The famous Red Devils haven’t had a good Premier League so far – one that can be compared to their former glory – and are currently stuck in the 5th position just below Chelsea, after they lost 2-1 to Wolves on the 2nd of April at Molineux Stadium. However, they do have a game in hand against Manchester City on the 24th of April so all hope is not lost and they might have a chance to play in next year’s Champions League.
It is safe to say that Manchester United has suffered at the hands of Jose Mourinho, former manager of Man United, and this has affected their game a lot. They were unhappy with a lack of progress in form, style of play and development of their young players.
However, things seem to be looking good again for the team under the management of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. After a tremendous “honeymoon” period, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s good fortune wasn’t going to last forever and it deserted him on a wintry night at Molineux as his Manchester United side slipped to a third defeat in four games.
It seems that the Red Devils still haven’t quite found their footing yet but fans remain hopeful and positive and pray that the world class players find their grip once again. The team has had some pretty impactful coaches, that have changed Man United for the better or worse. From the beginning of the team’s managerial records to the start of the 2018-19 season, Manchester United have had 22 full-time managers.
Atkinson replaced Dave Sexton in 1981 and was able to rekindle the club’s cup success, leading them to two FA cups in his five-year tenure. He oversaw a respectable series of games and seemed to have a great impact on the team. Unfortunately, he was sacked after his disastrous start to the 1986-87 season in which they bowed out of the League Cup in a fourth round replay defeat at Southampton.
Atkinson was replaced by the legendary Alex Ferguson in 1986 and remained with Man United for 26 successful years. He won 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups, and two UEFA Champions League titles. Although, he was credited with the distinction of making some of the most shrewd purchaces like Peter Schmeichel and Eric Cantona – each for less than £1.5 million. With these signings, along with the club’s many experienced players, Ferguson brought back the title to Old Trafford for the first time in 26 years. In the following decade, he won the Premier League title another six times, including a hat-trick of titles from 1999 to 2001, a feat that no other manager has yet achieved with the same club. In 2008-09, Ferguson guided United to another Premier League title, making Manchester United the only club and him the only manager to have won the English league title three times in a row twice.
Former Everton manager, Moyes, replaced Ferguson after his retirement in 2013. In his first match, Moyes gave United their 20th Community Shield and his first trophy as United manager. However, after failing to lead the club to Champions League qualification, he was sacked before the end of his first season. With Ryan Giggs taking temporary charge for the final four games of the 2013–14 season, the club embarrassingly finished seventh which turned out to be their lowest league finish since the establishment of the Premier League.
Louis Van Gaal was replaced by Jose Mourinho, two-time European champion and former Chelsea boss on 27th May 2016. Van Gaal, although having lifted the FA cup in victory just days before, was sacked by the board as they decided any significant progress wasn’t made. Mourinho won the EFL Cup and the UEFA Europa League in his first season, but failed to achieve any trophies in 2017-18 and was sacked on the 18th of December 2018. United was apparently concerned that Mourinho’s ego was jeopardising the harmony at the club, where he stripped Paul Pogba of the second captain’s role in September. A recent team meeting was also cited by a player as the tipping point in the squad’s relationship with Mourinho. His fractured relationship with Paul Pogba, world-class player for Man United, seemed to anticipate the board sacking him.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was appointed as caretaker manager for the rest of the season, but now has a three year contract as permanent manager. On 19 January 2019, Solskjær won his seventh out of seven games in charge of United, a new club record. He stated, “Manchester United is in my heart and it’s brilliant to be coming back in this role. I’m really looking forward to working with the very talented squad we have, the staff and everyone at the club.” A recent interview with Danny Murphy reveals that “he will have to secure wins against the likes of Man City and Liverpool to prove he’s got the credentials for the job beyond doubt” and although his honeymoon period is over, fans still believe he is a legend who can unite the club.