Manchester United are reportedly behind Ole Gunnar Solskjaer despite an unfortunate run of results in which the club has won just two of their last four Premier League matches, winning three of their last seven matches in all competitions since the 11 September when United beat Newcastle United at Old Trafford, which was also Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to the Theatre of Dreams.
United failed to beat Everton in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Saturday, a week after being defeated at home by Aston Villa, beating Villarreal in the UEFA Champions League in between the two fixtures. Club football is out of action until the 16 October because of the second international break of the season and Solskjaer will need to find a way to improve United’s results.
There has been a lot of frustration by supporters of the club, largely on social media with supporters in the stadium largely behind the squad and the manager. This frustration will grow if things do not improve, which seems kind of early considering that no team in the Premier League has took charge this season with United two points off the top spot after seven matches and with United in a good position in the Champions League.
The Sun have reported that they understand that the hierarchy of the Old Trafford club are fully behind the manager, which is backed up with Mike Phelan renewing his contract at the club and rumours suggesting that both Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna will do the same.
The thing that people seem to forget is that no manager has been given a good enough chance to change things at the club since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson. David Moyes was sacked before the end of his first season, despite being given a six-year contract, Louis van Gaal was sacked after two seasons in charge and Jose Mourinho was sacked halfway through his third season at the club.
Since Solskjaer became the manager, the club has been changed considerably with an actual plan being followed, in terms of youth development, incoming and outgoing transfers and United are in a much stronger position that they were under Moyes, Van Gaal or Mourinho. That will be argued though as agendas tend to change people’s minds, especially when they want to be correct all of the time.
Personally, I back Solskjaer as I don’t think he is doing too badly but there are some things that need to change at the club, moving forward. I am not too sure that tactics are being used in the right way to strengthen United, the manager seems to dither in making changes, unless there is an injury and there are obvious flaws in the squad at this present time.
I don’t think any other manager coming in is going to fix these changes as they will have a different plan in their approach, which could put some players in the squad in a position whereby their place at the club is no longer guaranteed, which for some would be right but not necessarily for others. If the manager is changed now, United will go right back to square one and start again.
This will result in supporters demanding success and if they do not get it, the same will happen again. It seems that there is an immense lack of patience when it comes to Manchester United. Not every team will change things in line with what the supporters want and United have never been any different in this approach.
I believe that Solskjaer has a target that he needs to meet in order to guarantee his job and until that cannot be met, the club will stick by him. Supporters need to understand that demanding a manager to be sacked or a certain player to be signed is not really something that can have any control over. This is real life, not a computer game.
After the International break, United will have some big fixtures and winning them will be important to find out whether the club can compete for the Premier League title or not. They also have a double header in the Champions League, playing Atalanta home and away (20 October and 2 November). United will also face Liverpool (24 October), Tottenham Hotspur (30 October) and Manchester City (6 November).
If United get through performing well, they will be in a stronger position in the Premier League and the Champions League. But there are more tests on the horizon with a trips away to face Villarreal and Chelsea and Arsenal at home before the end of November. This is a make or break period for United and Solskjaer which I believe can be positive for the club, the players and the manager.
Written by John Walker