricio Pochettino and Zinedine Zidane were tipped as favourites to take over. But Neville believes United may be persuaded against a big name given the failures of the past.
He added: “However, if they have got one of the best managers in the world secured as well, then there is that dilemma as to whether they go with that. They have tried that the last couple of times with Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho and it did not work out.
“So I think that Ole is in with a real shout, particularly with the results so outstanding, the football is better and the fans feel a lot better over there at Old Trafford and the judgment should be made in March, April, May and not really for today.
“But he has a far better than he had six weeks ago.”
Cole joins Neville in backing Solskjaer
Former club striker Andy Cole has also backed Solskjaer to succeed at United, recently speaking of the Norwegian drawing from his experience of playing under Sir Alex Ferguson.
“Looking at him, he is always speaking about Sir Alex [Ferguson] and what he takes from him and what he is trying to do with the players,” Cole said.
“That’s what the manager used to do with us. He was always talking to us to get the best from us. You can see Ole does that because after every game he is on the pitch with the players. A lot of the modern-day managers are doing that.
“Everyone wants to get the best from the players so you have to put your arm around them and show them that they are important to you.”
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