Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must be feeling the heat at Manchester United right now.
There can be no hiding from the fact the Red Devils have experienced a nightmarish start to the Premier League campaign and currently find themselves in 15th place on merely seven points.
Their woeful form has been compounded by an apparent inability to win at Old Trafford with a 0-0 draw with Chelsea proving the highlight after defeats to Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur.
Solskjaer under fire
It makes for a pretty dire situation at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ and one that has stirred up calls for Solskjaer’s head on social media, particularly after a series of questionable tactical decisions.
Sure, Ed Woodward is due dollops of blame this year, but there was no shortage of head-scratching when Scott McTominay played all 90 minutes against Arsenal and Bruno Fernandes didn’t.
Could Solskjaer be sacked?
Anyhow, breathe; the moral of the story is that Solskjaer’s competency in the United hot-seat has come under fire once again and there’s good reason to think his head could roll by New Year.
Unless results improve in the way they have done in the Champions League, it wouldn’t be a huge shock to see Solskjaer sacked after his second season just like Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho.
But in a time where the footballing world is more uncertain than ever, you have to wonder whether it would be prudent for the Glazer family to sharpen their axe without a clear replacement.
That’s not to say they haven’t, of course, because reports as early as last month claimed that former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino was already being tapped up for the job.
However, let’s face it, nothing is simple in the beautiful game and United would have to have more options on the table than Pochettino if they were in need of their fifth permanent boss since 2013.
So, bearing that in mind, we decided to inspect which names were being touted for the job and turned our attentions to SkyBet, who listed and ranked the 15 coaches who are the most fancied.
Favourites for next Man Utd boss
With everyone from Michael Carrick – yes, seriously – to the frontrunner of Pochettino himself, you can check out the leading candidates who have their eyes on Solskjaer’s job down below:
15. Didier Deschamps – 25/1
We’re kicking off proceedings with a big hitter who, if it wasn’t for the fact France are approaching the European Championships and World Cup in consecutive years, would surely be more fancied under different circumstances.
14. Carlo Ancelotti – 25/1
Ordinarily, Ancelotti would place much, much higher and let’s face it, he looks exactly like the experienced manager that United need right now, but it’s difficult to see him waving goodbye to Everton so soon.
13. Gareth Southgate – 22/1
Not a chance in hell. Even the most hardcore, waistcoat-wearing United fan wouldn’t be under any illusions that Southgate possessed the club coaching pedigree to take one of the world’s toughest jobs.
12. Nuno Espirito Santo – 20/1
By no means a terrible suggestion when you consider Santo has turned Wolverhampton Wanderers into a serious Premier League force, so he should at least have finished higher than the next two coaches…
11. Eddie Howe – 20/1
Yeh… no. Overall, Howe did a pretty amazing job at Bournemouth, there’s no two ways about it, but he should have waved goodbye to the Vitality Stadium long ago if he wanted to bag a job like this.
10. Chris Wilder – 20/1
As much as Wilder deserves credit for leading Sheffield United into the top half last season, let the Blades’ struggles second time around show exactly why United should turn their attentions elsewhere.
9. Ralf Rangnick – 18/1
There’s no denying that Rangnick is a revered footballing figure with pedigree at RB Leipzig, but it’s difficult to see United turning their head in this direction when he’s managed just 88 games in the last nine years.
8. Rafa Benitez – 18/1
There are enough reasons to shrug your shoulders over Benitez’s time at Inter Milan, Chelsea and Real Madrid over the last decade to think this would be a seriously retrograde selection.
7. Julian Nagelsmann – 18/1
I’m sure I’m not alone in being surprised that the RB Leipzig maestro is so far down the list because plumping for the impressive 33-year-old would be a refreshing appointment at Old Trafford.
6. Michael Carrick – 16/1
It might be easy to see a world in which Carrick becomes the interim manager, but even if he set the world alight at first like Solskjaer, it’s hard to imagine United going down the same road twice in a row.
5. Brendan Rodgers – 16/1
Would it be vogue? No. Would it be shrewd? Most likely. At the end of the day, whether Liverpool fans like to admit it or not, Rodgers has done a recent job almost everywhere he’s gone and continues to thrive at Leicester City.
4. Laurent Blanc – 14/1
While there’s no doubting that Blanc showed his managerial pedigree at PSG – as well as being a United alumnus, of course – surely four years away from the technical area is a massive red flag.
3. Ralph Hasenhuttl – 12/1
I bet you weren’t expecting this one, were you? It’s easy to see why there might be interest considering the brilliant job Hasenhuttl has done at Southampton, but this would still seem a tad ham-fisted.
2. Massimiliano Allegri – 6/1
It’s only natural that Allegri is regularly linked with some of the biggest jobs in Europe after hoovering up trophies like they were going out of fashion with Juventus.
1. Mauricio Pochettino – 8/13
To the absolute shock of nobody, it seems as though Pochettino might as well have some keys cut for Old Trafford in advance because clearly his Spurs spell has got the United board weak at the knees.
GIVEMESPORT’s Kobe Tong says
I have my doubts about Pochettino, I’m not going to lie and I’ll kindly direct you to seven reasons why I thought it would be a terrible mistake just a few weeks ago.
The gist of the argument is that while Pochettino is, of course, an incredible manager, there’s little reason to suggest he’ll bring anything more of a winning mentality to the club than Solskjaer.
Pochettino might well be a brilliant coach in terms of improving players, but the quality is already there in the United side and a born winner like Allegri seems to fit the bill better by my estimations.
You only have to look at what he achieved at Juventus to appreciate his pedigree and no, I’m not just talking about dominating Serie A because lest we forget he reached two Champions League finals.
But even in a world where United do keep their focus on Premier League experience or a more unique approach to things, I think they’d be better off with Nagelsmann or perhaps even Rodgers.
I might sound crazy and trust me, I’m not far off, but don’t think for one second that swapping Solskjaer for Pochettino if the bad results continue would be all sunshine and rainbows.
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