Michael Carrick has been the assistant at Manchester United since 2018 (John Walton/PA)
Michael Carrick takes charge of his first game as Manchester United’s caretaker boss with the club looking for a ‘new manager bounce’ after sacking Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Saturday’s 4-1 defeat to Watford was the end of the road for the popular Solskjaer, leaving United with only three wins in their last 11 games and conceding goals at an alarming rate.
Here, the PA news agency looks at how United’s managers since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement have fared in their early games.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
The Norwegian was also appointed on a caretaker basis initially, succeeding Jose Mourinho in December 2018.
He quickly set about securing the job permanently, winning his first eight games in charge with 22 goals scored along the way – including an opening 5-1 win over Cardiff – in a welcome contrast to Mourinho’s defensive style.
While he failed to replicate that over the course of his near three-year reign, a similar initial impact from Carrick would be more than welcome.
Mourinho also started brightly, with four successive wins after arriving for the start of the 2016-17 season.
That run even included a trophy, courtesy of a 2-1 Community Shield win over Leicester in his opening game.
It quickly gave way to a three-game losing run, though, including a derby defeat to Manchester City, and he struggled to win over the fans during his two-and-a-half years in charge.
Louis Van Gaal
Defeat to Swansea at Old Trafford was not the initial impact United hoped for after turning to the Dutchman, who had won league titles in three different countries, but Wayne Rooney’s goal was in vain as Ki Sung-yueng and Gylfi Sigurdsson secured victory for the Welsh side.
There were further dropped points against Sunderland and Burnley either side of a 4-0 League Cup thumping at the hands of League One MK Dons, with Will Grigg and Benik Afobe scoring twice each against a team containing David De Gea, Jonny Evans, Anderson, Shinji Kagawa, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez.
QPR were dispatched 4-0 but otherwise, and with newly-promoted Leicester adding a 5-3 defeat to the list of failures, this was the opposite of a new manager bounce.
Serving only four games as caretaker manager, the club favourite began with a 4-0 thumping of Norwich thanks to two goals apiece from Rooney and Juan Mata.
Defeat to Sunderland and a win over Hull followed before he rounded out the season – and his brief reign – with a 1-1 draw against Southampton. Giggs was player-manager for that stretch but his on-field involvement was limited to 20 minutes as a substitute against Hull, the final match of his illustrious career.
The hand-picked successor to Ferguson, the early signs were promising for Moyes with a Community Shield win in his first game followed by a 4-1 win at Swansea, with Robin Van Persie scoring twice in each game.
Chelsea and Liverpool quickly provided a reality check, with a goalless draw against the former followed by a 1-0 loss at Anfield, and with City and West Brom adding to the pain United were 12th after six games.
Moyes would go on to be sacked before the end of his first season of a six-year deal, with Giggs taking temporary charge.
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