Eight of the best and worst caretaker managers: Di Matteo, Shearer, Zagallo...

With Manchester United going down the caretaker-manager route again, Planet Sport looks at the successes and failures of the move, including a certain Mr Solskjaer.

In the end, the only surprise was that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer lasted as long as he did at Manchester United. But having had so long to line up an new manager it seems the hierarchy at Old Trafford are the only ones that didn't see it coming. Because surely that can be the only reason they would be considering appointing an interim manager?

Should they make a short-term appointment, he would be replacing caretaker-manager Michael Carrick who himself replaced caretaker turned permanent manager Solskjaer. Previously, United have also gone down the caretaker route with Ryan Giggs and, in 1958, Jimmy Murphy.

And while it may not have worked out for United and Solskjaer in the long run, few could argue with his record as a caretaker (W14 D2 L3).

Here, Planet Sport looks at Solskjaer and three other caretaker successes plus four which were doomed from the start and mostly concern Newcastle.

Hit - Roberto Di Matteo (Chelsea)

Roberto Di Matteo Chelsea FA Cup win

Di Matteo began the 2011/12 season as assistant manager to Andre Villas-Boas. When the Portuguese was sacked in March 2012, he was appointed caretaker manager for the remainder of the season.

He could do little about their league form, as the Blues finished sixth, their lowest finish in the league since 2002. He did, however, win two not insignificant trophies.

He led Chelsea to the FA Cup before they rounded off the campaign by becoming the first London club to win the Champions League. Along the way the Blues beat Napoli, BenficaBarcelona and favourites Bayern Munich in their own backyard.

Di Matteo was rewarded for his success with a two-year contract in the June. "We know that Roberto is the right man to lead Chelsea onto further success," said the club's chief executive Ron Gourlay. Di Matteo was sacked in the November.

Hit - Guus Hiddink (Chelsea)

Guus Hiddink May16

Hiddink has had two stints as caretaker manager of Chelsea. His first came in February 2009 as a replacement for Luiz Felipe Scolari, while still holding the position of head coach of the Russian national team.

During his tenure, Hiddink lost only one league game, to Tottenham Hotspur, but still saw Chelsea finish seven points behind title-winners Manchester United. He did, however, win the FA Cup, beating Everton 2-1.

Despite being loved by players and fans alike, Hiddink left at the end of the season to return to his position as Russia head coach.

Hiddink returned to Chelsea in December 2015 after the sacking of Jose Mourinho. During his second spell as Chelsea boss, Hiddink set a record for the longest unbeaten streak as a new manager in the Premier League, with 12 games unbeaten. He lifted the side from 16th to 10th before leaving at the end of the campaign to take over China's Under-21 team.

Hit - Mario Zagallo (Brazil)

Zagallo with the star of his side Pele ahead of the 1970 FIFA World Cup

Zagallo was caretaker manager of arguably the greatest side to have ever played the game. He was appointed manager of Brazil before the 1970 FIFA World Cup and inherited a team that included Pele, Carlos Alberto and Rivelino. His predecessor, Joao Saldanha, was fired three months before the tournament after falling out with the Brazilian president.

Zagallo recalled Pele, who had been dropped by Saldanha, and led Brazil to their third World Cup on the back of a famous thrashing of Italy in the final. Zagallo was the first person to win the World Cup as both a player and a manager.

After the tournament, Zagallo was appointed on a permanent basis and led them to another World Cup four years later where they finished fourth. 

Hit - Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Manchester United)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Manchester United Dec18

In December 2019, Solksjaer was appointed caretaker manager of Manchester United, taking over from Jose Mourinho for the remainder of the 2018/19 season.

The former Molde manager's first game in charge was against a club he had previously managed, Cardiff City. United won 5-1, scoring five for the first time since a 5-5 draw with West Brom in Sir Alex Ferguson's final game in charge.

He became the first United manager since Sir Matt Busby to win his first five league games in charge.

