Manchester United are a mess. The club is in complete disarray from top to bottom and it’s been clear for a number of years that there isn’t a quick fix. There have been four different managers in charge at Old Trafford since Sir Alex Ferguson retired and none of them have been able to fix things on the pitch. Ed Woodward’s transfer dealings have been laughable at times and answers as to why seem difficult to come up with.
That’s why when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was appointed as head coach just over a year ago, a lot of fans (and players) breathed a sigh of relief. Here was a familiar face who knew what it meant to play for the club and was ready-made to carry them through a turbulent few months.
He should never have been appointed on a permanent basis, though.
I accept that the start he made as manager was incredible and some of the wins were out of this world. I also thought, however, that this was merely part of the honeymoon period and I’ve been proven right. Ever since he was given the full-time job things have been nothing short of disastrous.
Solskjaer doesn’t boast a successful or lengthy managerial CV and it’s proven to be his downfall; he’s way out of his depth. His tactical knowledge is severely lacking and I don’t think a single other Premier League team would want him at the helm. He is managing at Manchester United because he’s an ex-player.
The myth behind appointing ex-players as managers based purely on that element has always baffled me. United have made no progress in the last 12 months and if anything they are going backwards. Pogba looks to be on the way out and Solskjaer is still showing naivety by playing Marcus Rashford while he is injured. If it was any other manager, they would have been out the door a while ago.
Solskjaer talks of building a philosophy but all he can do is counter attack. He inherited a squad with a number of pacey players and he tells them to run; this works against big teams who leave space in behind, but not against smaller teams who allow United to have possession. That’s why they drop points so often to teams in the bottom half.
Liverpool and Manchester City aren’t succeeding because of sentimentality, they’re succeeding because they have the best managers in the world at their disposal who can bring the best out of the players they have. Solskjaer has already proven he isn’t the man to take United forward and the sooner he’s out the door, the sooner they can move on to a proper rebuild with a proper philosophy.