Boss Richie Wellens likened Ruel Sotiriou to former Manchester United super-sub Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after Leyton Orient’s thrilling 4-3 win over Northampton.

The Os had suffered their first defeat in nine matches against Barnsley on Saturday but immediately returned to winning ways in this absorbing encounter.

Wellens, back in the technical area after serving a three-match ban, watched Orient take the lead on three separate occasions through Ollie O’Neill, Shaq Forde and Sotiriou only for Marc Leonard, Kieron Bowie and Tyreece Simpson to cancel out each goal.

But the defining strike came from substitute Sotiriou, who took his league tally for the season into double figures with his second of the night and the winner deep into added time.

“I love Ruel Sotirou when he comes on as a sub and whilst he doesn’t like it, he really does remind me of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer when he comes off the bench,” said Wellens. “He smells areas and he’s a brilliant sub.

“It was a brilliant night and a brilliant performance – full of young, exciting, talented players, full of energy, and it would have been a travesty had we not won it.

“Northampton can be a threat as we saw but we dominated the game. We had 19 shots and they had three and every one of theirs went in.

“At times we ran Northampton ragged. Our rotations were fantastic. We got our full-backs to push on and they changed to a (midfield) diamond but we kept going and for me I thought we were really dominant throughout.

“We’ve played Northampton several times in my tenure and every game has been tough. For me their team is a symbol which represents their manager, Jon Brady. Loads of energy and never give up.”

Brady was frustrated after his side’s repeated fightbacks came to nothing.

“I’m more disappointed to concede the number of goals we did after we fought hard to come back the way we did. To come away with nothing is disappointing,” he said.

“We were really stretched today so to show the character and spirit the way we did and not give up and keep coming back was a really strong part of our game today but we needed to see it out.

“We have a lot of inconsistencies with injuries but it is what it is. To score three goals away from home and come away with nothing is really hard to take.

“I thought first half we looked jaded but second half we came out after just scoring before half-time but I expected us to close it out. I expect us to be better than that.

“We could have won 4-3 at the end and another occasion Mitch Pinnock scores and that breaks them, but unfortunately we were the ones today who felt that sucker punch.”

Erik ten Hag has blamed injuries for ruining Donny van de Beek’s spell at Manchester United and insisted his experience should not put off other players from signing for the club.

Van de Beek, 26, has joined Eintracht Frankfurt on loan until the end of the season, having failed to establish himself under any of three different managers – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Ralf Rangnick and Ten Hag – at United since joining from Ajax in the summer of 2020.

The £35million midfielder made only 23 starts during his three and a half years at Old Trafford, and already spent time away on loan when he joined Everton for the second half of the 2021-22 campaign, again being limited by injuries at Goodison Park.

Ten Hag worked with Van de Beek at Ajax but hopes that a reunion in Manchester might revive the midfielder’s fortunes proved misplaced.

“He has had many injuries, first of all,” Ten Hag said. “From the first moment I came in here at Manchester United, he wasn’t the player he was at Ajax because he was injured. So many times he was not available and then he struggled for a long time to recover from that injury.

“That is probably the main reason why he was not playing. We decided for a loan in the summer but it didn’t come and then his opportunities are few because also we make appointments and we make agreements with players and contract players in that position. The competition was high.”

Van de Beek is among a number of players who have joined United in big-money deals in recent seasons but then struggled to live up to the billing, with £72million winger Jadon Sancho also close to leaving on loan in this transfer window after a public falling out with Ten Hag.

But asked if others might look at Van de Beek’s experience and be wary of moving to Old Trafford, Ten Hag disagreed.

“That is always on those players and how much confidence you have in your capabilities,” he said. “But I can tell you one thing – the Premier League is tough. Man United, that is tough to play there because it’s more easy to play in almost any other team than Man United because the pressure is that high always.

“You have to deal with that. But if you have confidence in yourself, this is the best challenge and this is definitely the best club you want to be at as a player. It depends on player to player, and it depends especially on the character of the player, their personality.”

Ten Hag will take his United side to Wigan on Monday night for their FA Cup third-round tie.

Andre Onana will be in the squad and should also be available to face Tottenham next weekend before joining up late with Cameroon for the Africa Cup of Nations.

But Onana’s back-up Altay Bayindir is yet to make his debut after a summer move from Fenerbahce and the trip to the DW Stadium could be an opportunity to give the Turkey goalkeeper a taste of first-team action before he is needed more regularly.

Ten Hag insisted he had confidence in all of his goalkeepers despite the decision not to use Bayindir in the Carabao Cup before Christmas.

