Is Ole Finally On Borrowed Time Or Will He Pull Another Rabbit Out Of The Hat?

Posted: March 7, 2021 in Arsenal, Chelsea, Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur
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After nearly three years it is starting to feel as though time may be finally running out for Ole Gunnar Solskjær. There is probably no need for his loyal fan club to panic just yet though because he has been in this situation on more than one occasion in the past. What usually transpires is that he, or rather his team, manage to dig out a totally unexpected result which then sees his stay of execution extended further.

His loyal fanbase also point to the ‘fact’ that he has improved the team as well as being a club legend. In truth neither of these statements is accurate given that the team currently occupy 2nd in the Premier League, a position in which they finished under José Mourinho, (as well as picking up a couple of trophies), and they have won precisely nothing. What Solskjær has been able to do is to turn the team into serial semi-final losers, (4 out of 4 to date), and fail to qualify for the Champion’s League knockout stages despite only needing ONE point from TWO games against teams he had already beaten. The style of football can also reach the depths plumbed previously by Louis van Gaal and Mourinho!

As for ‘club legend’ that is also stretching things a bit. Whilst undoubtedly a very fine player he was rarely deemed good enough to start ahead of Dwight Yorke or Andy Cole but he did have a great knack of scoring goals when he came on as a substitute and of course everybody remembers THAT goal back in 1999! In fact it was probably that goal which has caused some deluded supporters to award him legendary status. The question though is very simple; If OGS is a legend, what does that make Law, Best and Charlton, to name but three? Is there something higher than a legend?

A web post we read recently suggested that the problems at Manchester United lie elsewhere, not with the manager. This is only half true. There are undoubtedly problems with the parasitic owners, who use the club as their own private money-box and there is the problem of Ed Woodward, a banker who has convinced himself he knows something about football. He is the one responsible for appointing Solskjær, a man with virtually no real management experience and certainly no big club management experience, as well as being responsible for not appointing a Director of Football!

Top managers are rarely remembered for what they did as a player because their achievements as coach are more memorable

But to say there is no problem with the current manager is just digging a hole in the sand in which to bury your head. The other managers of the big clubs all had playing careers which saw varying degrees of success. Who remembers Pep Guardiola as a player, or Jürgen Klopp, Carlo Ancelotti, Thomas Tuchel, José Mourinho or even Brendan Rodgers? The only other manager of a big club who was playing relatively recently is Mikel Arteta and look how that’s going!

In other words, the best managers usually become successful, or more successful as they get older and people only remember their time in management. At the moment, Solskjær is perceived as somebody still making his way, someone on the first rung of the ladder but, in fact, his first managerial role was back in 2008 with Manchester United reserves. He has rarely had a break since so has been in management for THIRTEEN years!

The fact that he has never been anywhere near a big club until approached by United should say everything. The fact that most of the other big club managers are known for their management ability whilst he is still fondly remembered by a nostalgic following for a goal he scored 22 years ago should say everything.

In conclusion, we would say that it would make a perfect story if he could somehow turn Manchester United into the kind of serial winners they were under Sir Alex Ferguson and that is certainly what he wants to do. The problem is that he isn’t Sir Alex Ferguson. Even worse, he isn’t up to the level, tactically or selection wise, of some of the other managers, a fact proven in this season’s Champion’s League exit and the four semi-final defeats.

He has been out-thought, certainly in important games, and he has been outclassed. Nothing would please us more than seeing United succeed with him in charge. Unfortunately, it would come as one of the biggest surprises of the century if it happened.

If there is to be another extension to his stay of execution then it needs to be the last one, one final chance, which would still be more than was given to others.

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