Former Manchester United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would be an ideal choice to “steady the ship” and “bring people together” at Old Trafford says ex-teammate Gary Neville.
The Red Devils parted ways with Jose Mourinho on Tuesday following a 3-1 loss to Liverpool on Sunday that effectively ended already slim Premier League title hopes.
The club subsequently stated that an external candidate would take the reins until the end of the season while the hunt for a permanent replacement commences and a prematurely published piece on United’s official website all-but-confirmed that it would be Norwegian forward Solskjaer.
The 45-year-old, who previously coached in the reserves at Carrington following his retirement, is currently the manager of Norwegian side Molde, in his second spell, while he also briefly led Cardiff City in 2014.
Speaking on his former clubmate, with whom he tasted Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League success, Neville feels that Solskjaer would be one of a number of suitable stop-gaps at Old Trafford, stating a preference for a former player who understands what it means to represent United.
“I would suggest that the person who goes in for the next six months is someone who can steady the ship,” the former defender told Sky Sports’ The Debate. “[He’s someone who] knows the club, can bring people together, understands the people in the club, the fans, the media and can bring the feel-good factor back.
“He fits that mould, and there's a number of other ex-players who would. At this moment in time, I can see where an interim appointment becomes someone who brings favour and goodwill, and he absolutely would. So would Laurent Blanc or Steve Bruce, as would Michael Carrick.
“They would have to just steady the ship, hold the fort until the end of the season and then Manchester United can go and get what they believe to be the next manager of this football club for the next five to six months.”
The expectation is that United will bring a long-term manager on board at the end of the season, but Neville acknowledged that any interim boss at the helm could land the position themselves full-time if they deliver a successful campaign.
“If they were to win the Champions League in the next five or six months, you say 'ok, leave them in charge!',” he added.
“But, with the understanding that you're restricting the background of the club from a technical and recruitment point of view, but you're also making sure the head coach that actually is the best in the world comes to the club.
“One thing the fans will not accept, those players who have flared up with the manager and you can't silence players, but their excuse is gone now. Now they have to perform.”