Man Utd: Solskjaer urges team to use Europa pain to rebuild
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Some Manchester United fans want Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sacked following the club’s Europa League final defeat to Villarreal on Wednesday night. And while that seems unlikely to happen, it’s time to look at potential replacements for the 48-year-old should the Glazers decide to wield the axe. A new contract, as things stand, doesn’t appear the formality it did mere weeks ago.
Antonio Conte quit Inter Milan on Wednesday, despite guiding the club to a first Scudetto in 11 years.
So, with that the case, the Italian would definitely be an attractive proposition.
Conte is a serial winner, having won league titles with Inter, Chelsea and Juventus during his glittering spell in management.
It was previously reported the 51-year-old wanted to manage United, with the job greatly appealing to him.
And if Solskjaer were to get the boot, Conte would surely be top of the Glazers’ list of potential replacements.
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Towards the end of Jose Mourinho’s time in charge, United were strongly linked with Zinedine Zidane.
The Frenchman was available, having left Real Madrid after winning the Champions League in 2018, and was seen by many as the perfect replacement for Mourinho.
In the end that didn’t happen, with United choosing to replace Mourinho with Solskjaer while Zidane headed back to Real Madrid.
Fast forward to now, however, and the 48-year-old is back on the market.
Zidane has announced he’s leaving Real Madrid and, as a three-time Champions League winner, he’d definitely be another contender to take over.
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Pragmatism isn’t something United would want from their next manager after Solskjaer.
But Massimiliano Allegri’s CV suggests any stylistic sacrifice would be worth it when it comes to winning trophies.
Allegri is the frontrunner to replace Zidane at Real Madrid, having stayed out of work since leaving Juventus two years ago.
But if he decides to turn the job down, which is still a possibility, that would make him worthy of consideration.
Allegri has won trophies at both Juventus and AC Milan over in Italy – and may fancy his chances of guiding United to the top of the table.
A fourth and final name United would have to think about should they sack Solskjaer would be Leicester’s Brendan Rodgers.
The Northern Irishman has done well throughout his time with the Foxes, guiding them to FA Cup glory.
And, though they’ve bottled the chance to play Champions League football twice under Rodgers, he’s still regarded as one of the best managers in the Premier League.
He’d bring a plan to the club, with all of Rodgers’ sides known for their attacking football.
And he could be the key when it comes to getting a tune out of the best players currently at Solskjaer’s disposal.
Solskjaer reacts to chastening night
Solskjaer has reacted to a drab night at the office for United, admitting players within the dressing room were disappointed in the aftermath of the contest.
“It’s quiet, a disappointed dressing room. That’s football for you,” he said.
“Sometimes it’s decided on one kick – and that’s the difference between winning and losing.
“We have to learn from that one, not savour this feeling but taste this feeling and make sure we don’t get it again.
“We didn’t turn up. We didn’t play as well as we know we can. We started alright and they got the goal, their only shot on target. We were disappointed to concede a goal on a set play.
“We pushed, we pressed, we got a goal. After we scored we didn’t control the game or dominate as we wanted.
“They made it hard for us, they closed spaces. We had the majority of possession. They defended well. We didn’t create enough big chances.
“Now is not the time to point the finger at what I’d have done differently. But when you come out without the trophy you haven’t done everything right.
“We’re getting closer and closer and better. We were one kick away from a trophy and a good night.
“We have to have the desire to come back next year and improve. The only way to get the margins your side is to work harder and better.”
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