“At some point Andre will go,” he said. “We are totally happy and we constructed this group of keepers because we are comfortable with this. We have confidence in them both and both are very good goalkeepers, both experienced at the highest levels.

“I think we can have a lot of belief that we have coverage, but not only coverage but competition between two or three. We are sure that if Andre has to go that we are good, we are in a good place and have a good replacement to fill that gap.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was appointed Cardiff manager on this day in 2014.

The former Manchester United striker had been Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman’s first choice candidate, despite his relatively limited managerial experience with Norwegian club Molde.

He replaced the sacked Malky Mackay, who was was dismissed six days earlier after a series of disputes with club owner Vincent Tan.

Solskjaer, then aged 40, denied he had reservations about working with Tan, or that his former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson had advised him to turn down the job.

“I have had good contact with the gaffer (Ferguson),” he said. “He has wished me all the best and given me some good advice as he always does.

“When you worked for him you could ask him for advice and I had a good conversation with him.

“It is absolute nonsense (that he told me to turn down Cardiff). I go into this with my eyes open and I want the fans to be proud of us when we go on the pitch.”

Solskjaer took over a Cardiff side sitting a single point above the Premier League drop zone.

The Bluebirds suffered relegation at the end of the season after finishing bottom of the table following just just three wins from 18 top-flight fixtures under the Norwegian.

Solskjaer was sacked in September 2014 – less than nine months after his appointment – with the club 17th in the Championship.

Former Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has conceded the club’s re-signing of Cristiano Ronaldo “turned out wrong”.

Solskjaer was in charge when United brought the five-time Ballon d’Or winner back to Old Trafford amid much optimism and fanfare in August 2021.

At the time the transfer was viewed as a coup that could potentially fuel a Premier League title challenge.

Yet things soon unravelled as the team struggled and Solskjaer was sacked in November that year.

Ronaldo left the club in acrimonious fashion 12 months later.

Solskjaer told The Athletic: “It was about taking the next step to challenge for the title. And, unfortunately, it just didn’t work out.

“It was a decision that was very difficult to turn down and I felt we had to take it, but it turned out wrong.

“It felt so right when he signed and the fans felt that at that Newcastle game (when he scored twice), when Old Trafford was rocking. He was still one of the best goalscorers in the world, he was looking strong.”

But he added: “When you have a group you need everyone to pull in the same direction. When things didn’t go right, you could see certain players and egos came out.”

Solskjaer was also the manager when the club signed England defender Harry Maguire in the summer of 2019.

The Norwegian feels the recent criticism, and even ridiculing of Maguire, has been very unfair.

He said: “Harry Maguire – it’s a disgrace that he’s getting so much abuse. I feel sorry for him, but he’s a strong lad and I hope it turns for him.

“He raised our defence big time when he arrived and lifted the mood around the place.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ended his decorated playing career on this day in 2007.

The Manchester United striker, 34 at the time, had seen the final four years of his career ravaged by knee injuries.

“I would like to thank manager Sir Alex Ferguson, the coaching and medical staff and most of all the supporters,” Solskjaer said.

“They have been fantastic and were a real inspiration to me when I was out injured.”

He joined United from Molde for £1.5m in 1996 and the former Norway international made 366 appearances for United, scoring 126 goals.

He also won six Premier League titles, the FA Cup and, most famously, the 1999 Champions League.

Solskjaer came off the bench against Bayern Munich at the Nou Camp to score an injury-time winner to earn a dramatic 2-1 victory.

After retiring, Solskjaer remained at Old Trafford as a coach and took over their reserves in 2008.

Two years later he joined Molde, winning two league titles, before moving to Cardiff. He was unable to save the Bluebirds from relegation from the Premier League and lasted just nine months in Wales.

A return to Molde followed in 2015 and in 2018 he was appointed United’s caretaker manager after the dismissal of Jose Mourinho.

In March 2019 he was made their permanent boss but struggled for consistency during his reign, despite securing second and third-placed Premier League finishes.

United lost the 2021 Europa League final to Villarreal and the following November Solskjaer was sacked, having only signed a new three-year deal in June.

The Cristiano Ronaldo saga at Manchester United is finally over. The forward's bombshell interview with Piers Morgan always looked likely to hasten his departure from Old Trafford, an event which came to pass on Tuesday. 

In a wide-ranging conversation, Ronaldo told Morgan he had been "betrayed" by senior figures at United and, perhaps most shockingly of all, that he had no respect for manager Erik ten Hag.

