Good Luck Solskjaer: How Sir Alex Ferguson And His Successors Fared In Their First Manchester United Games
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will step into the Old Trafford dugout as permanent manager of Manchester United for the first time this weekend after the club opted to upgrade his interim position to full-time.
After all, the Norwegian passed his initial test with flying colours, having recorded 14 wins from 19 matches since he replaced Jose Mourinho three months ago.
As Solskjaer prepares for his first match as the main man - at home to Watford on Saturday - we take a look out how a handful of his permanent predecessors got on in their first games in charge of the Red Devils, dating back to Ron Atkinson's maiden match in 1981.
Jose Mourinho: WON
It was supposed to be the dawn of a spectacular new era. In fairness, Jose Mourinho did win a treble - of sorts - in his first season although there was little to cheer about from then on.
Oh well, at least United enjoyed a winning start under Mourinho, a 2-1 Community Shield success over Leicester, who had spectacularly won the title a few months earlier.
Louis van Gaal: LOST
Louis van Gaal, winner of the Champions League, UEFA Cup, La Liga, Bundesliga, and Eredivisie titles, was belittled by Swansea, at Old Trafford, in his opening game at the helm.
The Dutchman may have a trophy-drenched CV but in two years at Man Utd he could only lift the FA Cup, although that joy was short-lived as he was sacked 48 hours later.
David Moyes: WON
Say what you want about Moyesy but a) he won his first game in charge, and b) he won a trophy.
In fact, both came on the same day - Saturday 11th August 2013 - when Man Utd saw off the challenge of Championship side Wigan to lift the Community Shield. The rest, as they say, is history.
Sir Alex Ferguson: LOST
We have to go all the way back to November 1986 for Sir Alex Ferguson’s managerial debut at Man Utd.
It was not a day to remember as United slumped to a 2-0 defeat at Oxford. They only won one of his first games in charge - 1-0 over QPR - and the trophy cabinet wasn’t added to for four years, although we’ll let him off as he did go on to win 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups, four League Cups, two Champions Leagues, 10 Community Shields...you get the drift.
Ron Atkinson: LOST
It’s fair to say that Man Utd managers haven’t exactly enjoyed the best of starts. Ron Atkinson, appointed in June 1981 following the departure of Dave Sexton, failed to sparkle initially as his troops when down 2-1 to Coventry.
United then played out a goalless draw against Nottingham Forest, followed by a 2-1 defeat to Ipswich, and a 1-1 stalemate away to Aston Villa.
Five years later he’d scooped a couple of FA Cup trophies and the Charity Shield, but was axed with the club stuck in the bottom-four of the old First Division, 10 weeks into the 1986/87 season.