Should Ole Solksjaer be sacked? This is the question every Manchester United fan is asking. Manchester United’s season had been concerning enough prior to a recent goalless draw with AZ Alkmaar in the Europa League. The recent defeat against Newcastle United is pinching salt on a fresh wound. In case you did not know, things are changing from bad to worse for Ole Solksjaer at Old Trafford. Under Ole as their permanent manager, Manchester United has scored just 18 goals in 20 matches.
Top of it, the Red Devils have failed to win away matches since March. The recent loss at Newcastle at St James’ Park, has left Man United just two points clear of the relegation zone. They are standing 12th in the table with 9 points. The Red Devils have struggled offensively as well as defensively and the pressure is straddling on Solskjaer more and more with every match played. Here we analyse why it’s time to say ‘ha det’ (goodbye in Norwegian) to Ole Gunnar Solksjaer.
Difficult to manage the big club
Ole sometimes reflects that the important rebuild could be coming soon, though it is impossible to sustain an argument Ole can lead the vast and ardent job of overhauling a club which finds itself shaking around in the dark right from August. As a caretaker manager Ole clinched victories in 14 games out of 19. But the things have not worked for him after becoming the permanent manager. He has managed to win only 6 wins from the 21 games he has managed so far. According to United’s status and pride, the club in the world is among the most difficult to manage, with the expectation among fans to not just win matches but to win those in style.
Only a few signings
Ole has stood up to the board this summer over signings. He got the two defenders but what about midfield and attack? Replacement for Romelu Lukaku? Some would argue that a reluctance to step away from top aims—think Jadon Sancho or Paulo Dybala—is hurting him. But it is clear he only wants players that fit a long-term vision.
Sir Alex Ferguson once said, “Attack wins you games, defence wins you titles“. As such, Solskjaer couldn’t sort out the defensive shambles that Manchester United are currently in right now. Coming to the midfield, one name comes to mind is Paul Pogba. How can a player be so effective in his national jersey, while failing to live up to the standards at his club? Paul Pogba has divided opinion during the entire span of his time at Old Trafford so far. To sum up, the connection between Ole and players at Old Trafford seems loose.
Woodward vs Ole
Ed Woodward, United’s Executive Vice-Chairman, once insisted patience will be shown towards Solskjaer. That makes sense in as much as the manager doesn’t seem the biggest problem at the club. Paul Scholes once suggested that it will take ‘four or five’ transfer windows to make Red Devils competitive again. But how would a leadership that has presided over such decay for the past six years suddenly be able to put it right in two? Should Ole Solksjaer be sacked or even the board members should be asked to resign?
No support from assistants
The criticism for Ole is on the peak and no doubt he will face the same if he does not manage to win the game for Man United. The question here comes to many of the United fans is why Ole Solksjaer is playing with 4 -2- 3-1 formation despite the lack of a good no.10 or deep-lying midfielder that can actually pass. Isn’t Ole receiving any advice from his assistant coaches? What are the roles of Carrick, McKenna and Phelan in all chaos? Assistant coaches are the ones who work with the players day-in-day-out, they should be taking some flack for the fact that half of the team is failing to pass the ball five yards, control the ball, take less than four touches in possession or be precarious from set-pieces.
The squad the Norwegian inherited from Jose Mourinho ran poor than any other in the Premier League. That’s not unavoidably to say it was unfit, more that Mourinho’s dislike to pressing meant running was far less important to his side than it is for many others. Solskjaer tried to implement a running game and for almost three glorious months it worked but the downpour has begun. Should Ole Solksjaer be sacked? Better he releases himself and the embarrassment of a U-turn than another grim season and dull Christmas gifts.