He’s back! Having failed in Cardiff to which the general reaction was “so what?”, the Norwegian returns to Manchester United as caretaker manager until the end of the season at which stage the seat will be judged to have been sufficiently warmed for the derrière of Mauricio Pochettino, (unless, of course, Solskjær can win the Champion’s League, the FA cup and finish in the top four).

He will be assisted by Mike Phelan who has the undoubted experience of having assisted Sir Alex Ferguson but the dubious experience of having failed in any managerial role he has taken on, (much like the vast majority of Ferguson’s assistants).

The good news is that it only needs to work reasonably well for around four months by which time it is expected that a director of football will be in place to aid the new manager in bringing in any new players deemed necessary.

The bad news is that Solskjær comes in at a time when United will struggle to make the top four and nobody really expects anything from the Champion’s League so, on that basis, maybe he can’t really lose.

His agenda will include correcting many of the mistakes made by the previous incumbent meaning that discussions need to be scheduled with most of the players but primarily with Paul Pogba, Alexis Sánchez, Anthony Martial and Romelu Lukaku.

He needs to address the insipid and boring style of play which the fans came to know under Louis van Gaal and which was exacerbated by José Mourinho.

He can also bring an element of class to the press conferences because he hasn’t been successful yet as a manager and so cannot brag, at every available opportunity, at how good he used to be years ago.

His appointment might not be met with unanimous applause at Old Trafford but there will be more supporters prepared to give him a chance than when Mourinho was given the job.

Competing or winning, which is the most inportant?


Kevin Keegan will be remembered more for his rant at Sir Alex Ferguson than for the way his teams played when he was manager

The old adage of “it’s not the winning, it’s the taking part which is important” is, particularly in the modern age, a load of old tosh.

The record books show who WON the trophies, they emphasise who WON them and make little mention of those finishing second or third.

The style of play is remembered by a generation and then forgotten as that generation is replaced by the next which never saw the team play. So, for example, Kevin Keegan’s exciting Newcastle United team of the nineties is still remembered today even though they won nothing, but they will be gradually forgotten over the next fifty years.

Real Madrid have won the Champion’s League/European Cup 12 times but who can remember how the team played football when they were winning their first three or four? Not many nowadays!

And so it goes. Alex Ferguson will go down in history as the most successful manager Manchester United ever had but who will remember, 50 or 60 years from now, how the team played? It can be difficult even now!

So if anybody tries to convince you that it is enough to take part and not important to win, then they are probably a time-traveller from the early 20th century, full of good intentions and very little else.

  1. Bernard Kroczek says:

    How a team plays is just as important as winning trophies to those fans who go and watch the games week in week out. If the team plays well then the law of averages suggests they will win more times than they lose. United have been awful to watch over the past five years even though they have won the League Cup, FA Cup and Europa League. Football fans want to be entertained every week. This season I have much preferred to watch Spurs, Bournemouth and Wolves than United. Naturally the fans want to win trophies but not necessarily at the expense of being entertained by good football. BTW, they are not mutually exclusive.


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