Man Utd’s Steve Bruce conundrum and why Ed Woodward should ponder wildcard interim option

Who will get the Manchester United job?

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Manchester United have announced their intention to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with an interim boss for the remainder of the season before moving for their top targets in the summer.

A host of names, such as Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino and Leicester City chief Brendan Rodgers, have already been linked with the top job at Old Trafford both before and after Solskjaer was axed on Sunday.

But United chief Ed Woodward believes it would be too difficult to strike a deal for any of their preferred candidates midway through the season.

And that’s left Woodward scrambling to find a safe pair of hands to keep things ticking over for the rest of the season.

An unlikely name has emerged as a potential contender to take on that interim role; a name that would see one United icon replace another following Solskjaer’s departure.

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Steve Bruce has only been out of work for a few weeks since he was unceremoniously dumped by Newcastle, but he reportedly would be open to a short-term role at Old Trafford.

Although Bruce’s name is likely to be ridiculed by fans, perhaps it shouldn’t be.

Realistically, Bruce isn’t going to accomplish anything with United this season; his Premier League win ratio is evidence enough for that.

But United have already effectively written off the rest of this season anyway by going down the route of appointing an interim boss.

Even with Solskjaer gone, United are still lightyears behind the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City right now. That isn’t going to be rectified in six months – regardless of how good a temporary boss they can conjure up.

Getting United to that level is still a long-term project, despite the good work that Solskjaer had done prior to this season.

That’s why a move for someone like Pochettino makes perfect sense – even if that means waiting until the summer to prise him away from Paris.

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United are far better off waiting for the right person than hiring the sexiest name available to them right now.

So, with that being the case, then why not plump for Bruce? Or if not him, someone of that ilk?

Whilst he didn’t enjoy the best relationship with Newcastle fans, when you consider how fractured the club was under the reign of Mike Ashley, he didn’t actually do that bad a job in some pretty appalling circumstances.

He also has Premier League experience and knows the club inside out. Solskjaer had both of those and proved himself to be a very capable deputy following Jose Mourinho’s departure – perhaps too capable.

His sensational run of form left everyone clamouring for Woodward to hand Solskjaer the job on a permanent basis – even though he was grossly underqualified.

United can’t afford to make that mistake again; Woodward will know that better than anybody.

Of course, there are better options out there than Bruce. But is Bruce, an established and respected Premier League manager who has overseen 1000 games as a boss, really the worst one available?

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At the very least, if United were to turn to Bruce on a temporary basis, it would prevent them from repeating their mistakes with Solskjaer all over again.

Woodward and the United board have exposed their incompetence time and time again over the past few years, and most sensible United fans know that Solskjaer was far from the only problem at Old Trafford.

When it comes to this Manchester United hierarchy, you really wouldn’t be surprised to see them go down the interim route and end up being seduced by the wrong candidate all over again. Given how inept they’ve already proven themselves to be, they simply can’t be trusted.

It would be by far the safest option for them to take that option away and prevent them from being enticed into another Solskjaer scenario.

Turning to someone like Bruce would ensure that – even if it means United fans have to endure short-term pain for long-term gain.

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