Any ex-player “would like to manage Man Utd” – but Solskjaer’s stress obvious

Dimitar Berbatov believes the stress of the Manchester United job is taking its toll on Ole Gunner Solskjaer, but says any former player would jump at the chance to manage the Red Devils.

Despite the club's failure to win a Premier League title since the days of Sir Alex Ferguson, the Old Trafford job is still one of the most coveted positions in world football.

Red Devils great Solskjaer was handed the reins in 2018 following the sacking of Jose Mourinho, but after a promising first 18 months, his tenure is beginning to unravel after a poor run of form.

The under-fire boss is favourite to be the next top-flight manager sacked, and former United ace Berbatov believes the pressure and stress of the job is starting to tell on the Norwegian's face.

"You ask any ex-footballers about if they would like to manage Manchester United, they'll say, 'probably, yes' – I make no exception," Berbatov told Betfair.

"The funny thing is I was watching Ole's interview after the game and then out of curiosity I checked a picture of him on his first day at United, man, you can see the difference in the grey hairs, the face and everything.

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"You can see the stress and expectation is taking its toll. That's a very stressful position where you have to have the DNA to be in a position like this, where you live with that. Jurgen Klopp for example, Klopp is built for something like this, being in moments like this, Pep Guardiola as well.

"You need to be a special human being to manage one of the biggest clubs in the world, but of course, everybody would like to give it a try because they're thinking, 'I can do it better'."

Following a tricky run of games against Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham, things don't get much easier for United after the international break.

The Red Devils face Watford next Saturday, before a daunting trip to Chelsea and a tricky home fixture against old rivals Arsenal at the start of December.

If Solskjaer can come through those three with his job still in tact, United have a more straightforward run of matches against Crystal Palace, Norwich, Brentford and Brighton.

While the under-fire boss may be favourite in the Premier League sack race, Betfair have him at 5/6 (56%) to still be on his job on Boxing Day, with 21/20 (48%) about him to be sacked before then.

Betfair spokesperson Sam Rosbottom said: "The odds are in favour at 56% likelihood on the Betfair Exchange of Ole staying in a job until Christmas, due to the time being afforded to him by the club's owners to turn fortunes around, and the Red Devils' relatively easy run of fixtures in November and December – except perhaps for Chelsea away.

"However, the fact that he is still 48% likely to be sacked by Christmas in a close betting market suggests that the end could be nigh for the Norwegian if he oversees one or two poor results in such a period of winnable games."

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