Reports: Solskjaer to be Man United’s interim boss

Leave a comment

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer dug Manchester United out of many deep holes by scoring late goals in his playing days at Old Trafford.

[ MORE: Mourinho fired by United ] 

And now it appears United are turning to the Norwegian to rescue them once again.

Multiple outlets are reporting that current Molde manager Solskjaer will be appointed as United’s interim boss until the end of the current season after Jose Mourinho was fired Tuesday.

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is believed to be United’s first-choice target but the Red Devils believe there is no chance of Spurs chairman Daniel Levy allowing Pochettino to leave mid-season. Laurent Blanc is also said to be in the running for the interim position alongside Solskjaer.

[ MORE: Bookies odds on new manager ] 

With Michael Carrick taking training for the next few days, United have said an interim boss will be appointed in the next 48 hours and lead them until the end of the 2018-19 campaign.

It is believed that will give executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward time to totally rebuild the soccer operations at the club, with Mourinho said to not want to work under a technical director or other recruitment chiefs.

Solskjaer, 45, has had two successful spells in Norway’s top-flight in charge of Molde (winning the league twice and the cup in his first spell) but his move to the Premier League with Cardiff City in 2014 didn’t end well as the Bluebirds were relegated as the former United star arrived for the final months of the season.

[ MORE: Pochettino talks about United rumors

Why would Solskjaer leave Molde for an interim role at United? Quite simply, he loves the club. He was the reserve team manager at United from 2008-11 and is hugely respected by everyone behind the scenes.

Nicknamed ‘the baby-faced assassin’ during his playing days due to his clinical finishing, Solskjaer is a fans favorite. He scored 126 goals in 366 games for United, many of which came after coming on as a sub late in games, and won six Premier League titles, two FA Cups and a UEFA Champions League. He famously scored the winner in the UCL final for United against Bayern Munich in Barcelona in 1999.

Whoever takes over at United, it is all about creating a positive mood after the Mourinho era and trying to chip away at the current 11-point gap between themselves in sixth place and the top four.

The expectations for Solskjaer, or whoever takes charge for the rest of the season, are low and that could be a very attractive proposition as this group of players were clearly underperforming for Mourinho.

Leeds, Bielsa win Fair Play honor FIFA’s The Best awards

Photo by Alex Dodd - CameraSport via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Well this is peak FIFA.

Football’s governing body has just awarded Leeds United and much-admired manager Marcelo Bielsa its FIFA Fair Play award at its 2019 The Best awards ceremony in Milan.

[ MORE: Klopp wins manager award ]

The reason the Whites won the award is understandable, if you just ignore the fact that they were publicly caught cheating months earlier… and that the “fair play” moment came after an extremely questionable play which led to a brawl.

The win comes for Bielsa’s decision in late April, when his player Mateusz Klich scored a goal despite Aston Villa’s Jonathan Kodija being injured on the pitch.

Bielsa instructed his players to allow Villa to tie the match after a post-goal fight saw a red card to Anwar El Ghazi.

Fair play? Sure, and Leeds kissed goodbye its slim hopes of finishing in automatic promotion place in the Championship.

However, Leeds was also caught monitoring Derby County training sessions, leading to Bielsa to admit in January that he had spied “all the rivals” that season.

I mean, who were the other nominees? Jose Callejon and the Turkish player who fouled players with a sharp object during play?

Bielsa admitted this during an extraordinary Powerpoint session for media members in England which showed the maniacal depths of his preparation, which curried a lot of favor with the media and fans.

Yes, even though he admitted Leeds cheated the whole season.

He also said, “I thought I wasn’t violating the norm,” which is ridiculous.

Now of course we should be too pious, either; A whole lot of teams cheat in this way and football is a cutthroat game. Bielsa is a managerial legend and loved by Pep Guardiola, Mauricio Pochettino, and Jorge Sampaoli.

Jurgen Klopp wins FIFA’s The Best men’s manager

MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Jurgen Klopp has been named the top manager in the world for the past season at FIFA’s The Best awards ceremony on Monday in Milan, Italy.

The UEFA Champions League-winning manager beat out Premier League winner Pep Guardiola of Manchester City and UCL finalist Mauricio Pochettino of Spurs.

[ WATCH: FIFA’s The Best awards ceremony ]

Klopp, of course, was magnanimous in victory.

 “It is great, nobody expected this 20, 10, five, four years ago that I would be standing here,” Klopp said. “We know what an incredible job Mauricio Pochettino did and what Pep did.”

He thanked the owners and players of his club.

“To the owners thank you, they gave me an incredible team. I have to thank my team – as a coach you can only be as good as your team is. I’m really proud of being manager of such an incredible bunch of players. This is an individual prize, I don’t 100% understand individual prizes, I’m here for a lot of people.”

Good for Klopp.

Watch Live: FIFA’s The Best awards 2019

Getty Images
Leave a comment

FIFA’s The Best awards ceremony takes place in Milan, Italy on Tuesday as the top players and managers on the planet will be crowned.

The ceremony starts at 2:30 p.m. ET and you can watch it live online in Spanish via Telemundo Deportes (click on the link below).

WATCH LIVE ONLINE HERE

Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo are the three nominees to be crowned the best male player on the planet.

USWNT duo Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan are up for the top female award, as is England’s Lucy Bronze.

Outgoing USWNT head coach Jill Ellis is the favorite to land the award for the best coach in the women’s game, while Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino are all among the candidates to be named the best managers in the men’s game.

Click on the link above to watch the glitzy ceremony from Milan as plenty of other awards, like the Puskas Award for the best goal scored in the world, will be dished out.

Premier League player Power Rankings

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Matchweek 6 produced some stunning displays across the Premier League, with big wins, comebacks and late drama across plenty of games.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Players from Liverpool, Man City and Leicester City dominate our rankings, while the likes of West Ham and Bournemouth are also well represented. There are also plenty of new entries among our top 20.

Remember: this is a list of the top 20 performing players right now in the Premier League. If they didn’t play in the last matchweek, they aren’t getting in this list!

Let us know in the comments section below if you agree with the selections.


1. Kevin De Bruyne (Man City) – New entry
2. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) – Even
3. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) – Up 13
4. James Maddison (Leicester) – Up 16
5. Joel Matip (Liverpool) – New entry
6. Bernardo Silva (Man City) – New entry
7. N’Golo Kante (Chelsea) – New entry
8. Steve Cook (Bournemouth) – New entry
9. Caglar Soyuncu (Leicester) – New entry
10. Fernandinho (Man City) – New entry
11. Fikayo Tomori (Chelsea) – New entry
12. Mark Noble (West Ham) – New entry
13. Virgil Van Dijk (Liverpool) – Even
14. Mason Mount (Chelsea) – Down 10
15. Callum Wilson (Bournemouth) – Even
16. Aaron Ramsdale (Bournemouth) – Up 3
17. Andriy Yarmolenko (West Ham) – New entry
18. Chris Wood (Burnley) – New entry
19. Matteo Guendouzi (Arsenal) – New entry
20. Jamie Vardy (Leicester) – New entry