Man United have been used to success for many a year up until 2013 and the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.
All Man United fans expected a turbulent season or two following on from their greatest ever manager’s retirement. However, none could have envisaged the past 6 years of mediocrity.
David Moyes, Louis Van Gaal and Jose Mourinho have all tried and failed with the Red Devils. Woodward changed his approach and opted for an ex-club legend who knew the fabric of the club inside out.
Everybody was hoping for the fairytale turnaround. Under his interim role, the fairytale became true. Counter-attacking football was back, the Utd of old was there for all to see.
Since his permanent appointment, things at Old Trafford have slowly unravelled. Solskjaer’s method of emulating Fergie seems to be waning. According to the Sun, the players are losing interest and faith in OGS.
Watching United on the pitch is frustrating. There seems a distinct lack of a plan and direction to what United are aiming to achieve. Granted the Norweigian has been dealt some bad luck with injuries early on this season, alongside failings in the transfer market in the midfield and attacking areas.
Furthermore, playing players that were nearly out of the Old Trafford door won’t be great for team morale, as they know they’re only in the team by default.
Players have been reportedly told to take a long hard look at themselves during this international break. Man United host Liverpool on their return, a match this could reignite ‘Ole ball’ or see Ole out of the door.
Things at Old Trafford are on a knife-edge, and it doesn’t seem like either way is going to fix the bigger internal problems
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is facing a race against time to get things right at Manchester United.
After a poor start to the new Premier League season, following a disappointing end to the last campaign. Certain sections of the Old Trafford faithful are starting to lose patience.
Another defeat to Newcastle United and a lacklustre performance drove another nail into the Norweigian’s coffin. Many think the Liverpool game could be his last if another defeat happens.
Solskjaer believes the match is the perfect game to turn his season around. However, reports in the Mail believe it could be his last, as Ed Woodward may sack yet another manager.
The Man United legend started off like a sprinter out of the blocks during his interim reign. Things seem to change following his permanent appointment, which as left many Red Devil baffled by the stark change in fortune.
United host high flying and table-topping Liverpool on the 20th October. A game which will have all eyes from around the globe on it for different reasons, from the old matches of the past.
A defeat could see OGS sacked and depending on other results, Man United slip further towards the relegation zone.
Man United fans, what are your thoughts?
Is it time for Ole to go? Should he be given time? What’s changed since his permanent appointment?
And here are 2 reasons why Man Utd need to appoint him immediately.
Understanding the club
Ed Woodward’s only connection to Man Utd is the moments he signs his name underneath a cheque. Other than that, he has no understanding of the history, demands, emotional fans or projections for the future.
Employing someone who does will almost nullify Man Utd’s chances of making more terrible transfer decisions.
Understanding the game
Again, Ed Woodward’s understanding of football is evidently limited. Another reason for the mess Man Utd is currently in.
Van Der Sar has excelled in his role at Ajax, playing a huge part in their recent success. With the available funds and facilities at Man Utd, there is no cap to what the Dutchman could achieve in terms of building the perfect Man Utd squad.
Removing Ed Woodward from the football side of the business will finally allow the club to compete with the likes of Real Madrid and Juventus once again. Woodward is exceptional at bringing funds into the club but is utterly useless at spending it.
Man Utd fixed their defence in summer, with two fantastic transfers. But after the departure of Ander Herrera with no replacement, their midfield is looking like the bane of their bid for top four. If Man Utd want any chance of Champions League football next season, they must sign one of these three midfielders in January…
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s promise to rebuild the squad looked like a smokescreen due to the state of the squad after the summer transfer window. But after offloading many “non-fan favourites” to Italian clubs, things looked on the up once again. Now, reports are suggesting that Solskjaer and Woodward have met to discuss the reinvestment of the £75million sale of Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan.
Perhaps the Man Utd board are beginning to take the club’s legacy seriously.
With funds available in January, and Man Utd in dire need of a new midfield, Solskjaer should target one of the following midfielders, if not all of them…
Man Utd might have to look over at their sixth place competitors Leicester City once again. Having already signed Harry Maguire from the club in summer.
