Solskjaer and his men travel to the London stadium tonight for this week’s Premier League fixture against West Ham.
If anyone deserves an award for dealing calmly with adversity, it should be Manchester United boss, Ole Gunner Solskjaer. Drafted in after the Mourinho debacle on a temporary basis, he took charge of a seriously demoralised and disjointed team.
He has had to massage ego’s, rebuild the confidence of players and deal with a battered and bewildered side, but worse was to follow. Having patched up the Pogba situation, probably until January, he flogged off Lukaku to Inter before jettisoning goal shy Sanchez on loan.
Yet, United did very little spade work in the summer transfer window, leaving Solskjaer with no alternative but to bring forth the youngsters.
As they travel to West Ham, it appears Solskjaer is going to have to rely on a severely depleted squad due to the probable absences of midfield diva Paul Pogba, Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial, leaving an already stretched United slightly bare in key areas.
James could apparently feature at some point after concerns over an ankle injury. Midweek Europa league hero, Mason Greenwood didn’t travel to the capital, so he looks unlikely to start.
It’s been an indifferent season so far with a decent 4-0 win over Chelsea, a 1-1 draw with Wolves, a 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace, another 1-1 draw with Southampton and a slightly unexpected 1-0 win over Leicester.
West Ham will fancy taking three points with a distinctly weak midfield and forward line, having lost only once so far this season.
Manuel Lanzini and Sebastien Haller are a genuine threat, adding quality and style in attack and they may prove too tough for the fallen Manchester Giants. However, Lanzini may be subject to a late fitness test.
The forward position has been a problem area for the Hammers in the past with the signing of 37 strikers during the Gold and Sullivan’s era which have only delivered a total of 199 goals in 920 games, which is incredibly poor.
Marcus Rashford has suffered a blip in form and although rated highly by some, Martial is head and shoulders above him in my opinion, but it looks likely that he will have to shoulder the responsibility of making things happen for United which isn’t ideal.
In the middle, United will probably go with James, Mata and Pereira which is a line-up that will hardly make West Ham tremble. Even when Pogba is fit, the midfield is poor and unimaginative and if anything, United should have invested on a playmaker with heart.
West Ham will be once again looking towards the experience and desire of Mark Noble, the cornerstone of the Hammers set up and they will also have the penetration of Yarmolenko and Felipe Anderson.
Aaron Creswell looks likely to be drafted in to defence in the absence of Arthur Masuaku, who picked up a red card at Aston Villa but despite that inconvenience, Manuel Pellegrini has his best side to date and even though he hasn’t had a blistering start to the season, one feels this side could do reasonably well this season.
As for United, they have no choice but to limp through the tail end of this year in the hope of reinforcements in January, but don’t hold your breath.
Predicted Score For The West Ham Vs United Game:-
A 2-1 win for West Ham