• ronangaine

Ole, United will always love you, but its time to go!

In 2018, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saved, what appeared to be a sinking ship, after winning 14 of 19 games as caretaker manager. He was awarded with a three year contract and since then he has led the team to a third place league finish & three cup semi-finals, pretty good for what is a poor United team with some world class players. However when you take a closer look at his time in charge you realise three important facts-

  1. His successful start was all down to bringing a feel good factor back to what seemed like a miserable team.

  2. Bruno Fernandes is the only real difference in the struggling team that Ole took over, without him they would be battling for a top 10 finish let alone top four.

  3. Finally, in his time in charge he has still not been able to figure out his best team or how to coach a team to play a certain style of football.

Not good enough for a team looking to get back to the top of world football (we hope) or a team that rely on making big money commercially.

Manchester United have tried three different managerial strategies since losing Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013. Go for the solid Premier League manager that deserves the chance at a bigger club, David Moyes, failed. Then they went to the old consistent style of Louis Van Gaal, failed. They then tried for consistency again in serial winner, Mourinho but never committed to him so it failed and finally they looked to Solskjaer, the rookie, United legend that could be the diamond in the rough, it's not over and he may still turn things around but all signs are pointing towards failure.

The best managers in the Premier League today have a clear style of play from the first moment they take the reigns at a club.

  • Jurgen Klopp, high press, aggressive style, it didn't work consistently until he was able to make some important signings but the style was there from day 1 and look at Liverpool now...

  • Pep Guardiola, possession with purpose, like with Klopp it didn't work consistently until he was able to make some signings but the style was evident from his first game in charge.

  • Jose Mourinho, compact, organised defence with a counter attacking punch, this has been Jose's style since he first arrived at Chelsea back in 2004 but it only works consistently if the board commits and brings in the players he wants to buy into the system. United failed to do so but Spurs appear to have done it and at the moment its working very well.

Manchester United have no style of play and play as individuals. Ole has been saved by huge individual performances this season from Bruno Fernandes against Brighton, Newcastle & Everton and Edison Cavani against Southampton.

Every week you see the same players make the same mistakes and while there is a number of first team regulars that are simply not good enough, coaches and managers are there to improve players. There is not one case under Ole and his staff where you can obviously see they have worked with an individual and made them a better player. Ole brought Bruno Fernandes to the club, who has since contributed 23 goals & 15 assists in just 39 games for the club in all competitions, without him who knows where the team would be right now.

At this moment, Man United are just five points off top spot in the Premier League with a game in-hand but that is glossing over the very obvious problems at the club. The season is still young but on the six occasions, so far, where Solskjaer has been challenged as a manager he has come up way short.

  1. Manchester United 1-6 Tottenham Hotspur

  2. Manchester United 0-0 Chelsea

  3. Manchester United 0-1 Arsenal

  4. Istanbul Basaksehir 2-1 Manchester United

  5. Manchester United 1-3 PSG

  6. RB Leipzig 3-2 Manchester United

You have no idea what sort of performance you are going to get from United from one game to another and that is the biggest criticism you can level at Solskjaer. He doesn't know what he wants his team to do when he sends them out onto the pitch. Ole's success when he first joined as caretaker was ultimately the worst thing that could've happened for him and United. It led to the club jumping blindly behind a manager who is completely out of his depth.

Solskjaer will always be loved by United fans for the amazing career he had at the club but the hierarchy must realise that he is not the man to bring the team forward. They will have reservations after chopping and changing so much since Fergie retired, Solskjaer has steadied the ship but now it's time for the next step.

Yes we are not going to find another Sir Alex Ferguson but they must bring in a modern manger, who has a style of play he will immediately try to implement while demanding certain things from his players every time they set foot on the pitch!