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    Were Manchester United too Eager in Appointing Solskjaer?

    18 April 2019 | Premier League | Opinion
    933
    Were Manchester United too Eager in Appointing Solskjaer?
    Mitch Gunn / Shutterstock.com

    Manchester United are going to end the 2018/19 season without a trophy.  It will be the second season in succession the Red Devils have failed to add any silverware to their trophy cabinet having won the UEFA Europa League and League Cup under the guidance of Jose Mourinho in 2016/17.

    However, the Portuguese manager was relieved of his duties at Manchester United earlier this season and with little in the way of options to tide them over until the end of the campaign, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was brought in to see the club through to the end of the season.

    The immediate turnaround in both results and performance was phenomenal.  The Norwegian started with a tremendous 5-1 win at Cardiff City, a former club of Solskjaer’s and there was no looking back.  Manchester United went on a run of eight straight wins in all competitions and having been appointed in late December, it was not until the 12th February that Solskjaer tasted his first defeat as boss, losing 2-0 at home against Paris Saint-Germain.

    Manchester United were quick to respond and defeated Chelsea 2-0 away from home in the FA Cup before defeating PSG 3-1 at the Parc des Princes to progress to the quarter-final of the Champions League.

    Since that famous night in France, Manchester United have lost five of their seven games, including two defeats to Barcelona in the Champions League, two losses at Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup and Premier League plus a 2-0 reverse at Arsenal, also in the Premier League.

    The club are outside the Champions League qualifying places as things stand, with some tough fixtures still to come at the end of the season and a place in the top European competition is far from secure.

    If Manchester United were to finish outside the top four, the rebuilding process facing Solskjaer in the summer is going to be extremely tough. Does the former striker have the managerial experience and attitude required to be ruthless with the players who are not good enough?

    Ashley Young, Antonio Valencia, Matteo Darmian, Phil Jones, Eric Bailly, Marcos Rojo, Fred and Alexis Sanchez are not good enough players to challenge for the Premier League title.  Paul Pogba has also blown hot and cold again this season and it seems Solskjaer is struggling to get the best out of the Frenchman consistently, much like his predecessor.

    Mauricio Pochettino was being heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford before the appointment of Solskjaer.  The Argentine has proved he has what it takes to get the best out of players and construct a team which can challenge at the very highest level.  He is yet to win anything at Spurs but Manchester United fans would sooner be in their position right now than that of their own.

    Pochettino is clearly the better manager of the two, so why did Manchester United rush to appoint Solskjaer?  If it was on the back of the start he made as manager, rather than long term planning, it could prove to be a big mistake.

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    OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
    1. Liverpool 43 15 14 1 0 37 14 23
    2. Leicester City 35 15 11 2 2 35 9 26
    3. Manchester City 32 15 10 2 3 43 17 26
    4. Chelsea 29 15 9 2 4 30 21 9
    5. Wolverhampton 23 15 5 8 2 21 17 4
    6. Manchester United 21 15 5 6 4 23 18 5
    7. Crystal Palace 21 15 6 3 6 14 18 -4
    8. Tottenham 20 15 5 5 5 25 23 2
    9. Sheffield United 19 15 4 7 4 17 15 2
    10. Arsenal 19 15 4 7 4 21 23 -2
    11. Newcastle United 19 15 5 4 6 15 22 -7
    12. Burnley 18 15 5 3 7 21 24 -3
    13. Brighton 18 15 5 3 7 18 22 -4
    14. Bournemouth 16 15 4 4 7 18 21 -3
    15. West Ham 16 15 4 4 7 17 25 -8
    16. Aston Villa 15 15 4 3 8 22 24 -2
    17. Southampton 15 15 4 3 8 17 33 -16
    18. Everton 14 15 4 2 9 16 27 -11
    19. Norwich City 11 15 3 2 10 16 32 -16
    20. Watford 8 15 1 5 9 9 30 -21

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