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5 caretaker managers who did well in the Premier League

Can Ole Gunnar Solskjaer join the list of successful Premier League caretakers?
Can Ole Gunnar Solskjaer join the list of successful Premier League caretakers?
Scott Newman
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 20 Dec 2018
Top 5 / Top 10

It’s official – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is the new manager of Manchester United. Well, kind of. The legendary Norwegian ‘super-sub’ has been confirmed as the caretaker boss at Old Trafford until the end of the 2018/19 season, at which point the Red Devils intent to begin a search for the real successor to Jose Mourinho, who was fired earlier this week.

But can Solskjaer succeed at United where Mourinho – and David Moyes and Louis van Gaal – largely failed? And if he does so, could he be in with a shout of becoming the permanent boss? It doesn’t sound likely but stranger things have happened, and we’ve seen on numerous occasions that caretaker bosses can be very successful.

Here are 5 Premier League caretaker managers who saw success during their time in the job.


#1 Guus Hiddink (Chelsea)

Guus Hiddink was appointed to clean up a mess at Chelsea on two occasions
Guus Hiddink was appointed to clean up a mess at Chelsea on two occasions

Roman Abramovich’s favourite troubleshooter, legendary Dutch boss Guus Hiddink has acted as caretaker boss at Chelsea on two separate occasions and both times he managed to do a pretty good job of cleaning up his predecessor’s mess, bringing into question why he was never offered the hot seat at Stamford Bridge on a permanent basis.

Hiddink’s first stint in charge of the Blues came in the 2008/09 season. Brazilian boss Luis Felipe Scolari was relieved of his duties in February 2009 after a short reign that ended with Chelsea in 4th position in the Premier League.

The Dutchman quickly rejuvenated the squad, and although he only steered the Blues to a 3rd place finish, his side won all but 2 of their final 13 league games and he also led them to victory in the FA Cup – and a controversial exit in the Champions League semi-finals against Barcelona.

His second stint at Stamford Bridge came in the same vein as Solskjaer’s at United – picking up the pieces left behind when Jose Mourinho’s reign came to a dramatic end in December 2015.

This time Hiddink found the Blues floundering in 16th position, and while he didn’t bring any silverware to Chelsea during this reign, he did oversee a 12-game unbeaten run and managed to drag the side back up to a 10th place finish – likely far better than where they’d have finished under Mourinho.

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Published 20 Dec 2018
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