Where Will Manchester United Finish The Season And What Would Another Failure Mean For Solskjær?

Posted: December 5, 2020 in Arsenal, Chelsea, Football, Liverpool, Managers, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur
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After losing at home to Arsenal then away to Basaksehir Manchester United went on to record four wins on the bounce with victories over Everton away, Basaksehir at home, West Bromwich Albion at home and Southampton away.

Performance-wise there were ups and downs. For example, the defeat to Arsenal was poor and the defeat in Istanbul even poorer. The Everton win showed spirit and a determination which had seemed missing in the previous two games but then it was back to a poor showing against West Brom which at least resulted in a win this time.

The Southampton game, apart from a twenty minutes spell when the hosts scored two goals, was an example of how well they can play and how good a player Edinson Cavani is.

But with all these inconsistencies, can United challenge for any of the trophies this season?

Their home defeat to PSG in the Champion’s League showed up, yet again, the failings in the manager. Despite pundits Rio Ferdinand and Paul Scholes being reluctant to criticise him it was an absolute fact that Fred should have been substituted at half-time. EVERYBODY watching the game thought so except, evidently, Ole Gunnar Solskjær who insisted on leaving him on so that the inevitable happened, he was sent off.

This is another example of the Norwegian’s many, many strange ways of thinking when it comes to making substitutions. One game he is leaving it until the 83rd minute to make his first change. In another he will take off a striker, replacing him with a midfielder, when a goal is needed. This latest example is one of not making a change when a change was crying out to be made. In the end, United going down to ten men is probably what cost them the game, (along with the inclusion of a totally out of form Anthony Martial).

Strangely enough, Solskjær wan’t pressed on this in his post-match interview. Not in the way José Mourinho or Louis van Gaal might have been! Then again, it is highly unlikely either of those would have made the same mistake!

So with these examples of wild inconsistency, where does it leave the team in the Premier League pecking order?

Still the two favourites but who will win it?

In our humble opinion, United are not as good, even when they are good, as Liverpool or Manchester City.

Though they were initially being given top three odds to win the league this season, they’ve since been passed by Chelsea and Spurs in odds while falling back to ninth place in the table at the time of writing.

So, given that they’re less consistent than both of the aforementioned London teams, our best prediction for them, based on current form, would be fifth meaning a drop back into the Europa League for them.

What would be interesting in this scenario is how the Ole supporters would spin it. Up to now his managing to lose THREE semi-finals whilst adding absolutely nothing to the trophy cabinet has been excused by many because he scored the winning goal in the Champion’s League final 21 years ago! Oh, and they also reckon he is improving the team although there is a decided lack of logic in that statement when you read the previous sentence.

The two managers prior to Solskjær were both sacked after bringing trophies to the club and maybe Ole is worried that he may suffer the same fate should he win something! Who knows?

However, it will be quite interesting to see what happens if he fails to qualify for the knock-out stages of the Champion’s League, particularly after amassing nine points from the first four games. That really would be snatching defeat from the jaws of victory!

It is also true that Mauricio Pochettino, who is rumoured to be the number one target should Ole get the boot, won’t wait around forever and is a candidate to replace Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid or Thomas Tuchel at PSG.

In conclusion and as we said earlier, we reckon United will finish fifth and maybe win a cup but it certainly won’t be a European one and this ending to the season may finally see the likeable Norwegian replaced.

We hope we are wrong but don’t expect to be.

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