Manchester United is one of the very few clubs that can boast of a very productive summer transfer window. With the arrivals of Sancho, Varane, and Ronaldo, United fans hoped to mount a challenge for the Premier League. But with the club currently languishing in sixth place, pressure is mounting on club manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s future. According to a source close to the club, the Norwegian could be out of his job if results do not improve post-international break.
Going into the new season, the board decided to stick with Solskjaer even after the Europa League final loss. He convinced the board to spend big in the summer to upgrade his squad. There was the arrival of big names like Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho, and the homecoming of Cristiano Ronaldo. United fans could not have asked for a better start to the league, with four wins in the first five games. However, the next six games saw them lose four games, including a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of bitter rivals Liverpool, at home. Ole’s time was believed to be up after the humiliating loss to Klopp’s side, but Sir Alex Ferguson intervened. He convinced the club to give the former United player one last chance, and he won 3-0 against Tottenham.
📊 A fan survey found that 69% of #mufc fans would prefer to see Solskjær leave the club immediately, while 51% said he has done a good job since taking over from Jose Mourinho. [@TheAthleticUK] pic.twitter.com/HGiHQySPuu
— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) November 10, 2021
But the joy of the fans was cut short as the club failed to win against both Atalanta and Manchester City in their next games. This led to new reports that the United hierarchy were considering Solskjaer’s future at Old Trafford. According to a report, if the club continues to slump in the league table, the United board would not hesitate to sack the 48-year-old Norwegian.
Three days after derby defeat, there are still no contacts between Manchester United board and other managers. No talks. 🚫🔴 #MUFC
Ole Gunnar Solskjær still supported by main part of board members. Joel Glazer only one who can change the situation – but there’s still no signal. pic.twitter.com/0nxdW56KrJ
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) November 9, 2021
According to Football Insider, a United source has told them that Solskjaer’s position is safe for now. He will be there in the dugout for United’s next match against Watford after the international break. However, Solskjaer’s future is under huge pressure and if he fails to change the club’s fortunes, he could face the axe immediately. Reports suggesting his tenure will continue until the summer, or while they can challenge for the top four, are far from true.
- Midfielder’s Agent Is Looking For A New Club For His Client As The Player Is Frustrated At United
- Manchester United Make 22-Year-Old Defensive Midfielder Top Priority On Solskjaer’s Insistence
This extreme change of heart of the United board members and their wish for a change is because of Solskjaer’s tactics and how he sets up the team. It is reported that they were bewildered by his decision to play with a three-man defence in the Manchester Derby, despite Guardiola’s side not having an orthodox number nine.
21% of Man Utd's home defeats in PL history have come under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
— Duncan Alexander (@oilysailor) November 6, 2021
The source further stated that the decision-makers at Old Trafford want to give Solskjaer some time to see if he can overturn the situation. But if results are not positive and the club fails to climb the table, the board will be ready to take some harsh steps. And it could begin by dismissing the Norwegian and his support staff.
One of the problems with sacking the boss right now is the lack of proper replacements. Antonio Conte could have been a good option, but he is now at Tottenham. Brendan Rodgers and Erik Ten Haag are also being linked with United. However, it seems very unlikely that they will leave their clubs mid-season. Another name doing the rounds is the German manager, Ralf Rangnick. He is currently the Head of Sports at Lokomotiv Moscow. He would be the best among the available alternatives, but it is to be seen if he accepts the job for a short-term or long-term period.
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) November 11, 2021
Another good reason why the United board is hesitating to sack Solskjaer with just eleven games played in the league is that sacking a manager mid-season can sometimes make the situation worse. It may lead to an immediate improvement in results for a few games, but in the long run, it may create problems in the squad and with the new coach.
It remains to be seen whether Solskjaer is able to change the fortunes of the club after the break. And if he is unable to do so, how many matches before he is let go from his job and who eventually succeeds him at Old Trafford?