Sports News

Is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the best Manchester United manager since Sir Alex Ferguson?

On May 9th 2013, we saw Sir Alex Ferguson manage his last game at Manchester United. In the time since we have seen four managers take the reins with mixed success, David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solksjaer.

Current manager Solskjaer at the time of writing secured second place in the Premier League last night and has an upcoming Europa League final next week. As it stands, he is the only manager of the four yet to win a trophy at Old Trafford as a manager, something that needs to change. But, where do all four managers time at the Theatre of Dreams rank? Join us as we find out!

The Manchester United managers since Sir Alex Ferguson
The Manchester United managers since Sir Alex Ferguson

4) David Moyes – 51 Matches, 1.73PPG, 1 Trophy:

In the eternal words of Andy Tate, “you got the job on a technicality of a legend who recommended ya.” And nothing could describe David Moyes time at Manchester United any better. A man whose time at the club seven years after his tenure is failing to shine any brighter.

Too much, too soon for Moyes, with his comfortable nature after a decade in Merseyside and the pressure of following in Sir Alex amounting to a toothless Manchester United side. Moyes inherited a Premier League winning team and turned them into a mediocre, mid-table side. Also, he was worryingly un-ambitious in his team selection, giving just one youth player their first-team debut in his nine months at the club

His Community Shield victory against a relegated Wigan to this day is Moyes’ only major managerial honour, one I’m sure he tells all his friends about.

Looking back on Moyes time, perhaps he was cut short before he could ever really get going, but then again maybe he was just not very good. He did bring Juan Mata to Manchester United though, and we all like Juan Mata so, that’s nice.

Former Manchester United manager Juan Mata.
Mata at least has been exceptional at Manchester United. (Photo by Tom Purslow/Manchester United via Getty Images)

3) Louis van Gaal – 103 Matches, 1.81PPG, 1 Trophy:

Looking back on Louis van Gaal’s time at Manchester United, it’s tough to really mark out anything significant. He would spend two years at the club, yet nothing really happened.

He finished in the top four once. Called Chris Smalling, Mike. Won an F.A Cup. Fell on his back against Arsenal to prove a point, and declared he wanted his players to be “horny”. But, as far as performances on the pitch, there was very little of consequence.

Van Gaal mulled along for two seasons with very little in the way of success. But, despite the largely dismal performances, he does deserve some credit. Within two seasons van Gaal gave 15 academy players, including most notably Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard their debuts. This is particularly remarkable when according to TransferMarkt, van Gaal has had the highest spend per season of the four United managers.

Unpredictable character van Gaal was really. (Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Mark Leech Sports Photography/Getty Images)

2) Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – 139 Matches, 1.90PPG, 0 Trophies:

Easily the most likeable of the four Manchester United managers, Solskjaer has been a mixed bag in his two and a half seasons at United. Routinely starting strongly, peaking in the middle and falling at the end. He’s done a lot right in his time as manager but is yet to pick up that first trophy.

In his first season he won just one of his last seven matches in the league missing out on top-four, last year they were knocked out in three semi-finals, so now this season is a chance to make amends. Second-place in the league is already secured, and a Europa League final awaits.

The mood at United since his arrival has seemed far more positive, and the football largely more attacking. In the case of Solskjaer’s United, they aren’t the finished article yet. However, with the signings he has made and the mood in the camp, they at least feel on their way.

Could Solskjaer be only the second Manchester United manager to win the Europa League? (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

1) Jose Mourinho – 144 Matches, 1.97PPG, 3 Trophies:

How did it start so well and end so very badly? Arriving in Manchester for the 2016/17 season and winning three trophies it looked like The Special One was working his magic.

A Europa League, League Cup and a Community Shield it wasn’t quite the ultimate treble, but it was still welcome silverware to remove some of the dust in the trophy cabinet.

Playing that well known ‘Jose Ball’ of putting nine/ten men behind the ball in 90% of their games, Mourinho would fail to bring any more silverware to the side. He did finish second once in the league, declaring it “one of his greatest achievements”. Mourinho would then famously build on that second-place finish the next season, by being sacked by December the next year.

With Mourinho at United and even now you are guaranteed so much in the way of trophies and performances. He holds an impressive 1.97 points per game at the club, and a 1.77 at most recent club Tottenham. He is still a solid manager in the way of points, but the reality is the all conquering league title winning manger of yesteryear is long gone now.

Former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho
Iconic. (Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Enjoyed this article? Let us know in the comments! And why not follow our socials? You can FollowLike and Subscribe to WD Sportz for more football news and updates.

Cover Photo (Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button