Zinedine Zidane the Favorite to Replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer


You’ve heard the expression “all bets are off,” right? Well that’s exactly where we are right now regarding Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. It’s quite clear that he’s out of his depth as United manager, something we have been saying for weeks, if not months. 

Yesterday brought an absolute nadir for him, as his side got totally shellacked 5-0 at home to rivals Liverpool. Paul Pogba got red-carded, but there were easily a couple more Red Devils that could have justifiably seen red as well.

That shows a serious lack of control and discipline, and that’s definitely on the manager.

And now reports are starting to circulate that he could indeed be sacked, possibly before the Tottenham Hotspur match next weekend. There are a few names being linked, but Zinedine Zidane is the favorite. The bookies have now suspended betting (hence “all bets are off”) on who the next United manager could be, with Zidane having seen his odds shortened significantly.

With the Frenchman backed at 3/1, according to Sky Bet, he leads the way, with Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers just behind him at 7/2.  Former Chelsea, Inter Milan and Juventus boss Antonio Conte is coming up in some media reports as the primary potential target of the United board.

zinedine zidane

The Italian is priced at 9/2, followed by Paris Saint-Germain Coach Mauricio Pochettino at 10/1 and Ajax’s Erik ten Hag at 16/1. As you might expect, Solskjaer is the favorite to be the next manager dismissed, with the very short odds of 1/4.

Zidane really seems to be the favorite among United fans, or at least among those who are very vocal about it on social media. The current free agent won three Champions League titles and two La Liga crowns while at Real Madrid. There are certainly questions about just how he would perform at a team lacking the resources and star players that Madrid too.

Obviously, these would not be issues at all here, as Old Trafford has spent a ton of money on top tier talent and Zidane has worked with a couple of them before. His relationship with Cristiano Ronaldo would be key here, and might be the x-factor that gets him the gig.

His relationship with Raphael Varane would help too. Among potential candidates, Zidane is the one with the best CV.

Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”

He has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and co-hosts the After Extra Time podcastFollow him on Twitter and Instagram. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram

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