Is it time for Ole to exit Manchester United?

Katie Siddal discusses Solksjaer's shortcomings as manager of Manchester United

Katie Siddall
24th December 2020
The question on everyone’s mind since Manchester United’s early Champions League exit is… Why is Ole Gunnar Solskjær still manager?

Solskjær started at Manchester United as caretaker manager in December 2018, succeeding Jose Mourinho, who was at the club for two and a half years. Ole is the first manager at an English club to lose at least six matches in his first ten within the Champions League.He was previously at Moulde for three seasons before joining Man U.

In March 2019, Solskjær signed a permanent contract. Once this contract was signed, all luck disappeared. Whilst caretaker manager, the Red’s won 14 matches, drew two and only lost three; however, this all changed. They have gone on to win five, draw seven and lose nine. It is a series of unfortunate events for Ole Gunnar Solskjær.

This means that within 19 games of being caretaker manager he went from a 74% winning success to 24% in 21 matches as a permanent manager. 

On Tuesday 8th December, Manchester United lost 3-2 to RB Leipzig. They only needed the one point (a simple draw) to move to the next round in the Champions League; however, this loss meant an early exit. Surely, this would be enough for Ole to exit, not just from the Champions League, but from Manchester United altogether. What will it take for him to leave The Red Devils?

After the match, Solskjær commented that “we didn’t perform as a team well enough, and that’s always the manager’s responsibility.” Placing Paul Pogba on the bench, playing five defenders and allowing Luke Shaw to start his first game in over a month (after a hamstring injury) – all these choices are in fact Solskjær’s responsibilities. It could be said that United do turn up to matches but not to the ones that matter! This match was one that mattered, yet they waved bye-bye to their future Champions League matches as though with minimal difficulty.

"We didn’t perform as a team well enough, and that’s always the manager’s responsibility.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjær, BBC Sport

The choices that Solskjær made have not helped the Devil’s in their performance. Manchester United’s performances on home turf, at Old Trafford, have not been up to scratch – The Red Devils have had limited tactics available to them on the pitch. Their midfield is disorganised and lacks a leader, for a start.

Within 11 matches, the Reds have three clean sheets, scored 19 and conceded 17. These are not statistics that Manchester United fans are used to seeing. They sit comfortably at 7th in the Premier League table (as of after their derby game versus Manchester City), this is something that no one expected – especially those who witnessed the Sir Alex Ferguson era of football.

Featured Image: Twitter @utdmariam
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