Manchester United sack Ole Gunnar after Watford defeat
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Manchester United secretly gave new contracts to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s coaching team prior to his sacking, reports say. The Norwegian was relieved of his duties on Sunday, less than 24 hours after their 4-1 defeat to Watford. Michael Carrick will now lead the team for tonight’s crunch Champions League clash with Villarreal.
Manchester United had hoped to win trophies under Solskjaer this season, especially backing him with deals for Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo during the summer transfer window.
But the Red Devils have lost seven of their last 13 matches and, on Sunday, Solskjaer was given the boot.
Now, Carrick will be in charge for tonight’s Champions League tie with Villarreal in Spain.
The former midfielder spoke to the media on Monday and insisted he had his ‘own ideas’ about how the club can be run.
However, many fans are unhappy at Carrick, Kieran McKenna and Mike Phelan keeping their jobs given they were an instrumental part of Solskjaer’s coaching set-up.
And, now, the Daily Mail have revealed United secretly gave the trio – as well as goalkeeping coach Richard Hartis – new contracts just weeks ago.
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Now Solskjaer is no longer at the helm, United face paying millions in compensation should a new manager deem the quartet surplus to requirements.
The deals for the four men were reportedly agreed in the summer, when Solskjaer signed his own contract extension.
And despite results going from bad to worse, the Glazers felt ‘principled’ to keep them at Old Trafford.
Their presence will, however, pose a problem if United are serious about bringing Mauricio Pochettino in as Solskjaer’s replacement.
The Argentine has his own favourites when it comes to coaching and, should he move to the Theatre of Dreams, may decide to bring them with him.
It’s the latest questionable decision from United, who continue to get things wrong in the years since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.
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The appointments of David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Solskjaer were all, in hindsight, wrong.
And with the Red Devils stuck in a rut, Carrick will now be hoping to get the best from the players in a way Solskjaer couldn’t.
When asked about how United will be transformed under him, Carrick said: “We’ll have to see, really.
“Obviously I’ve worked closely with Ole for a long time now and we do have very similar beliefs.
“We did as players and we certainly do as coaches and manager.
“Of course I’ve got my own personality, but it’s very similar, that’s why we worked together for so long and it went so well for a period of time.
“I’m not giving too much away of what my plans are but I’m very clear in my own mind what we want to do.
“I have my own ideas about how we want to play, how we want to go about it and I’m looking forward to seeing that on the pitch.”
And Carrick has admitted it’s a big challenge, adding: “Obviously it’s a challenge.
“First there was the initial reaction and coming to terms with the situation.
“But quite quickly you’ve got to focus – there’s a responsibility here, it’s such a great club, it’s such a privilege to be working at this club in whatever capacity, never mind the position I’m in now. So I don’t take that lightly in any way, shape or form.
“It’s just throwing myself into doing everything I can. Of course it’s a limited time, I’m well aware of that, but it’s a challenge that I’m relishing at the moment.
“It’s a huge responsibility – I’m really looking forward to it.
“I’ve got great people helping me and working with me, a great group of players. I know it’s not been what we wanted it to be of late, but it’s a fantastic group of players, they’ve proved that before and they’ll go on and prove that again.
“Whether it’s one game or two games, whether it’s a stretch longer than that, right now I’m not too sure and that’s not something that’s on my mind, it’s all about [Villarreal]. It’s a big game obviously for us in terms of the group stages and trying to get through.”
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