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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s managerial prediction at Man United could come true



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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked from Manchester United in November 2021 but has since made a bold prediction in relation to the difficult position.

Solskjaer, 50, was in charge at Old Trafford for around three years and there is contrasting opinion about how his tenure was. Some believed there was solid progression until that last season, whilst others doubted the Norweigan’s ability over the long term.

Following the club’s decision to sack the former striker, it was assisted coach and ex-midfielder Michael Carrick who took the reigns for three games before United could bring in an interim option.

Carrick helped United navigate through three difficult games without a loss. His side won 2-0 and 3-2 against Villarreal and Arsenal, respectively, with a 1-1 draw against Chelsea in between.

Following the third and final game of his caretaker role, Carrick left the club in search of opportunities in the hot seat in his own right, with Ralf Rangnick’s appointment already having been made.

11 months later, after a short break from the game, Carrick was appointed as Middlesborough manager in November 2022. The Championship club were 21st in the league at that point.

Carrick won 13 of his first 18 league fixtures in charge of Boro and propelled them towards the play-off positions.

Whilst defeat in the semi-finals of the play-offs against Coventry City was unfortunate, Carrick has since proven that it wasn’t a simple one-season job for him at the club.

In his second term in charge at the Riverside stadium, Carrick’s side sits in 12th place but are only four points away from the playoffs after a difficult start to the campaign, following losses such as Chuba Akpom to Ajax and Sam Greenwood back to Leeds following his loan.

More important, however, is the success that Carrick and his side have shown in cup competitions. They are one leg away from the Carabao Cup final after their first leg 1-0 victory against Chelsea in the semi-finals. The Championship side completely outplayed the £1 billion-worth team.

They also provided strong competition to Aston Villa, one of the most in-form teams in Europe, in the FA Cup third round. It took an 87th-minute goal from Matty Cash to ensure the win for the Premier League outfit.

Solskjaer, who worked closely with Carrick during his United tenure, spoke glowingly of his former coach to The Athletic back in May last year and even predicted that he could end up at Old Trafford again, if he wants it.

“At United, I’d sometimes see Michael talk to the players. Some of these were ex-team-mates of his, which isn’t easy, but he had an authority about him. I am 100 per cent sure that Michael will be the manager of Manchester United if he wants to be,” Solskjaer said.

“Michael is a proper human being, a proper man who you want to be successful. There’s no shit about him, he does what he does for the right reasons.

“He’s a winner, a massive winner, yet he stays in control of his emotions. He knows what he wants and doesn’t lose his rag. He’ll never be emotional and fight with the players.

“He’s knowledgeable, he’s hard-working. When I was at United in 2018, I have to say that Michael and Kieran were usually in the office before me. They were meticulous, looking at every detail.”

Perhaps the comments from Solskjaer appeared premature then. But Carrick is making his way as a manager the correct way right now, and impressing tremendously.

Whether or not he does eventually end up at United is unknown, but it might not be as crazy a possibility as first thought.