Asked if he felt he was being forced out of United, Ronaldo said: "Yes, not only by the coach, but by another two or three guys around the club that I felt betrayed me.

"I shouldn't say that [they were trying to get rid of me], I don't know, but yes, I feel betrayed. I felt that some people didn't want me here not only this year, but last year too."

If Ronaldo's exit was truly desired by the United hierarchy, they got their wish when the mutual termination of his contract was announced on Tuesday. 

How did it get to this point? Let's look back at Ronaldo's tumultuous second spell with the club with whom he made his name.

August 27, 2021: United announce an agreement with Juventus to bring Ronaldo back to Old Trafford, reportedly beating Manchester City to the five-time Ballon d'Or winner's signature. On August 31, a two-year deal with an option for a third season is completed.

September 11, 2021: His second debut sees Ronaldo face Newcastle United at home, and he marks it in style with a brace in a 4-1 win.

September 29, 2021: Champions League history for Ronaldo as he breaks the record for the most appearances (178) in the competition and fittingly scores a last-gasp winner as United beat Villarreal 2-1.

November 21, 2021: Ronaldo continued to score important goals for United in the Champions League, however, a 5-0 home defeat to Liverpool and a 2-0 loss to City piled the pressure on boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. After a 4-1 loss at Watford, the man who brought Ronaldo back to the club is sacked.

November 29, 2021: Ralf Rangnick is appointed as United's interim manager until the end of the season, with the club planning to keep him on for two years in a consultancy role. 

Ronaldo said of Rangnick in his recent interview: "They bring in a sporting director Ralf Rangnick, which is something nobody understands. This guy is not even a coach! A big club like Manchester United bringing in a sporting director surprised not only me but all the world."

December 2, 2021: In Michael Carrick's final game as caretaker manager before Rangnick officially took charge, Ronaldo scored twice in a 3-2 win over Arsenal, netting his 800th and 801st goals in his career for club and country.

February 15, 2022: A goal in a 2-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion ends the longest drought of Ronaldo's career, one that stretched back to a December 30 defeat of Burnley and took in 588 minutes of football.

 

March 12, 2022: Having missed the Manchester derby because of a hamstring injury, Ronaldo scores a hat-trick on his return in a 3-2 win over Tottenham. The treble takes him to 807 goals, past Josef Bican's all-time record of 805. However, the Czech Republic FA claims Bican actually scored 821.

April 16-23, 2022: A hat-trick against Norwich City marks the 50th treble of Ronaldo's career, and he follows that up a week later with his 100th Premier League goal in a loss to Arsenal, which represented an emotional game for the Portugal international after he and his partner announced the death of their baby son.

April 21, 2022: Erik ten Hag is appointed as United's new manager from the 2022-23 season. On May 16, the Dutchman leaves his role at Ajax early to begin preparations for his new job.

May 22, 2022: United's 2021-22 season ends with the Red Devils in sixth, forcing them to settle for Europa League football. Ronaldo does not feature in their 1-0 loss at Crystal Palace, which rounds off a campaign in which he scored 24 goals but never meshed with Rangnick and his style of football.

July 11, 2022: Despite intense speculation around Ronaldo and agent Jorge Mendes trying to force a transfer away from United, Ten Hag insists Ronaldo is "not for sale".

July 31, 2022: Ronaldo leaves early during United's pre-season friendly with Rayo Vallecano, along with some other team-mates. Ten Hag slams that decision as "not acceptable".

October 2, 2022: Ronaldo is left on the bench in the 6-3 loss to City, a game in which United trailed 4-0 at half-time. Ten Hag claims the decision was down to his "respect" for Ronaldo’s career.

October 19, 2022: Having refused to enter the game as a substitute, Ronaldo walks down the tunnel during United's 2-0 win over Tottenham. He is suspended by the club three days later.

November 13, 2022: After missing United's EFL Cup clash with Aston Villa due to an apparent illness, Ronaldo is again absent from their squad for the final game before the World Cup break, a 2-1 win at Fulham. Later that day, the first clips from his bombshell interview are released.

 

November 16-17, 2022: Ronaldo's interview for Piers Morgan uncensored is aired across two days. Alongside his criticism of Ten Hag, Ronaldo declares United's owners the Glazer family "do not care" about the club, hits out at the team's younger players, and says former team-mate-turned-critic Wayne Rooney is jealous of his success.

Former United defender Gary Neville calls for the Red Devils to terminate Ronaldo's contract in the aftermath of his comments.

November 18, 2022: United commit to taking "appropriate steps" in response to Ronaldo's comments, intensifying speculation they could end his stay with the club.

