Posts Tagged ‘Ole Gunnar Solskjær’

Ole’s at the wheel, although the ‘L’ plates are still firmly attached and if any of the backroom staff are his instructor then it is unlikely he will pass the test.

An average ex-player who became a below average manager, Mike Phelan would have to be regarded as the senior figure on the team although quite what he brings to the table given his lack of expertise in anything of relevance is beyond this meagre publication.

He is aided and abetted in his aiding and abetting of the manager by Michael Carrick. Another ex-player but, in his case, a very good one. That’s really where the good news ends. With absolutely no experience of coaching at any level, he was given a job coaching at United, despite the fact that Nicky Butt was already at the club and already had a few years coaching experience.

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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?

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Ole Gunnar Solskjær would never have been interviewed by any other Premier League club, let alone be given the manager’s job. His only experience with the division had been at Cardiff City with whom he suffered relegation. He was fired in his second season before it could ever be known whether or not he would take them back up, down another level or tread water somewhere betwixt and between.

So with this very inauspicious spell at a “Premier League club”, (albeit a relegated one), now over he hightailed it back to Norway to the relative comfort of Molde where he would achieve relative success but nothing, or so you would think, so earth-shattering or seismic as to draw the attention of one of the biggest clubs in the world.

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The number 7 shirt at Manchester United has been worn by some great players. So what? Exactly the same can be said about almost every number throughout the team particularly back in the sensible days when the team wore the numbers 1 to 11.

The number 10 shirt has been worn by David Herd, Denis Law, George Best, David Beckham and Wayne Rooney, to name but 5. The number 8 shirt has been worn by Denis Law, George Best, Wayne Rooney and now by Juan Mata.

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So Manchester United have paid the agent of Edinson Cavani €10 million to get the deal done. Granted there was no transfer fee as he was a free agent but the fact remains that if they had added that €10 million to their original offer for Jadon Sancho then he would now be a United player. So what was the thought process of Ed Woodward when making this deal?

The answer is pretty simple in that there wasn’t one. This was another panic signing to try and make it look as though the club had achieved something during this transfer window.

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Why was Ole Gunnar Solskjær appointed as Manchester United manager? We’re not talking about when he got the job permanently because everybody knows that was a knee-jerk reaction to a few decent results. Even then the appointment was announced far too early and should have been kept under wraps until the end of the season. No, we mean whose idea was it to bring him back in the first place?

Let’s face it, it was a move which blindsided the vast majority of Manchester United supporters and one which probably came as a big surprise to Solskjær himself.

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What a season it turned out to be for both Manchester-based soccer clubs in 2018/19. We all know the story with City – keeping Liverpool at bay with a staggering run of wins under Pep Guardiola to claim the league title.

But where does this leave Manchester United? Once, they were the team that everyone feared in English football, but this has slipped over the years since Sir Alex Ferguson left. 2018/19 was a frustrating season for them – certainly for the first part of it under José Mourinho. The latter part of the season did pick up somewhat once new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær took his seat in the dugout. A sixth-place league finish is not what United fans expect though, and they are certainly not happy about the gulf between them and City. (more…)