London: Manchester United fired Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after three years as manager Sunday. Officials of Manchester United took the decision after the club suffered their fifth loss in seven Premier League games.
“Ole will always be a legend at Manchester United. It is with regret that we have reached this difficult decision,” the club said a day after a 1-4 loss to Watford.
Former Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick, who was on Solskjaer’s coaching staff will be in temporary charge. His assignment will startstarting with a trip to Spain for a Champions League match at Villarreal in the group stage Monday.
United said it would look to then appoint a manager only until the end of the season.
Solskjaer’s future has hung in the balance before but he has finally lost his job at the club where he was adored as a player. He had scored the dramatic late winner in the 1999 Champions League final. He couldn’t replicate that success as a manager, failing to win a single trophy.
“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,” Manchester United said. “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,” the club added.
Coming after chastening losses to fierce rivals Liverpool (0-5) and Manchester City (0-2) in the last month, Solskjaer said he was ‘embarrassed’ after United’s lacklustre performance at Watford but insisted after the game he still could turn things around at the club.
Recent results suggested otherwise. The team is seventh in the Premier League, already 12 points behind leader Chelsea after 12 games. That’s far from good enough for a team that finished second last season and was supposed to challenge for the title after adding superstar Cristiano Ronaldo in the off-season along with the $100-million signing of England international Jadon Sancho.
Solskjaer played for United from 1996-2007 under Alex Ferguson. He was hired as caretaker manager to replace Jose Mourinho in December 2018. He was handed the job permanently after a promising start at Old Trafford, having rediscovered some of the team’s attacking verve and bringing calmness after a toxic ending to Mourinho’s tenure.