November 21, 2022: As Ronaldo prepares for his fifth World Cup campaign with Portugal, he fields questions about his controversial interview for the first time.

"I don't have to worry what others think. I talk when I want to," Ronaldo told reporters, before describing himself as "bulletproof".

November 22, 2022: Two days before Portugal begin their World Cup campaign against Ghana, United announce Ronaldo is to leave the club with "immediate effect".

"Everyone at Manchester United remains focused on continuing the team's progress under Erik ten Hag and working together to deliver success on the pitch," read a statement from the club.

Whenever Manchester United come up against a team managed by David Moyes, it provides the perfect opportunity to look back on the Red Devils' rather turbulent recent history.

Moyes was, of course, the original successor to Alex Ferguson. The 'Chosen One', as the infamous banner read, and, to many, a harbinger of mediocrity.

That's slightly unfair on Moyes as although United won the title just before he ascended the Old Trafford hot seat, he was left with an aging squad that needed replenishing, plus the club's deep reverence for Ferguson ultimately stopped them moving with the times.

For years, Ferguson essentially operated as a head coach, recruitment director and sporting director rolled into one. The Scot was so effective and influential that, once he'd left, United were suddenly unprepared to meaningfully challenge the best teams.

This past year has arguably seen that gap reach its widest point in the Premier League era, with United posting their worst points total (58) since the competition's foundation in 1992 last season.

But in Erik ten Hag, United might finally have the right manager at the right time.

The succession

While United's woes of the short-lived Moyes era weren't just down to him, nothing over the past eight years has suggested the club was wrong to get rid of him in 2014.

Nevertheless, Moyes and every other post-Ferguson United manager had their strengths.

Moyes had an intimate knowledge of the league; Louis van Gaal brought a defined 'philosophy' and vast experience; Jose Mourinho had the name recognition and a track record of winning trophies; Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was already deified by supporters and his management style allowed players to be more expressive than under his pragmatic predecessor; Ralf Rangnick came in with 'club-building' expertise at a time when United's structure was spoken about as their biggest area of concern.

But none of them ever looked likely to be a long-term success for United. Obviously that was the hope for Moyes when he signed his five-year contract, though it quickly became apparent his personality was at odds with much of the team and his lack of tactical imagination made the side predictable, boring and ineffective.

Van Gaal did at least try to put a modern stamp on United, with his possession-based approach initially lauded upon his arrival after presiding over a fine World Cup campaign with the Netherlands. But again, the football was tedious to watch, with the Red Devils often accused of keeping possession for possession's sake rather than being able to work openings.

He's since been very critical of how United are run, perhaps casting light on why he was never quite right – maybe he would've been if there was a credible recruitment structure in place, but there wasn't.

Mourinho might argue recruitment issues were behind his downfall as well. Certainly, if you believe the media reports, United routinely missed out on players considered to be his primary targets.

But fans called his exit two years in advance. The prediction was that he'd be in charge for two seasons and then get the boot in his third, which of course came to pass.

Solskjaer arguably got the most freedom to build a team in his image, which was ironic given he was by far the least experienced of the managers to arrive after Ferguson. Harry Maguire, Bruno Fernandes and Jadon Sancho were all desired by the Norwegian and they duly arrived, but the manager's coaching methods were widely derided from outside the club with few players appearing to improve under his tutelage.

Then the Rangnick-led rebuild ended up being a red herring. Results and performances weren't much better than under Solskjaer, and while his honest appraisals of the club's structure were appreciated by fans, the hierarchy clearly felt differently and swiftly ended his two-year consultancy shortly after Ten Hag's appointment.

Ten Hag's impact

So, what's changed?

Well, in reality we're obviously only going to really know how much United have changed in terms of the general running of the club a few years down the line.

They do at least now have a genuine sporting structure. Granted, it was questioned in pre-season when Ten Hag came in and immediately started demanding players he knew or had previously coached, but all pre-season signings have at least looked encouraging.

As for Ten Hag's management, there have been plenty of examples of him avoiding the mistakes of his predecessors.

Like Van Gaal, Ten Hag has looked to implement a more possession-focused style of play, but this United seem to be playing more on the front foot when out of possession than the LVG vintage.

And yet, Ten Hag's shown the sort of adaptability the likes of Solskjaer and Mourinho were accused of failing to embrace. He's already ditched the insistence on playing out from the back with David de Gea after the Spaniard's struggles in their first two games of the season, while the experiment of playing Christian Eriksen in defensive midfield didn't last long either.

