Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was supposed to be the man to change the fortunes of a declining European juggernaut. A club legend, baby-faced assassin and a genuinely nice guy. However, he isn’t the right man for the job. His first season as manager of Manchester United has brought many lows and few highs. His forgettable spell at Cardiff and a spell with Norway’s Molde proves he is ill-equipped to the man to rebuild this team to its former glory.
The 6-0 hammering of League One side Tranmere Rovers in the FA Cup last weekend did little to appease disgruntled fans who had seen their team suffer consecutive 2-0 defeats to Liverpool and Burnley at home.
The performance against the Clarets was insipid and dismal. More so, Sean Dyche’s men registered their first win at Old Trafford in almost 60 years.
And although Ed Woodward and United’s hierarchy bear the blame for most of their on-pitch decline, the Norwegian shoulders a lot of blame too. He is obviously not the solution for United’s mediocrity.
Solskjaer’s win record is now worse than any United manager in recent history and he has lost more league games than he has won. The performances are only growing more lifeless. Against better teams who dominate possession, Solskjaer’s side has thrived but he has not shown the ability to adapt against low block teams.
The likes of Liverpool and Manchester City have built teams that attack in patterns, press as a team and create chances at will. There is no sign that Solskjaer is capable of creating a free-flowing attacking side. Ideas are non-existent, chemistry is lacking and there’s nothing worth persevering with. If there was a slight spark in the team, then it would be better to act a fool and carry on.
His optimistic comments have also done nothing to cushion the sour mood at Old Trafford.
His inexperience and naivety made him go into the season with a paper-thing squad which has been badly exposed in the last few months. The Norwegian said he's expecting Alexis Sanchez to return to the club from his loan at Inter Milan next season and prove a lot of doubters wrong. This comment sounds ridiculous considering he’s the one who loaned the Chilean to the Italians.
However, it’s not his fault United are where they are. He was a stop-gap appointment when serial winner Jose Mourinho was sacked in December 2018. He lacks the tools to be a top manager and his players look lost just like him.
The Glazer family and executive vice-chairman Woodward are the main reason why the situation at Old Trafford is this dire. Fan walkouts and relentless chanting is just the beginning of the protests. An average squad, due to a flawed transfer policy, has made the club sink to lows never seen three decades ago. This is due to the American family which took over in 2005.
United are a shambles this season. Their problems will not instantly disappear by sacking Solskjær. Still, the 46-year-old has not shown that he has the credentials to make United a force again. Deluded optimism will not take him that far. He is not the solution to years of ordinariness at Old Trafford.