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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

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National team managers Man United should look at if Solskjaer is sacked

Manchester United should be on the hunt for a new manager.

After another loss for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer against one of the club’s biggest rivals, this time in the form of Manchester City and an embarrassing 2-0 defeat, United need to look for something new.

Solskjaer should be on borrowed time, and MEN Sport understands that Solskjaer is increasingly at risk of losing his job after the shocking derby day performance on Saturday, though the club are still somewhat reluctant to make a change without any obvious contingency plan in place.

With a mooted shortlist including the likes of Brendan Rodgers, Erik ten Hag and Mauricio Pochettino – all of whom are currently employed by other clubs – perhaps it’s time for United to broaden their horizons.

The international scene is packed with quality coaches and that could be a possible avenue for the club to explore.

Here are a few international managers who United could consider if they choose to replace Solskjaer.

Luis Enrique

Points per game as a club manager: 1.90 in 314 games

Current manager of the Spanish national team and former Barcelona, Roma, and Celta Vigo boss, Luis Enrique was in charge of Barça the last time they won the treble.

While you could argue a team with a frontline of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez should be winning multiple trophies, getting the best out of talented individuals isn’t always as easy as it sounds – an issue us United fans know all too well.

Luis Enrique is currently the head coach of Spain Enrique wasn’t seen as a great manager at Roma but improved exponentially at Celta before taking the Barcelona job.

A lot of Barcelona managers have struggled in the post-Pep Guardiola era, and although he struggled afterwards his treble-winning season was no small feat.

His time with Spain has also been good, albeit without a trophy to show for his efforts. Losing to Italy on penalties at Euro 2020 and losing in the final to France in the UEFA Nations League, Enrique has been a revelation in his time at the helm of a Spain side who lack the star power they once had.

Roberto Mancini

Roberto Mancini is a fantastic manager (Image: Claudio Villa/Getty Images) Points per game as a club manager: 1.90 in 508 games

Euro 2020 winning Italy manager Roberto Mancini has had a fair few tenures in club coaching and has even managed in the Premier League.

From a United perspective, we should maybe gloss over his previous spell in the Premier League and just say he won a league title in England in a season no one can remember.

All jokes aside, the Italian has a wealth of managerial experience and has spent time at the helm of clubs like City, Fiorentina, Lazio, Inter Milan, Galatasaray, and Zenit Saint Petersburg.

Mancini has been incredibly successful at club level, winning three Scudettos with Inter before moving to England where he picked up an FA Cup and a Premier League crown with City.

That being said, his links to City along with his time out of the club managerial game could be a worry for United fans.

Didier Deschamps

Didier Deschamps has enjoyed great success with the French national team Points per game as a club manager: 1.74 in 309 games

Didier Deschamps would be a risky and very surprising hire for United.

The Frenchman has been the manager of France since 2012, winning a World Cup, a UEFA Nations League and reaching the final of Euro 2016.

Being the manager during France’s golden generation and lasting as long as Deschamps has is no mean feat. His star-studded squad means he’s tasked with keeping the likes of Paul Pogba, Karim Benzema, Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe in check and he’s done a great job of it.

His relationships with French players at United like Pogba, Raphael Varane and Anthony Martial could hold him in good stead, but his lack of experience at club level could be an issue.

With two league titles to his name (albeit one was Serie B) he’s hardly a rookie, but similar to Mancini, his club level triumphs were quite a while ago. Also, his only top-flight league title came with Marseille all the way back in 2010 prior to Paris Saint-Germain’s takeover.

Deschamps has done well to handle the France squad with its absurd amount of egos, but the United job is a whole different beast.

Louis van Gaal

Could Louis van Gaal do a job at United? Points per game as a club manager: 2.00 in 609 games

Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal has a great CV containing some of the top clubs in European football as well as a stellar showing during his previous stint as manager of the Dutch national team.

Winning the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich, the Eredivisie with both AZ Alkmaar and Ajax and La Liga with Barcelona, Van Gaal certainly knows how to lead a team to glory.

Renowned for his philosophy and love of possession-based football, Van Gaal could bring many new aspects to United that they haven’t seen in years. His penchant for using youth players could see Van Gaal bring through players similar to the likes of Marcus Rashford, as well as keeping the fans on his side. I can already imagine United fans making up chants like “Louis van Gaal’s red army”.

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His transfer policy might be a little outdated. He could end up spending a lot of money on players he could fall out with, or maybe even players who have regressed due to their age, but it feels like Van Gaal might be able to bring in a few talented youngsters.

Like the others, he hasn’t won a league title for a very long time, but I think Van Gaal could help United turn a corner and get them playing a safe, rigid, possession-based style that could help in the short and long-term.

Hang on, all of that sounds very familiar…

Who would you choose to replace Solskjaer? Follow our United On My Mind editor Mike Parrott on Twitter to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts in the comment section below.

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