Sky Sports (Ole Gunnar Solskjaer)
Midweek, United journeyed to Bergamo to face Italian side Atalanta in the Champions League where they came from behind twice, thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo, to draw the game 2-2. Even though Ronaldo has made it clear that this is what United have bought him for, and even if he is the greatest goalscorer of all time, they cannot continue to rely on him for every game. Individual brilliance is something that has bailed out this side a lot of times and it cannot continue.
While for his tenure I’ve been a strong supporter of Solskjaer, it has come to show that he may be finished here at United. During his interim period when he took over from Jose Mourinho in December 2018, he went until March undefeated including that classic night in Paris coming from 2-0 down, with more than 6 first team players out with injury/suspension. The main problem that most fans have with Solskjaer has been the lack of identity. Now I am not sure if everyone is watching what I’m seeing but I think Ole is the only Premier League manager who had a different striker every year.
During his first full season it was clear what the identity was; tiki-taka, through the lines with the central striker occupying spaces between the full-back and center-back. Players such as Martial who played through the middle very effectively, James and Rashford who are both very quick down the flanks, Lingard, and then later Bruno, the intricate dynamo in behind the striker, the ball-winning midfielder whether Fred or McTominay or Matic the build-up play was easily recognized. The next season when French midfielder Paul Pogba returned, then the inclusions of Alex Telles and most notably the king of Uruguay Edinson Cavani the style of play changed. Instead of the ball in behind, Cavani who’s not much of a runner was more of a false nine to have the build-up centralized instead of down the flanks. This season the style of play is really hard to recognize now that Ronaldo is in the team.
Sky Sports ( Cristiano Ronaldo)
I still can’t blame the manager for the latest performances because the players just look dejected. Even if that is a coaching issue, Solskjaer didn’t hire himself, didn’t come in with a massive CV like the others but he has done much more than the rest. He stabilized the club with consecutive top 3 finishes for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson retired. Firing Solskjaer just puts United back where they were in 2014 when David Moyes was hired and fired after 9 months.
Sky Sports ( Erik Ten Hag)
The Ajax manager has his team doing wonders in the Eredivise and the Champions League. In fact during, the calendar year of 2021, he has seen his team score over 50 goals and concede only 4. Defensively sound, tactically proficient, and lethal in attack, these are the qualities that Manchester United needs in their dugout to bring them back to the promised land of what Sir Alex left them with. Will Joel Glazer pull the trigger though? He has seen what it has done to get a tactical coach with world-class players in the team, he owns the Buccaneers. This is a decision that may change the whole shape of the league if it is done.