Jaap Stam becomes the latest ex-Manchester United player to step into management

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Former Manchester United defender Jaap Stam has been appointed the new manager of Reading this week.

The 43-year old former centre-back has signed a two-year contract with the Championship side, which will be his first senior managerial position.

Stam was at Old Trafford for three seasons and was vital as United won three Premier League titles, an FA Cup and the unforgettable Champions League triumph in 1999.


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He has managed Ajax's youth teams, as well as serving as a scout for Manchester United for two seasons, and he's not the first former Red Devil to tread the managerial path.

Here we look at four other former players who have become managers, with varying degrees of success.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

We start with one of the greatest 'super subs' of all time, and scorer of the winner in the dramatic 1999 Champions League win against Bayern Munich, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The 'baby-faced assassin' spent 11 years at United, making 235 appearances and scoring 91 goals.

After retiring, the Norwegian striker managed the Red Devils' reserve side until 2011, when former club Molde offered him their manager's job.

Solskjaer took the job and returned to Norway, where he achieved instant success, winning back-to-back titles in his first two seasons.

This form brought him to the attention of Cardiff City and their Malaysian owner Vincent Tan, who appointed Solskjaer in January 2014.

However, Ole's return to England was short-lived, as he was unable to keep the Bluebirds in the Premier League and left just a month into the new season after a poor start to their campaign back in the Championship.

He returned to Molde in October 2015 and guided them to the last 32 of the Europa League, where they lost to eventual winners, Sevilla.

Whether Solskjaer will be offered another role in England remains to be seen, however, in his homeland he has been an undoubted success and will also always be a fan favourite at Manchester United.

Mark Hughes

'Sparky' had two spells at United, with the first from 1980-1986.

During this time, he made 89 appearances and scored a decent tally of 37 goals.

Following a spell at Barcelona, and a loan at Bayern Munich, the Welshman returned and had an even more successful second spell.

From 1988-1995, he made 256 appearances scoring 83 goals, helping United win two Premier League titles and two FA Cups, as well as the UEFA Cup Winners Cup in 1991.

His first managerial role saw him take charge of his country, Wales, between 1999 and 2004. While Wales failed to qualify for a tournament during this time, their results did improve, and they came very close to making Euro 2004.

After leaving the Wales job, he was appointed Blackburn Rovers manager, where he stayed for four years. The highlight of his tenure at Ewood Park was when he guided the team to sixth place in the 2005-06 season.

He then moved on to Manchester City, where he stayed for a season-and-a-half, before joining Fulham for the 2010-11 season.

In January 2012, he was appointed Queens Park Rangers manager, who he would rescue from relegation. Despite several high-profile signings in the summer following survival, Hughes and the Hoops had a poor start and he was gone by November.

Stoke City gave him another opportunity in the Premier League in 2013, and he has brought about a new style of play at the Britannia Stadium, different to predecessor Tony Pulis' physical gameplan.

He has also brought in an exciting array of signings, such as former Bayern Munich and Inter Milan winger Xherdan Shaqiri, and Porto midfielder Giannelli Imbula.

The 52-year-old's position seems to be secure, and he will be looking ahead to the new season with relish and aiming to better an already impressive ninth place finish from the last three seasons.

Laurent Blanc

While Blanc only stayed in Manchester for two seasons, there is no doubt that he is the most successful former Manchester United player who has become a manager.

He won the Ligue 1 title and French Cup double in just his second season as a manager, in charge of Bordeaux.

This success led the French FA to appoint the former centre-back as national team manager in 2010. After their quarter final exit to Sweden at Euro 2012, Blanc resigned from the role.

In June 2013, Paris Saint-Germain announced Blanc as their new manager, and with the bespectacled Frenchman at the helm, PSG achieved unparalleled domestic success, winning four league titles in a row.

In Europe, however, they have been less convincing, with Manchester City knocking them out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage in the last campaign.

Blanc is a quality manager, and it would not be a surprise to see him in the Premier League in the next few years.

Gordon Strachan

The fiery Scottish midfielder spent five years at Old Trafford, making 160 appearances and scoring 33 times.

He has managed several club sides, and currently manages his country, which he has done so since 2012.

His first managerial job came as manager of Premier League minnows Coventry City, where he stayed for five seasons until their relegation in 2001.

He made an instant return to management, and another Premier League side, at Southampton, who he led to the 2003 FA Cup final, which they narrowly lost 1-0 to Arsenal.

2004 saw him resign and take over a year out of the game, before returning to Scotland with Celtic.

Under his leadership, the Bhoys won three consecutive league titles, as well as a Scottish Cup.

After failing to win a fourth consecutive title, he left in May 2009 and took over at Middlesbrough in October 2010, but he resigned after just a year.

With Scotland the only home nation not to qualify for Euro 2016, the focus for Strachan must be on preparing his team for the 2020 World Cup qualifying campaign, with the hope of achieving a major upset.

Will Jaap Stam be a success in the dugout? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!

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