After what has been a nightmare start to the season, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his Manchester United side sit in a lowly 12th position after the opening eight games of the Premier League season, leading to huge speculation about the future of the former United striker’s place at Old Trafford.
The Norwegian’s coming off of leading United to their worst start to a season for 30 years and he’s without a win away from home since being given the job on a permanent basis back in March. Everything seems to be going wrong at Old Trafford at the moment but whatever your opinion on who’s to blame, that kind of form is not good enough for a side that has over £600 million worth of talent within it.
With Liverpool coming up at the weekend, is a defeat the last straw for Ole? Or will he be given the time to bounce back or even cause a shock result?
The perfect chance to end the rut?
The visit of Liverpool on Sunday may just be the last game United fans want to see on the calendar after this awful run of form but it may just be a blessing in disguise.
United are of course not in the best shape going into the north-west derby. There are doubts over the fitness of key players such as Aaron Wan Bissaka, Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba and maybe even Daniel James after his head injury with Wales last Sunday. Their opposition, of course, look virtually unbeatable at the moment and are a side that have managed more points in their last five games than United have since April.
In recent times however, United have somehow not done too badly against the current League leaders (urgh), with just four defeats in 15 games against our biggest rivals since Sir Alex’s Ferguson’s retirement in 2013. Despite all their troubles they seem to be able to turn up enough to not get battered and often manage to at least claim a point. A match like this may produce the scariest possible outcome but it may just be the game Ole and the team needs to get everyone back on side.
Win or lose I believe Ole will be given a little more time to try get things right but there’s no doubt any kind of positive result on Sunday has the power to not just keep his job but maybe even give everyone the momentum turn the entire season around.
Will the board remain patient?
Sources from inside the club have said they are still fully behind Solskjaer but if this form continues it’s difficult seeing them giving Ole much more time at the wheel.
A hammering on Sunday and it wouldn’t be too surprising if they go and sack Ole to bring someone else in, get that new manager bounce, watch us comfortably finish in 6th and hope the new man’s spending spree is enough to break United back into the Champions League in 2021/22.
The fact is though that the United squad has been ruined over several years with wasteful transfers and big-money signings and names that just have not found their place in Manchester. With Ole it’s been different, there is a strategy and a plan at the club with the first few pieces of the puzzle being put into place with the Summer signings of James, Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire. These players have been comfortably amongst United’s better players in this disastrous campaign so far and although that may not be diffifcult it shows signs of promise in Ole’s management. Solksjaer does have a plan that can work but if he has the time to implement is a different question.
It was in the early years of Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign where he repeatedly asked the board for patience so he could get the job right, now Ole is asking for the same and if the Ed Woodward and the Glazers really do want to get out of this crisis, they can’t be reliant on the new manager bounces forever.