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Solskjaer, Magath fail to last a year in England

September 18, 2014

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Felix Magath arrived with strong reputations for their first shot at management in English football last season.

Neither of them lasted nine months.

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

Both clubs were relegated from the Premier League last season and have been unable to stop their slide in the unforgiving 24-team League Championship. Fulham is in last place on one point from seven matches and Cardiff is 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 an injury-time winner in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich in 1999.

Solskjaer, who spent 11 years at United and was known for his lethal finishing as a “super-sub,” 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 Wolfsburg in Germany.

Fulham was bottom of the Premier League with 12 matches remaining, but Magath couldn’t keep the team up.

In 20 matches under Magath, Fulham 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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