Sat, Sep 20, 2014 - Page 18 News List

Managers Magath and Solskjaer fail to last year in England


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Felix Magath arrived with strong reputations for their first shot at management in English soccer last season. Neither of them lasted nine months.

On Thursday, Solskjaer quit as Cardiff City manager citing a “difference in philosophy” with the team’s owners, while Magath was fired by Fulham hours later to leave the London club searching for their fourth coach since December last year.

Both clubs were relegated from the English Premier League last season and have been unable to stop their slide in the unforgiving 24-team Championship. Fulham are in last place on one point from seven matches, while Cardiff are 17th on eight points.

In January, Solskjaer swapped job security at Molde, where he won three trophies in three years, and a settled family life in his native Norway to try to keep Cardiff in England’s top division, but he failed to have the same impact he managed in his playing career at Manchester United, which reached its peak when he diverted home a stoppage-time winner in the UEFA Champions League final against Bayern Munich in 1998-1999.

Solskjaer, who spent 11 years at United and was known for his lethal finishing, decided to step down after holding talks with Cardiff owner Vincent Tan and chairman Mehmet Dalman.

“Our difference in philosophy on how to manage the club made me decide to step aside and allow the club to move forward in the direction Vincent wants,” Solskjaer said.

Tan said Cardiff’s “recent results do not justify Ole’s continued role as manager at Cardiff.”

Magath arrived at Fulham a month after Solskjaer on an 18-month contract, and with a reputation for brutal training and fitness methods that earned him the nickname “Torturer.” He won Bundesliga titles with Bayern Munich and VfL Wolfsburg in Germany.

Fulham were bottom of the Premier League with 12 matches remaining, but Magath could not keep the team up.

In 20 matches under Magath, Fulham have won only four.

“This is an unfortunate, but necessary change,” Fulham chairman Shahid Khan said. “I am doing what I feel is right and needed for Fulham ... for today as well as tomorrow. I thank our supporters for standing by us during these most difficult of times on the pitch and promise better days ahead.”

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