NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - JANUARY 02:  Manager of Manchester United Ole Gunnar Solskjaer celebrates with the fans after the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester United at St. James Park on January 2, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)

7 of the Best Interim Managers as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Keeps Up 100% Man Utd Record

Manchester United have won four games from four since appointing former player and club legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as caretaker manager after sacking Jose Mourinho last month.


The Norwegian has provided exactly the boost the club hoped he would do and has so far been the perfect example of what an interim boss needs to do.


Looking back in England and further afield, here are seven of the best interim managers to have taken temporary jobs.

7. Tim Sherwood (Tottenham)

Strictly speaking, Tim Sherwood was only interim manager at Tottenham for the space of a week in 2013 after very quickly being given a proper contract instead. But before Sherwood, there was no Harry Kane and he's only too happy to remind people.


"Every loan I sent him out on (as technical director), not one manager told me he would make a Premier League player," Sherwood said of Kane in a Sky Sports interview in 2018. "He struggled to convince the Tottenham fans at first. One of their own? It makes me laugh every time I hear it. They wanted the big name ending in 'o' to come into the team before Harry."


Sherwood only lasted 18 months in total, but Kane has since scored 158 goals and counting.  

6. Kenny Dalglish (Liverpool)

In what was a surprise return to management for the first time in 13 years, Anfield legend Kenny Dalglish restored some pride for Liverpool when he took over on an initial interim basis following the sacking of Roy Hodgson in January 2011.


Hodgson had admitted three months earlier that being in the relegation zone was tantamount to being in a relegation battle when the Reds unthinkably slipped into the bottom three for the first time in 46 years after a shock defeat to Blackpool.


Liverpool were 12th when Dalglish took over and he guided them to a sixth place finish, which was actually an improvement on the previous season. He was then given the job on a permanent basis, but, a League Cup triumph aside, things didn't work out thereafter.

5. Guus Hiddink (Chelsea)

Having run Manchester United all the way in the 2007/08 Premier League title race and come within a whisker of winning the Champions League for the first time, Chelsea found themselves playing catch up in February 2009, leading to the dismissal of manager Luiz Felipe Scolari. 


Esteemed Dutchman Guus Hiddink arrived on an interim basis, overseeing automatic Champions League qualification by finishing in the top three and delivering the FA Cup. They were also only denied a place in a second Champions League final after a late goal and a handful of controversial refereeing decisions in their semi-final second leg against Barcelona.


Hiddink returned to Chelsea for a less successful interim stint in December 2015.  

4. Rafa Benitez (Chelsea)

Former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez was tasked with steadying the ship on a short-term basis after Chelsea had sacked Roberto Di Matteo, more on whom to come later, in November 2012.


The Spaniard was not a popular choice among Chelsea fans as a result of previous comments he had made about the club and was even booed and jeered by his own supporters.


After an initially rocky start, Benitez managed to guide Chelsea to automatic Champions League qualification by finishing third in the Premier League. Having dropped out of the Champions League under Di Matteo, the club also won the Europa League that season.  

3. Tony Barton (Aston Villa)

Aston Villa won the league in 1980/81 for the first time in 71 long years, but manager Ron Saunders would leave in February 1982 over an alleged contract dispute, thrusting unknown chief scout Tony Barton into the Villa Park hot seat.


Barton had at least been responsible for identifying many of the title winning team but had no managerial experience. That seemed to matter little as within weeks of taking charge he had guided Villa to the European Cup semi finals after beating Soviet force Dynamo Kyiv.


Victory over Anderlecht in the last four then set up a final with three-time champions Bayern Munich. And while Villa finished the season mid-table back home, Barton remarkably led the club to European Cup glory and got the job full-time. He was sacked in 1984.  

2. Roberto Di Matteo (Chelsea)

Chelsea spent big to appoint managerial prodigy Andre Villas-Boas in the summer of 2011, only to sack the Portuguese eight months later and hand the reins to assistant and former Chelsea midfielder Roberto Di Matteo for the final 10 weeks of the season.


Di Matteo was unable to save the club's Premier League campaign, finishing sixth - their lowest since 2002, but what he did do was win the FA Cup and oversee a remarkable Champions League run instead.


After knocking out Napoli and Benfica, Chelsea claimed the huge scalp of holders Barcelona and then incredibly beat heavy favourites Bayern Munich in their own stadium. Di Matteo was handed a two-year contract as a result but was himself sacked after only a few months.  

1. Mario Zagallo (Brazil)

The Brazil team that won the 1970 World Cup is regarded as one of the greatest of all time, yet coach Mario Zagallo was actually an interim appointment after predecessor Joao Saldanha had been sacked just under three months before the tournament.


Presented with an incredible squad featuring the likes of Pele, who had been dropped by Saldanha, Jairzinho, Tostao, Rivelino, Carlos Alberto, Gerson, Clodoaldo and others, Zagallo's job was said to have been relatively straightforward: recall Pele and choose a goalkeeper. 


Brazil won the tournament, famously thrashing Italy in the final and Zagallo was subsequently appointed permanent boss and remained in charge until 1974. He was later part of the staff behind Brazil's 1994 World Cup winners and then had a second spell in charge himself.