But, arguably most important of all, Ten Hag's shown he's not shy about making tough calls. He dropped Luke Shaw and captain Harry Maguire after two games, and his exclusion of Cristiano Ronaldo from the squad to face Chelsea last weekend after the striker's refusal to come on against Tottenham was a real show of conviction and leadership.

Ronaldo was welcomed back into the starting XI against Sheriff on Thursday, though, evidence of Ten Hag finding the balance between authority and forgiveness, areas that Solskjaer, Mourinho and Rangnick all seemed to fall short in in different ways.

Of course, results are key. While it's still too early to draw any major conclusions here because who's to say they don't lose every game between now and the World Cup, there have undoubtedly been positive signs with wins against the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham. Even the draw at Chelsea was morale-boosting.

Crucially, United need to give Ten Hag time. If Solskjaer can be given three years, Ten Hag surely needs at least that long as well.

The first few months of his reign have certainly suggested United are on the right track with their latest 'Chosen One'.

Erik ten Hag has been named as the Premier League's Manager of the Month, joining Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford in gaining recognition for the Red Devils' September exploits.

Rashford was confirmed as the Player of the Month earlier on Friday, and Ten Hag's win made it an Old Trafford double.

A truncated schedule meant United only played twice in the league this month, but they beat both struggling Leicester City and previously undefeated leaders Arsenal.

United are now on a four-match winning run heading into Sunday's derby against Manchester City – Ten Hag's first since being appointed at the start of the season.

This is only the second time a United boss has been named the Manager of the Month since Alex Ferguson left the club in 2013.

The other was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in February 2019, which was also the only other occasion on which Rashford was the Player of the Month.

Anthony Martial has taken savage swipes at former Manchester United managers Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, accusing both of mistreating him during their Old Trafford reigns.

French forward Martial became the most expensive teenager in history at the time when he completed a September 2015 move worth up to £58million (€69m) from Monaco.

Signed by Louis van Gaal, he spent less than a year playing under the Dutchman, with whom he said he had "a great relationship".

Mourinho was Van Gaal's successor, appointed in May 2016, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic was among the first signings by the new boss.

According to Martial, his problems with Mourinho "started with the story of the jersey number", saying he unwillingly gave up the number nine to Swedish star Ibrahimovic.

"During the holidays, he [Mourinho] sends me a message to ask me if I want to change to the 11, explaining to me that it is great because it is that of the legend Ryan Giggs," Martial told France Football magazine.

"I tell him that I have the greatest respect for Giggs, but I prefer to keep the nine. And when I return to the club, I see my jersey with the 11, the story didn't start well. He lacked direct respect for me."

Martial said Mourinho, who is now boss of Roma, began to use "little phrases, a bit like he had done with Karim Benzema at Real [Madrid]", when talking in the media about Martial.

"He likes these little games, but he also knows who he is doing it with. He knows that I was 20 years old then, and that if I say something it is me who will pass for the young person who lacks respect," Martial said. "So I said nothing, it was useless."

Martial took issue with losing his place to another new recruit, Alexis Sanchez, who joined from Arsenal midway through the 2017-18 season.

"It's the season of the World Cup, and it cost me dearly in the end, especially since the France team won. I should have been there," Martial said.

Mourinho was sacked by United in December 2018, with club favourite Solskjaer coming in as a surprise successor.

France international Martial finished the 2019-20 campaign as United's top scorer with 23 goals, yet he subsequently faded from favour. He claimed Solskjaer mismanaged him after that prolific campaign.

Soon after Solskjaer's dismissal in November 2021, Martial was loaned out to Sevilla, where he scored once in 12 appearances, nine of which were starts.

Martial said he had "regularly played injured" during Solskjaer's reign, claiming the manager failed to make that clear to outsiders as he struggled.

"The coach never bothered to tell the media," said Martial, who remains a United player. "Obviously, I ended up getting injured for good and when I came back I didn't play any more. I took it very badly, I had a feeling of injustice.

"You're asked to sacrifice yourself for the team and afterwards you are dismissed. For me, it's almost treachery."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer offered his support to Erling Haaland after his compatriot joined Manchester City, though the Manchester United great told the striker he has joined "the wrong side of Manchester".

Old Trafford favourite Solskjaer spent the majority of his career with United, before taking his first role in senior management as the coach of Molde in 2011.

But it was not until a second spell in Norway with Molde for Solskjaer that he crossed paths with Haaland, managing the youngster for two years before returning to coach United in 2018.

