Solskjaer is a man under pressure, as fans wonder whether sacking Mourinho was a mistake
Ole Gunnar Sulskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho last December to become Manchester United’s new manager. United went on to lose only one of their first 17 games in all competitions under Solskjaer, including a stunning 3-1 at Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last-16. But since then it has all gone downhill and the team now find themselves only two points above the relegation zone in the Premier League after eight games.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 6, 2019
Solskjaer blames the recent misfortune on Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial’s absence due to injury. The Red Devils have struggled massively in front of goal this season, not scoring more than once in any game since opening day. The Red Devils lack of quality was there for all to see on Sunday, and not for the first time, with Andreas Pereira, Juan Mata and Fred all looking well short of what is needed.
Many fans thought sacking Mourinho was the right decision at the time, but recent form leaves one to question whether it was so. Since beating PSG 3-1 back in March, United have recorded just six wins in all competitions. The team currently sits in 10th in the Premier League table, with two victories from their opening seven fixtures. Overall, recent performances have been nothing short of dismal.
“I was sacked, probably deservedly sacked because I am the final [person] responsible as a manager but the sad reality is that they are worse than before,” Mourinho said on Sky Sports last month.
Yet it doesn’t come solely down to Mourinho or to Solskjaer as the problems dwell deeper, so whether or not Mourinho being sacked was a mistake or not is irrelevant at this point.
Ed Woodward’s Involvement
Instead of removing himself from making recruitment decisions and hiring someone else to do it, Ed Woodward has remained in charge of who to sign and got Solskjaer to sign his deal whilst the temporary boss was still on the crest of a wave, even if it had already started to die down post PSG.
In the summer some of United’s decisions in the transfer market were spot on as they signed a centre back of quality, a right back of promise, who also had Premier League experience, and an exciting young winger.
United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward publicly backed Solskjaer a few weeks ago but the team’s form shows no sign of improving any time soon – so, something has to change.
Solskjaer has pleaded for patience from the board, and patience was what Ferguson was granted in his early years. It was because the board could see he could do something right, even if results were not immediately forthcoming. While there is little evidence Solskjaer is on the right track, we think the board will share similar patience to that shown with Ferguson.
Manchester United vs Liverpool FC is next up in the Premier League for Solskjaer.
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