Paul Ince: Solskjær as caretaker is madness – it should be Steve Bruce

Man United star Paul Ince has his say on the Solskjær rumours and slams the club on the manner of Jose Mourinho’s sacking…


Manchester United being forced to get a caretaker manager in December looks completely weak and embarrassing. It’s amateur.

It’s a sign of the times of where the club is that they think sacking Jose with no replacement lined up is a good idea.

Is it player power that’s forced this decision? I wouldn’t be surprised.

Gone are the Sir Alex Ferguson times where a manager will last 25 years. Now, you’ll be lucky if they last three at United.

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The caretaker manager should have an understanding of Man United, and if you look at who has links to the club but is external, that doesn’t leave many realistic options. You’d look at someone who has managed at a decent level, and knows it inside out.

The suggestion of Ole Gunnar Solskjær makes me laugh, that has to be a joke. It’s absolute madness.

This season has been a complete shambles. It’s been like a soap opera, and Man United have gone backwards.

Jose Mourinho had to go, it’s surprising that they’ve done it so soon though. I’d understand if they had someone else lined up and ready to appoint, but now they’re talking about a caretaker manager.

If you haven’t got someone ready for the job, why sack Mourinho?

Give it Bruce till the end of the season

If you’re picking someone for the caretaker manager, I believe they’d got to have managed previously and have a deep understanding of what it means to be at Man United.

It’s got to be someone who’ll galvanize the players, and someone who they’ll respect. It seems there was a lack of that under Mourinho.

They have to have the character and presence to put demands on the players, at the minute they’re seemingly doing what they like. It has to be someone who understands what it takes to turn the club around.

If it was me? I’d pick Steve Bruce today.

He’s not working at the moment, and he had seven or eight years at the club. He’s been a very good, successful manager and he more than many understands what it’s like to be a United player.

Yes, he’s been sacked, but we’ve all been sacked before.

Whether he wants to go as a caretaker manager, I don’t know. But, I could genuinely see him coming in on a caretaker basis, turning United around and being offered a full-time contract.

He’s got as good a chance as anyone of doing well at the club.

He’d be the ideal selection to steady the ship until the end of the season. He’d be able to manage the players in no time. Between him and Solskjaer there’s no comparison.

Plus, I’d love it to be someone English, and someone who United fans through the ages immediately recognise and say ‘I remember Steve Bruce, what a player he was.’

The only other caretaker candidate I’d choose would be Roy Keane. He’d knock those players into shape in no time, he’s managed, and he’s familiar with the club.

Would Poch want it?

For me, whoever comes in permanently has to play football in the right style. David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho are all good managers, but they have never played the United way.

That points me to one obvious choice, Mauricio Pochettino. His brand of football is exactly what Man United need, and it would allow them to compete with the likes of Liverpool and Man City.

It’s about keeping up with the Joneses, and he’d be able to change the way they play football so that we see the old United style again.

The major issue with Pochettino is, realistically, will he even want to go to Man United? Will he not be thinking, I could hold on and go to Real Madrid or Barcelona? Let’s be honest, the club is in a mess.

Whoever comes in is inheriting a wreck and it’s whether Pochettino would want that hassle.

It doesn’t always have to be the biggest name, as we’ve seen with Mourinho, that often doesn’t work. They just need to give the players and the fans what they want – that classic United attacking football.

There are deep-rooted issues at the club, and right now it’s about steadying a sinking ship. If it was me, and I had been appointed caretaker manager, the first thing I would do is get the leaders of the changing room in.

I’d want to know exactly what’s wrong with them, is it an issue at the club or is it their attitude which is causing them to behave the way they are?

You can’t solve the problem until you know what’s wrong.

Nowadays you’ve got to make the players feel powerful and important, and that’s what this new manager will need to do, and could have been one of Jose’s downfalls. It’s obvious he didn’t get along with most of them.

Then, for me, it’s about getting those players enjoying themselves again. Most of them look completely miserable, when they’re at one of the biggest clubs in the world.

It’s about getting smiles back on their faces.

But what I would say is, now Mourinho has gone, those players no longer have any excuses. They can’t blame him for their poor performances anymore.

The responsibility is all on them now to turn their fortunes around, it’ll be interesting to see who steps up and who doesn’t now that they don’t have him to blame.

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What do you think?