Haaland subsequently earned a move to RB Salzburg, where he thrived before joining Borussia Dortmund, who beat away interest from United to sign the Norway striker.

The draw of Solskjaer was not enough to convince Haaland to choose United over Dortmund, where he scored 86 goals in 89 appearances in all competitions during his two-and-a-half-year spell.

That tally was bettered by only Robert Lewandowski (123 in 108 games) and Kylian Mbappe (93 in 111 games) of players from Europe's top five leagues across that time period.

City swooped in to sign Haaland earlier this year and Pep Guardiola's new arrival revealed Solskjaer was quickly in contact.

"When I signed with City he congratulated me and wrote to me 'good luck on going to the wrong side of Manchester'," Haaland told the Manchester Evening News. 

"We talk sometimes. As you know, he had a huge impact on my career when I was at Molde. He's a good guy."

Haaland moves to the Etihad Stadium with significant expectations on him, none less so than to fill the void left when Sergio Aguero left City in 2021.

The 21-year-old may contrast the diminutive figure of Aguero with his tall stature, but Haaland's finishing is no different, with the Norway international scoring a goal every 3.6 attempts last season in all competitions and converting 65.8 per cent of his big chances.

"Three years ago City didn't want me because they had [Sergio] Aguero up front so then there was no choice about coming to Man City," he added.

"Basically, my feeling was I felt more going to the other place than coming here to England. I could have come here a lot of times in my career but I felt the other place and I think it was a really good choice.

"I have made perfect choices ever since I went to Molde, then Salzburg and Dortmund. I'm not complaining about that."

Haaland will hope to get his first taste of Premier League action when City open their campaign at West Ham on August 7.

Erik ten Hag's bid to guide Manchester United to a new era of Premier League success will begin with the visit of Brighton and Hove Albion.

The top-flight title has eluded United since 2013, with Ten Hag the fifth permanent manager since Alex Ferguson's departure that year.

After hosting Graham Potter's Seagulls on the opening day, United head to Brentford before hosting rivals Liverpool.

The first Manchester derby of the campaign will take place at the Etihad Stadium on October 1, with the champions heading to Old Trafford on January 14.

Ten Hag will take his charges to Anfield in March and close the season by welcoming newly promoted Fulham.

A potentially favourable festive period, following on from the World Cup in Qatar, sees United host Nottingham Forest on Boxing Day, head to Wolves on New Year's Eve, and entertain Bournemouth in their first game of 2023.

Manchester United's 2022-23 fixtures in full:

07/08/2022 - Brighton and Hove Albion (h)
13/08/2022 - Brentford (a)
20/08/2022 - Liverpool (h)
27/08/2022 - Southampton (a)
30/08/2022 - Leicester City (a)
03/09/2022 - Arsenal (h)
10/09/2022 - Crystal Palace (a)
17/09/2022 - Leeds United (h)
01/10/2022 - Manchester City (a)
08/10/2022 - Everton (a)
15/10/2022 - Newcastle United (h)
19/10/2022 - Tottenham (h)
22/10/2022 - Chelsea (a)
29/10/2022 - West Ham (h)
05/11/2022 - Aston Villa (a)
12/11/2022 - Fulham (a)
26/12/2022 - Nottingham Forest (h)
31/12/2022 - Wolves (a)
02/01/2023 - Bournemouth (h)
14/01/2023 - Manchester City (h)
21/01/2023 - Arsenal (a)
04/02/2023 - Crystal Palace (h)
11/02/2023 - Leeds United (a)
18/02/2023 - Leicester City (h)
25/02/2023 - Brentford (h)
04/03/2023 - Liverpool (a)
11/03/2023 - Southampton (h)
18/03/2023 - Brighton and Hove Albion (a) 
01/04/2023 - Newcastle United (a)
08/04/2023 - Everton (h)
15/04/2023 - Nottingham Forest (a)
22/04/2023 - Chelsea (h)
25/04/2023 - Tottenham (a)
29/04/2023 - Aston Villa (h)
06/05/2023 - West Ham (a) 
13/05/2023 - Wolves (h)
20/05/2023 - Bournemouth (a)
28/05/2023 - Fulham (h)

One of the worst-kept secrets in football is out in the open after Manchester United confirmed Paul Pogba's second stint at the club is coming to an end.

The France star departed for Juventus back in 2012 before returning to Old Trafford in an £89million deal four years later.

Few Premier League players have proven as enigmatic as Pogba, with the 29-year-old capable of incredible individual brilliance but frequently subjected to fierce criticism throughout his difficult second spell at United.

