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John Giles identifies the two men who could replace Solskjaer

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

20:34 27 May 2021


John Giles believes that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has failed to cast Manchester United into his own image and has identified two potential replacements for the Norwegian.

United fell at the final hurdle in the Europa League, losing on penalties to Villarreal in a match that United were heavily-fancied to win.

Giles believes that the United hierarchy will stick with Solskjaer but only because he is a compliant sort of character.

Solskjaer

"I don't think they'd want anyone else in apart from Solskjaer - I don't believe Solskjaer is in charge of that particular situation and is not going to make a fuss about it," Giles told Off The Ball.

"I don't see Solskjaer as a real leader, I really don't. I think he is a good lad, a very nice lad that has done reasonably well but I don't think he is in charge of the buying and selling. Even in the lead-up to the game, and he was talking about the 'destiny' of it being Matt Busby's birthday and the final he played in.

"That is nonsense talk. There is no destiny because something happened twenty years ago is not going to affect the game in any way whatsoever last night. He is the leader now, Ferguson and Busby had their day - you have to emulate them.

"You don't get anywhere by going back 22 years in my opinion. I think he's done the best he can, but he doesn't have that steel that is needed at Manchester United."

Giles drew contrast with Solskjaer's former boss, Alex Ferguson.

"You have to respect what's gone before but you have to get on with the job. I don't think he's leading the club in a way that managers would. Ferguson was a hard nut, he did ruthless things, but he never said he was emulating Matt Busby. I don't think Solskjaer has that."

Replacements

Giles had two men in mind when it comes to replacing Solskjaer, should it come to pass.

"If I were Manchester United, I would go for [Antonio] Conte tomorrow. I have also said in public that if I were in a position to do so at Manchester United, I would go for Bielsa at Leeds.

"What Bielsa has done at Leeds is remarkable with the players he has at his disposal. If Bielsa went to Manchester United and had Fernandes and Rashford and these terrific players [...] he would be sensational.

"Conte went to Chelsea and won the league and the cup in two seasons. There was complaints about him from the players that training was too hard and they got rid of him.

"He has just won the league again, Juventus have dominated there for ten years. He is a hard nut but all the great managers have been regarded as hard nuts, none more so than Alex Ferguson. He was definitely in charge of the whole situation."

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