Solskjaer to United: How Ferguson's successors have fared
With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer taking the Manchester United job permanently, we look at how Alex Ferguson's other successors have got on.
After making an immediate impact as caretaker manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has taken over the reins at Manchester United on a permanent basis.
Since replacing Jose Mourinho in December, the Norwegian has wasted little time revitalising the dynamic attacking play that characterised so much of legendary manager Alex Ferguson's time at the club – something that had been sorely missing since the Scot retired in 2013.
Ferguson, who won 65.2 per cent of his 810 Premier League games in charge, had appeared to leave the Red Devils in a healthy state, having just won the title by 11 points, but a series of managers have found stepping into his shoes a thankless task.
Here, we take a look at the men who have been in the Old Trafford hot seat since Ferguson's departure and assess their impact.
David Moyes: July 2013 – April 2014
After two decades of unrivalled success, the man to follow Ferguson was always on a hiding to nothing. Moyes did not help himself, though, alienating some of the club's most established players and failing to adopt his predecessor's swashbuckling style of football.
BREAKING: Manchester United announces that David Moyes has left the club. (part 1 of 2) #mufc— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 22, 2014
He was put out of his misery nine months into his tenure after winning just 50 per cent of his Premier League games at the helm.
Ryan Giggs: April 2014 – May 2014
United's record appearance holder took over from Moyes for the remaining four games of the 2013-14 season. He won two of them but suffered an embarrassing home defeat to relegation-threatened Sunderland – perhaps enough to convince United's hierarchy that he was not yet ready for the job on a permanent basis.
Louis van Gaal: July 2014 – May 2016
Van Gaal's football may not have inspired, but he lifted United back into the Champions League places in his first season before a slight slump in 2015-16.
6 - Manchester United's Champions League group stage performance under Van Gaal and Moyes. Comparison. pic.twitter.com/0ngp4Wqx6U— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 10, 2015
However, the Dutchman's record was only marginally better than Moyes', winning 51.3 per cent of his games and averaging 1.79 points - hardly title-contending form.
Jose Mourinho: May 2016 – December 2018
1.62 - Manchester United averaged 1.62 goals per game in the Premier League under Jose Mourinho, less than they did under David Moyes (1.65). Chosen. pic.twitter.com/QOYvLPuXN7— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 18, 2018
With the focus ultimately on success in cup competitions in his first campaign at Old Trafford, Mourinho could only guide United to sixth. But he bounced back with a second-place finish in his second term.
That season improved his numbers considerably and made him United's longest-serving manager (93 Premier League games) since Ferguson, yet a dismal start to 2018-19 saw him dismissed with a league win rate of a still far from convincing 53.8 per cent.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: December 2018 - present
The sample size is small at just 13 Premier League matches, but Solskjaer's record stands head and shoulders above the rest since his old boss Ferguson departed.
A mightily impressive 10 victories in 13 gives him a win rate of 76.9 per cent and a points-per-game average of 2.46. Such form over an extended period would see United tussling with rivals Manchester City and Liverpool.