From a World Cup success to sparring with Jose Mourinho, Stats Perform looks back on the highs and lows of Pogba's second spell with United.

High: Cup glory in triumphant first season

Pogba played his part as Mourinho, also in his first season at the club, led United to what remain their most recent major trophies.

The Frenchman made 51 appearances in all competitions as the Red Devils scooped an EFL Cup and Europa League double, ensuring Champions League qualification despite a sixth-placed Premier League finish. 

After starting United's 3-2 Wembley triumph over Southampton in February 2017, Pogba opened the scoring as United beat Ajax 2-0 to lift their second piece of silverware of the season in May, as the Red Devils won their sixth major European honour.

High: Conquering the centurions as City's celebrations put on hold

Manchester City's 2017-18 Premier League campaign was record-breaking in many ways, with Pep Guardiola's men becoming the only side to pick up 100 points in the competition, the first to win 32 of their 38 games, and the first to win 18 consecutive matches as they romped to the title.

They also, however, missed out on wrapping up the sweetest of title triumphs in a Manchester derby – a fact which owed primarily to a rampant performance from Pogba.

With City 2-0 up at half-time and seemingly cruising to the win they required to wrap up the title at a jubilant Etihad Stadium in April 2018, Pogba scored twice in two second-half minutes before Chris Smalling completed a sensational comeback, as United put the City celebrations on ice. 

High: World Cup glory with France

United finished the 2017-18 season as Premier League runners-up, with Pogba registering six goals and 12 assists in 37 appearances throughout the campaign.

And the midfielder carried that form into the 2018 World Cup in Russia, scoring in a 4-2 final win over Croatia as Les Blues were crowned world champions for the second time – his strike was the first goal scored from outside the penalty area in a World Cup final since Italy's Marco Tardelli did so against West Germany in 1982.

Pogba started six of the seven games France played during their triumphant campaign, but any hopes he may have harboured of building on those displays with his club were soon proven to be misplaced…

Low: Sparring with Mourinho as the world watches on

Reports of Pogba and Mourinho possessing a strained relationship were widespread during the Portuguese boss's time at the club, and such tensions were laid bare for the world to see in September 2018.

After an Instagram post appearing to show Pogba laughing with team-mates Luke Shaw and Andreas Pereira while United fell to an EFL Cup loss to Derby County, Sky Sports' cameras captured Mourinho discussing the incident with a visibly irked Pogba on the training ground.

It was not a good look as United struggled desperately in Mourinho's final months at the helm, with the former Chelsea boss relieved of his duties with the Red Devils sat sixth in the Premier League in December 2018.

Low: Penalty woe in 2021

Pogba enjoyed a renaissance of sorts under Mourinho's successor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, ending the Norwegian's first half-season in charge with 13 league goals and nine assists, making 2018-19 his most productive campaign in a Red Devils shirt.

But Solskjaer's men frequently fell short on the big stage, most notably in their 2021 Europa League final loss to Villarreal, as David de Gea missed the vital kick at the end of a long penalty shoot-out after Pogba had been substituted for Dan James during extra-time.

That was not the only penalty heartache Pogba would experience in 2021, as France crashed out of the delayed Euro 2020 after a round-of-16 shoot-out loss to Switzerland, with Kylian Mbappe failing from the spot as Pogba's stunning 25-yard strike counted for nought. 

 

Low: Seeing red in Liverpool rout

Pogba's final season at Old Trafford was one to forget, as United finished sixth in the Premier League with their lowest-ever points tally in the competition (58), and interim manager Ralf Rangnick ended his six-month tenure with the worst Premier League win rate of any United boss (41.7 per cent – 10 wins from 24 games).

But before Rangnick entered the United dugout, Pogba endured the ignominy of being sent off as Solskjaer's Red Devils fell to a dire 5-0 home loss to Liverpool in October 2021 – their heaviest home loss without scoring since a 5-0 thrashing by Manchester City in February 1955.

Pogba's dismissal came just 15 minutes after he entered the fray at the break, making him the first substitute to be sent off in a Premier League for over three years (since Marcus Rashford in September 2018).

 

Shota Arveladze says Erik ten Hag will bring "something special" to Manchester United but must be given time.

Ten Hag left Ajax to take charge at Old Trafford, succeeding interim boss Ralf Rangnick.

The 52-year-old has been charged with the task of turning around the Red Devils following another disappointing season, which saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer get the sack.

Former Ajax forward Arveladze - who now coaches Hull City - believes Ten Hag can make a big impact at United, but there will be no quick fix. 