In January 2019, Solksjaer was named Premier League manager of the month after his side won 10 points from a possible 12. The award made him the first United manager to win it since Ferguson in October 2012 and the first Norwegian manager to win the award.

In March 2019, after winning 14 out of his 19 matches in charge, he signed a three-year contract as United manager on a permanent basis.

Miss - Joe Kinnear (Newcastle United)

Kinnear during his spell as manager of Newcastle United

Kinnear's appointment as interim manager of Newcastle was one of the most infamous appointments the Premier League has seen.

Out of management for four years, Kinnear infamously launched a verbal attack on journalist Simon Bird just a week into his new role. In the first five minutes of an interview with assembled national media, he swore over 50 times.

Kinnear followed up by saying would only speak to local newspapers, with head coach Chris Hughton handling other interviews.

His tenure continued to be rocky and Kinnear was sent off during a 2-2 draw with Stoke City after a confrontation with referee Mike Riley. With issues off the field, including players not wanting to play for him, further exacerbating the problems at the club, Newcastle won just five of their 26 games under Kinnear.

In February 2009, Kinnear was taken to hospital after falling ill. It was later found out that he would require heart bypass surgery.

Chris Hughton took temporary charge before Alan Shearer came in to try and keep Newcastle up. However, it wouldn't get much better for the Geordie faithful...

Miss - Alan Shearer (Newcastle United)

Alan Shearer Newcastle manager May09 with Iain Dowie

After turning down coaching and assistant-manager roles at Newcastle United, Shearer made the surprise move by taking interim charge of the club in April 2009. After taking the role, Shearer said: "It's a club I love and I don't want them to go down. I'll do everything I can to stop that."

He was granted an eight-week sabbatical from his role on Match of the Day to cover the eight remaining games of the season.

His first match in charge of his former club came at St James' Park where his side lost 2-0 to Chelsea.

Only one win followed as the Magpies picked up just five points from a possible 24 under Shearer.

Newcastle were duly relegated from the Premier League, ending a 16-year stay in the top flight.

Shearer was overlooked for the managerial position at the end of the season, with Chris Hughton appointed as caretaker manager and leading Newcastle back up at the first attempt.

Miss - John Carver (Newcastle United)

John Carver in role of Newcastle manager

Carver is best known for his association with his boyhood club Newcastle United where he was caretaker manager twice. In January 2015, he was appointed manager until the end of the 2014/15 season. He took over from Alan Pardew who left Newcastle to join Crystal Palace. In his first four games in charge, Newcastle drew one and lost three.

From March 4 to May 2, Carver oversaw a run of eight successive league defeats, a club record for Newcastle in the Premier League. Despite the poor run of form, Carver still believed that he was "the best coach in the Premier League". After this statement was published, it sparked widespread hilarity. Carver claimed the words were taken out of context.

After guaranteeing Newcastle's Premier League status, Carver had his contract terminated by the club, with Steve McClaren announced as the new head coach.

Miss - Steve Kean (Blackburn Rovers)

Kean during his time as Blackburn manager

In December 2010, Kean was appointed temporary manager of Premier League side Blackburn Rovers, taking over from Sam Allardyce.

Less than a month after his temporary appointment, Kean signed a two-to-three-year long-term contract which was shrouded in controversy after his agent Jerome Anderson had been integral to the Venky's taking over the club.

Kean was also forced to send an undisclosed but "substantial" amount of money to Allaradyce for damages after being recorded in a bar in Hong Kong alleging that Allardyce had been sacked from his position at Rovers because he was a crook.

Rovers survived on the final day of the season and in November of the following campaign, Kean signed a new contract despite the club sitting bottom of the league with just one win. This led to outroar from the fanbase and they campaigned to have him removed as manager.

Results picked up in the second half of the season as Rovers climbed to 16th but nine defeats in ten saw them succumb to relegation, ending an 11-year run in the top flight. Unbelievably, Kean retained his position for the following campaign but left his position at the end of September with the club third in the Championship.

READ MORE: Latest odds on Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher to take Man United managerial post

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