Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is no longer at the wheel of Manchester United, having lost control of results and confidence, which inevitably led to him being asked to step down from his role from this juggernaut of a football club. The famous chant by fans towards the former player and manager, originally inspired by a hit song by Manchester indie-rock band The Stone Roses, now silenced in the stands at Old Trafford.
In truth, the decision to sack Solskjaer was one the club could and perhaps should have taken sooner. Last summer, the Norwegian head coach had been handed a contract extension, high-profile signings were made, and everything seemed positive when Manchester United convincingly won four of their opening five Premier League encounters.
For the first time in the 2021-22 campaign, Manchester United tasted defeat in the opening match of the Champions League against Young Boys, considered to be the weakest side in their group. United bounced back with a 2-1 victory away at West Ham in the Premier League, although Solskjaer was immediately under more pressure after Carabao Cup defeat against the same opponents, just a few days later.
Solskjaer slides towards his inevitable departure
While these results could have initially been viewed as a temporary dip in form, as the Red Devils picked up vital wins against Villarreal and Atalanta in the Champions League, their slide in the Premier League continued. After being held 1-1 at Old Trafford against Everton, worse was to come when Manchester United collapsed in their next game, soundly beaten 4-2 at Leicester City.
Then came the biggest humiliation of the current season for Manchester United, who were mercilessly thrashed 0-5 by arch-rivals Liverpool at home, as the fans and Solskjaer alike watched on in utter horror. Winning 0-3 away against Tottenham Hotspur provided a little light relief, while drawing Atalanta kept in pole position of their Champions League group.
Nevertheless, the clock was already ticking and for many pundits, including former United players and colleagues, were it anyone other than Solskjaer in charge they would have been sacked already. The affable Norwegian continued to insist performances and results would improve, even amidst leaked rumours of discontent amongst his players.
Watford were battling to escape the relegation zone when they faced Manchester United, yet the Hornets managed to demonstrate all the desire and passion their opponents were lacking. They inflicted a stinging 4-1 defeat as the Red Devils completely fell apart. This was the final straw and within just 24 hours, the United issued a club statement on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, officially announcing that he had been relieved of his duties.
Manchester United look towards long-term revolution
Acting as caretaker manager, former midfielder Michael Carrick stepped into the breach, guiding Manchester United to Champions League victory against Villarreal, securing progress to the next phase of the competition. He also led the team to a creditable 1-1 draw at Premier League leaders Chelsea. Meanwhile, the club moved to bring in a more permanent managerial replacement.
The English football press initially linked plenty of high-profile candidates, including former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane, despite his availability the Frenchman wasn’t interested. United then took a different approach, believing that an interim coach would be the best option, whilst acknowledging this as an opportunity to completely shake things up internally. This led to the club turning their attention towards Ralf Rangnick.
Having established an excellent reputation in German football, along with being regarded as an inspirational figure for elite coaches including Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel, the stellar career of Rangnick was highlighted by his work at RB Leipzig. Whilst at the Bundesliga club, he completely revolutionised their fortunes on an off the field, both as head coach and as director of football.
Rangnick brought about huge improvements at every level, implementing a firm sense of identity from the youth system to the first team. When he became head of sport and development for Red Bull GmbH, overseeing all of their clubs, they rose in combined market value from €120 million to €1.2 billion during his tenure. This was largely because of his astute management of transfer policy, piquing the interest of Manchester United.
Rangnick revolution begins at Old Trafford
Having now appointed Rangnick as the interim head coach for the remainder of the season, once the season concludes, the 63-year-old German is then expected to take on a consultancy role at the club. That role will arguably be the most crucial of all, given that along with hiring the next manager, he will also be tasked with reshaping the entire club from top to bottom. However, bookmakers are cautious about whether he can bring immediate success.
Rangnick will need to do some serious research, looking at every angle of activity in order to bring improvements to Manchester United. Thankfully, if we’re going to back this English football titan or any other Premier League club, SBO has cut through the noise of the online betting world, bringing us insights that make a real difference. This includes reviews for leading bookmakers, where to find free bets and bonuses, plus advice on how to use them effectively.
As bettors, having such a comprehensive resource available makes our wagering much easier. Meanwhile, the work of Rangnick at Old Trafford is just beginning, as he seeks to bring about a new era of dominance at Manchester United. At long last, the club hierarchy seems to have acknowledge a need for change, with the German capable of bringing the knowledge and expertise that has been sorely lacking in recent years.