"Erik has grown very smart," he said. "[With] his career, he has done really good in choosing his previous teams, his previous works.

"At Bayern Munich, he was head coach of the second team, and then he moved to Utrecht and made a great football team

"Then Ajax, again, he took them to the top level in Europe, winning all the trophies, and now, to England.

"He is very principled. He knows his ideas, his philosophy and he will definitely bring something special there.

"He will need time to do, to show, to explain the way he wants to play [but] I'm quite comfortable with that, that he definitely will succeed."

United have not won a trophy since 2017 and they will not play in the Champions League next season.

Gary Neville believes Manchester United will make an announcement on a new manager in a "week or so" following reports the club has met with Ajax boss Erik ten Hag.

The Red Devils have been looking for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's permanent successor since appointing Ralf Rangnick in charge on an interim basis back in November.

Dutchman Ten Hag has been frequently linked to the post, alongside Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino.

Now, Neville anticipates that the club could be closing in on their preferred candidate.

"Reports [suggest] Ten Hag has been interviewed this week," the former United defender wrote on Twitter.

"If formal interviews have started and with it being such a public process I would expect a new manager announcement within a week or so."

United are hiring their third permanent manager in the space of six years, following Jose Mourinho and Solskjaer's tenures in the top job.

Since taking the reins, Rangnick has won nine of his 20 games in charge at Old Trafford, but has been unable to prevent the club from going another season empty handed.

Ajax boss Ten Hag meanwhile is on course to lead the Eredivisie outfit to a third successive league title (the 2019-20 season was voided due to the coronavirus pandemic). They have just three top-flight losses this season and lead PSV by two points in the table.

Manchester United great Paul Scholes was once again left questioning the club's wisdom in hiring Ralf Rangnick as interim manager after Sunday's 4-1 derby humiliation by Manchester City.

Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez got two goals apiece at the Etihad Stadium, as City restored their lead at the Premier League summit to six points over Liverpool.

United – without Cristiano Ronaldo due to a hip injury – started the game well and were good value for their 22nd-minute equaliser by Jadon Sancho, but thereafter it was one-way traffic as Rangnick suffered only his second Premier League defeat in 14 matches.

Despite that record, Scholes cannot get past Rangnick's lack of recent experience in coaching, having only actually been in charge of a team for two of the previous 10 seasons, instead spending much of his time as a sporting director.

Rangnick was hired as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's replacement at the end of November until the end of the season, at which point he will move into a consultancy role.

The move was initially widely praised as it seemed to suggest United were looking to establish an on-field identity that Rangnick would subsequently be able to influence with big-picture decisions, but Scholes is struggling to see the reasoning behind hiring him as the interim manager.

"What do we expect? We've brought in an interim coach who hasn't coached at an elite team," he told Premier League Productions.

"He hasn't coached a big team, he hasn't coached at a big football club like United where there's so much expected of Manchester United, whoever you're playing against, it doesn't matter. He's never been at a top club. He's coached a club for two years out of the last 10 years.

"How have United behind the scenes come to the conclusion that this man is going to be the right man for six or seven months? It baffles me. The players are lost on the football pitch.

"The first 20 minutes I was surprised, they played really well, they were comfortable on the ball, [Paul] Pogba up front looked alright. His [Rangnick's] subs have worked the last few weeks don't get me wrong, but it was a deflated team.

"As much as you can have a go at United, they were playing against possibly one of the best teams we've seen. In the second half, the players looked lost. They looked like they didn't have a clue what they were doing."

Prior to the weekend, Rangnick had been praised for improving United defensively. Before Sunday's hammering, they had conceded 10 goals in 13 league games under the German, having let in 21 in 12 with Solskjaer at the helm – only Norwich City and Newcastle United (27 each) had worse records at the time of the Norwegian's sacking.

But Scholes believes their change in fortunes at the back is a red herring, and the data seems to back him up to a certain degree.

David de Gea's saves since Rangnick's arrival have accounted for the prevention of six goals the average goalkeeper would not be expected to prevent, second only to Jose Sa (6.1).

Sa (192) is also the only keeper to face more shots than De Gea (180) in that time as well, suggesting United are not much better defensively than before – they are just relying on their goalkeeper's improved form.

"They were lucky it's not five or six. Again the goalkeeper, five or six saves," Scholes continued.

"We spoke before the game saying defensively since Ole's gone [Rangnick]'s shored things up – he hadn't. Never in a million years.

"He's kidding himself if he thinks that. The keeper has stopped him from getting batterings for a long time. [Sunday] was exactly the same."

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