A mixed start to Ole Gunner Solskjaer’s United managerial career means that even after 47 games, questions remain about whether he can succeed. However, no one can deny Ole’s status as a bona fide United legend. We will look at three of the biggest decisions facing Ole, which could shape both his and United’s future.
Pogba – Is Ole ruthless enough?
The footballing equivalent of marmite, no player divides opinion as much as Pogba. Although, there is no denying his quality, consistency has always been an issue at United. Furthermore, unnecessary statements from his agent/brother, has led to lack of support from former United greats. Publicly, Ole has always backed Pogba but he must now decide if Pogba really wants to stay at United. If he doesn’t, then Ole should make the decision and discard Pogba to show who is boss. Would Fergie have accepted a player who didn’t want to be here?
Should they stay or should they go?
We are now beginning to see the start of Ole’s vision. A core group of players have been identified including Maguire, Wan Bissaka, McTominay, James, Rashford and Martial. However, there are \several players who need to be shipped out AND replaced. These include Matic, Jones, Young and Sanchez, who remains a United player.
This season is also key for numerous fringe players and whether they are good enough to remain at United. These include Lingard, Pereira, Shaw, Fred, Bailly and Dalot. Questions remain as none of them have nailed down a place. Pereira and Fred have made some strides to becoming United players with improved performances. Lingard’s time seems to be up with him limited to substitute appearances. Shaw, Bailly and Dalot are on the injury table but when they return it could be their last chance saloon.
Mr Maguire and..?
Victor Lindelof was United’s best player last season. This year it was expected he would push on with a long-term partner in Harry Maguire. Expectations were high; was it the beginning of a Ferdinand and Vidic type partnership? So far, we haven’t seen any evidence with regular mistakes from Lindelof, jeopardising his place. Tuanzebe has made an impressive start showing great maturity, though an injury has curtailed that promising start. Lindelof has credit in the bank and Tuanzebe’s injury has bought him more time but he has to improve his performances. If this dosen’t happen soon, Ole maybe faced with the decision of replacing Lindelof.
Ole is reaching the crescendo of his time in charge. Results on the pitch and how he handles the key decisions identified above could well determine if “Ole remains at the wheel”.