Peter Schmeichel says the “Manchester United DNA must be brought back into the equation” when the Red Devils appoint a long-term successor to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Club legend Solskjaer parted ways with United on Sunday in the wake of a humbling 4-1 defeat at Watford, a result that marked their heaviest defeat by a promoted side since September 1989.
The pressure had been growing rapidly on Solskjaer, particularly since a 5-0 humiliation at home to Liverpool last month – a match in that represented their largest margin of defeat against the Reds and the first time they had trailed by four goals at half-time in the Premier League – while they were also outclassed in the derby by Manchester City prior to the international break.
United have already confirmed an interim appointment will be made until the end of the season as they search for a permanent successor, with Solskjaer the fourth boss to have been sacked since Alex Ferguson stepped away from the dugout in 2013.
Schmeichel, who collected five Premier League titles with United between 1991 and 1999, says the club must focus on appointing a manager who understands the ethos of the club and not someone who will seek quick fixes.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Schmeichel said: “It’s a very sad day. It’s the fourth time we’ve had to sack a manager. Clearly, there’s something not going right at the club – hopefully the fifth time we’ll get the right person in, get the club organised.
“Everyone is throwing names about. I want United to get back to being a winning club; not to win one trophy and [leave] two years later – someone to win the Premier League and Champions League every year, or compete for it.
“Build the club up. When one player finishes we want there to be a transition. I want someone there for the long-term who is willing to work with the academy, who is prepared to wait six years for a player to break through, not someone who just has a big network to pluck the best players from around the world.
“The Man United DNA needs to be brought back into the equation, and I think Ole was close to doing that.”
Manchester United can confirm that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has left his role as Manager.
Thank you for everything, Ole #MUFC
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) November 21, 2021
Schmeichel, who was part of the same team as Solskjaer for United’s famous Champions League final comeback win over Bayern Munich in 1999, also suggested his former team-mate has been hampered by decisions above him.
“I feel really sorry for Ole,” he continued. “I think personally he’s done a very good job. We only see what happens on the pitch, which is of course the most important thing.
“He’s had to work with a big squad he hasn’t picked. It’s difficult for a manager to do that. I think he’s done well, especially behind the scenes to organise the club. But then that’s football – you don’t get a lot of time. Hopefully he’ll bounce back, and hopefully he’s okay.”