West Ham v Manchester United, Match in Pictures
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has largely done a fine job at Manchester United, despite critics far and wide still calling for his sacking. But despite his job security looking fine for the time being, a familiar face has made it clear he’d be keen to enter into contention for the United job in the future in unemployed legend Jaap Stam.
Stam, 49, played for United for three seasons at the turn of the millennium, making 127 appearances under Sir Alex Ferguson.
Signing from PSV in 1998 after an extremely impressive World Cup for a then-record fee for a defender, the Dutchman quickly became a fan favourite at Old Trafford.
Winning the Premier League in every year of his Red Devils spell alongside the Champions League and FA Cup treble in 1998-1999, Stam is still talked about in Manchester.
But despite his presence on the pitch, his managerial prowess is still yet to match his playing ability.
Starting out at Reading in 2016, Stam was sacked after one win in 18 league matches, before taking charge at Dutch side PEC Zwolle.
He did well in north Holland, and his six-month stint brought the attentions of Feyenoord, who hired him on a two-year contract.
And just four months in, Stam left the club after yet another poor record.
FC Cincinnati of the MLS were next up, but after a season and a half, Stam has been sacked yet again with a win percentage of just 17 per cent.
Stam has continued to show his desire to remain in management – but his sacking has put many bigger clubs off.
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Yet rumours have resurfaced from three years ago when Stam linked himself to the managerial job at Old Trafford, with fans asking ‘what if?’ as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer comes under pressure following three losses from four.
Speaking to Voetbal Primeur back in 2018, Stam claimed he wanted Jose Mourinho’s job as the Portuguese boss was faltering.
“I hope to work some time for an absolute top club,” Stam said.
“It should be no surprise that Manchester United are a dream club for me.
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“That was the situation during my playing career, and it is still the case.”
Results since have likely deterred the United board making a move for him, especially as Solskjaer’s men sit fourth in the table and lie just one point off the top of the league.
However there is pressure on Solskjaer to win a trophy, which could very much impact his position in the hot seat.
United face Villarreal in their second Champions League group stage match on Wednesday as they look to gain revenge on Unai Emery’s men after their Europa League final defeat last season.
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