Cardiff have reportedly made former Manchester United hero Ole Gunnar Solskjaer their number one target to replace Malky Mackay after the Scotsman was relieved of his duties on Friday afternoon.
The Premier League’s managerial merry-go-round continues, although Mackay’s exit will come as a surprise to few after a series of high-profile recent developments in his extraordinary relationship with Cardiff owner Vincent Tan.
After an astonishing ultimatum to either resign or be sacked, the axe has finally fallen on Mackay in spite of ongoing fan protests about Tan’s ‘misguided’ running of the club. However, even before the two sides parted company, a number of famous bosses came out in defence of their beleaguered counterpart, with Liverpool’s Brendan Rodgers insisting Tan “knows nothing about football."
In reality, even without Rodgers’ stinging critique of the flamboyantly-dressed Malaysian’s football acumen, it will prove extremely difficult for the Welsh side to find a comparable replacement for Mackay; in fact, it would be astonishing if even the game’s remotest managers are willing to touch the post with a barge-pole. The very public mistreatment of the Scot has made the Cardiff job something of an unappealing prospect, particularly after Tan’s outburst over Mackay’s request to spend money on three players in January.
Having made Solskjaer prime target, the Norwegian would have to leave his current club Molde, with whom he won the league in his first season in charge if he were to take the job. Before David Moyes’ appointment at Old Trafford, he was even linked with the ominous task of succeeding Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, so his managerial talents have evidently won universal appraisal already despite his relative inexperience.
That said, Solskjaer would be foolish to jeopardise his flourishing reputation by adding what can only be a turbulent spell for whoever is chosen to take the hot seat at the Cardiff City Stadium. Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, another Scandinavian tactician, has also been touted as a potential candidate, but like Solskjaer, he will not be short of work proposals, many of them far more appealing than the chaotic roller-coaster ride currently on offer in South Wales.
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