Ole Gunnar Solskjaer right now: “Thanks, Wayne…”
After six-straight wins in all competitions to kick off his time in charge of Manchester United, Solskjaer is being touted by many to lead the Red Devils on a permanent basis after this season is over.
His former teammate Wayne Rooney has another, very predictable, name in mind.
In an interview with ESPN, the current D.C. United forward urged his former club to make Pochettino their long-term manager.
“First of all you have to give Ole an opportunity and that’s a discussion that has to take place with the Glazers,” Rooney said. “But if I had the opportunity to appoint someone, I’d go all out for Pochettino. I think Manchester United – certainly over the last 20, 30 years, since Alex Ferguson – have based themselves on youth players, young players, bringing players through. I think [Pochettino] gets the best out of his players whether they are younger or older. You see some of the young players he has brought through at Tottenham, at Southampton that have gone on to play for the national team, so I think he ticks every box in terms of his quality as a coach, but also his willingness to give youth a chance.”
He, along with everyone else who points to Pochettino as the favorite, has a valid point.
Pochettino is the standout choice to transform United on and off the pitch long-term but if Solskjaer keeps winning, surely he will be handed the reins on a permanent basis at the end of this season?
Prying Poch from Spurs will be tough as Daniel Levy will no doubt ask for a huge fee to allow the Argentine coach to leave the north London club, but the fact that Pochettino has yet to categorically rule himself out of the United job shows that there is a chance this will happen.
Pochettino seems happy at Spurs and he believes this young group can get even better with a new stadium leading to new potential in the years to come.
But Manchester United is Manchester United. Pochettino, like any manager, is ambitious and this may be his one and only chance to manage them.
Expect plenty of United legends to come out and echo Rooney’s views between now and the end of the season. The best way for United to hire Pochettino is for Spurs to have a dramatic drop-off in the second half of the campaign and for Solskjaer to do okay without finishing in the top four.