Man Utd chief John Murtough reveals why Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was axed after Watford shambles and plan for next boss

MANCHESTER UNITED’S football director John Murtough says a ‘turbulent’ few months hastened the departure of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The Old Trafford hierarchy were pleased with the start to the season and were happy with the man they had in charge – but things went ‘off plan’ in the autumn.

Due to the Norwegian’s standing at the club, they gave him every chance to put things right despite the worrying results.

And they did not want to be seen to be approaching other bosses behind the back of the man in the hotseat.

However it became clear after the 4-1 defeat to Watford that there had been no reaction from the players and a change had to be made.

Murtough also admitted it has been a tough eight years for the Red Devils trying to fill the shoes of legendary former boss Alex Ferguson.

David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Solskjaer have all tried – with experienced German Ralf Rangnick now in charge until the end of the season.

Explaining the decision to sack Solskjaer, Murtough told a forum of fans: “It’s certainly been a turbulent period since we last met in September.

Most read in Football


Spurs and West Ham fans in bloody clashes as baton-wielding cops intervene


Kelleher the Reds hero as Klopp's men into semis after penalties


Euro 96 star looks unrecognisable 25 years on from playing days – who is it?


Watch Mario Balotelli kick team-mate in HEAD as Man City icon celebrates goal

“We were all feeling optimistic at that time about the strong start to the season.

“There were grounds for confidence that we were going to continue building on the progress we saw in the prior two seasons.  

“But after the promising early-season results, things went off plan. 

“As a club, we felt Ole had earned the right to be given the chance to turn things round, but didn’t get a reaction after the international break, and the Watford game made it clear change was needed.  

“We’re all disappointed at Ole’s departure, but he deserves to be judged on his record over the past three years, not his last few weeks.  

“He re-set the club’s culture and reshaped the squad, leaving us in a stronger position today than when he returned in 2018.”

Murtough explained that United did not want to go looking for a successor to Solskjaer while he was still in a job.

That meant there were three matches when Michael Carrick – one of the former manager’s coaches – took charge.

Many critics suggested United did not seem to have a plan but Murtough said: “Out of respect for Ole, we did not approach other managers before he left.

“Our plan then was to appoint an experienced interim manager and Ralf was our clear first choice.  He’s someone I have admired for a long time, and we’re delighted he’s here.  

“It’s early days but there were positive signs in the Palace game and there’s still lots to play for this season in the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League.”

Rangnick has agreed to be the interim boss until the end of the season and will then ‘move upstairs’ into a consultancy role.

His arrival gives the United board the chance to do their research and appoint the right manager for the long-term.

Murtough added: “By bringing in Ralf, we can now take time to run a thorough process for our next permanent manager.

“Recruiting a manager is one of the most important decisions a football club makes so we want to do it in a careful and considered fashion.

“We have agreement with Ralf to stay on for a further two years in a consultancy role – allowing us to continue drawing on his expertise and advice to support our longer-term goals.”

Whoever does take charge will inherit the strongest United squad in years and a sound structure behind the scenes – according to the football director.

He said:  “As I referenced in September, strong foundations remain in place.  

“We have a football structure in place now, with my role and Darren’s as Technical Director, which provides stability through times of transition.

“Our recruitment process has been overhauled and the Academy strengthened, and our investments in these areas are going to bring long-term benefits.

“The past eight years have been turbulent at times but replacing Sir Alex was never going to be easy.  

“Ole got us heading in the right direction and now we’re looking to take the next steps on the journey back to success.

“We believe the first team squad is the strongest it has been since Sir Alex retired, and we have some fantastic young talent coming through.”

    Source: Read Full Article