It’s completely astonishing how Manchester United have been allowed to become so desperately average. When looking through the list of illustrious names from various eras, it’s like reading a who’s who of football. Such shining talent, so many stars but all devoted and competitive professionals that drove United to unparalleled success under the complex and fiery Alex Ferguson.
Solskjaer was part of that history and it must be particularly galling that he is lumbered with a diluted and unimaginative Manchester United side that have a lack of quality in so many areas. There is now a dependence on emerging talent rather than established personnel.
A collection of individuals that appear to be unable to fit into a cohesive, productive and successful unit. The money that Manchester United have squandered in recent years has been astonishing (£968 million since their last Premier League title in 2013) and it’s been a slow and gradual depreciation of quality that has now resulted in a mishmash of players and a shallow talent pool.
Harsh ? No, not really, tell me this current side is a tenth as good as the 1992/95 which had Peter Schmeichel, Denis Irwin, Paul Parker, Steve Bruce , Gary Pallister, Roy Keane, Paul Ince, Ryan Giggs , Andrei Kanchelskis, Mark Hughes and Eric Cantona or the side of 1995/99 which contained Peter Schmeichel, Denis Irwin, Gary Neville, Jaap Stam, Ronny Johnsen, Roy Keane, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole
Even the 2006/09 team that consisted of Edwin van der Sar, Patrice Eves, Wes Brown, Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Michael Carrick, Paul Scholes, CM Anderson, Park Ji-sung, Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo was light years better than this team could potentially ever be.
Take four players from any of these sides and you have the body of a team, one which would be tough to overcome and that has enough determination to win.
Arsene Wenger may have been right when he recently that Manchester United were four players short but they need to be the top end of the transfer market and that’s going to cost.
I may be living in the past and perhaps these types of players aren’t affordable or don’t exist in todays vastly inflated market but United need something and quickly. If Manchester United don’t spend in January and again in the summer, Solskjaer might as well chuck the towel in before they throw it at him.
So where did it go wrong ? For me it was appointing Ferguson’s successor at Manchester United, David Moyes. He wasn’t big enough or experienced enough for the job and the board allowed Ferguson to nominated a successor without any pedigree.
After that it got worse as they searched and often snatched at the easiest option and it ended with the appointment of the King of ego’s Jose Mourinho.
Like the equivalent of footballing snakes and ladders, Manchester United made progress and before slipping further behind than they were before. The day Ferguson unplugged his hairdryer for good, Manchester United unraveled, losing their style and identity.
Now it’s an almighty mess and the inexperienced Solskjaer is tasked with building something that could take three or four years and millions of pounds. Yet it appears that they are going to rely on youth to get them through and back on the road to success. Good luck with that !