Their attacking midfielder James Maddison created more chances than any other player in the Premier League last season. Which is exactly what Man Utd are lacking quality in.
Furthermore, the 22-year-old fits in with Solskjaer’s requirements of being young, hungry and clued up on English football.
Man Utd has no commanding midfielders. The 34-year old’s contract is up come to the end of the season and can replace Nemanja Matic as the experienced talent to run the midfield.
Despite being a senior player, and not exactly fit the mould of a typical Solskjaer target. Having one of the world’s best midfielders to help out for 18 months whilst the manager perfects the squad can cause little to no harm.
Man Utd scouts have been enjoying the watch of Benfica’s defensive midfield maestro Florentino Luis. Having a competent defensive midfielder is crucial to this Man Utd side as Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay does not excel under the pressure of this role.
Having a natural, young talent guarding the back four, will allow Pogba and McTominay to flourish in their preferred positions of an advanced box-to-box midfielder.
Manchester United signed Alexis Sanchez making him the highest-paid player in the league in order to keep him away from Manchester City. Perhaps the board have woken up…
As rumours in summer about Paulo Dybala’s potential move to Old Trafford fell through, fans were upset with the lack of attacking options. Especially after losing Romelu Lukaku and now Alexis Sanchez.
However, Daily Mail reports that Ed Woodward considered the Argentine to be another ‘Alexis Sanchez situation’, after demanding a £350,000-per-week wage.
Solskjaer himself has stated that Man Utd are seeking players who will wear the shirt with pride. Not those who use the club as an opportunity to gain a ridiculous wage with little repercussions for under-performing.
Although the Reds have limited options in attacking areas, it is of no falsity that Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood are responding positively to the new manager and want long, successful careers in Manchester.
This gives some consolation after a dreadful transfer window. That Man Utd may be waking up from their passive slumber of allowing the club to fall in to ruin. Any changes to the transfer policies would be positive, as the club have been heavily criticised for failing on that front for many years.
What is the board’s true motive?
However, Man Utd fans are much smarter than Man Utd owners. They rightfully question every move that they make. For example, it’s very unlikely that Bruno Fernandes wouldn’t have jumped at the opportunity to play at Old Trafford, yet he wasn’t signed. Despite being scouted all season.
Therefore, there is room to believe that Man Utd’s board are more concerned about parting with cash.
Similarly, Paul Pogba has publicly voiced his wishes to leave. But he has been kept, possibly for marketing purposes as well as avoiding having to bring in expensive replacements.
Unfortunately for fans, the truth will be revealed in two or three years time. By reflecting on previous transfer windows and how the club has progressed or regressed since Solskjaer took the hot seat.
Ander Herrera recently departed Man Utd to PSG, for absolutely free. Herrera was a fan favourite at the club, being the second-best midfielder. His work-rate, passion and skill left him being sought after by Europe’s top clubs. They would surely have still seen an interest if they had to spend some cash for him. Transfermarkt suggests that the Spaniard’s current value stands at £22.5million. Had he left for even £15million, that could have gone some way to improve the squad for the current season
David De Gea finds himself in a similar situation. Being offered a new contract of £350,000 per week, it appears the great goalie is stalling in order to see whether Man Utd have a shot at Champions League football next season. Should they fail, De Gea’s weekly wage would decrease from £350,000 to £263,000.
With his one year extension triggered in summer, David De Gea could leave for free after this season. Should he be sold instead, he would most definitely bring in a world-record fee for a goalkeeper.
Why should Pogba be granted a move?
Pogba’s price falls the longer he reaches the end of his contract, in June 2021. With public knowledge that the Frenchman wants to leave, it gives Real Madrid the upper-hand in forcing a lower fee. Should they not find agreement and Pogba honours the full length of his contract, the Reds would be losing out on well over £100million.
Should the US owners have wanted at least £150million, he should have been some this summer. With only one year left after this season, the desperation to sell will drive a lower bargain for Zidane’s Madrid, his favoured destination.
Should Man Utd had the appropriate football staff to conduct such transfer negotiations, Pogba could have been sold for £150million this summer and had those funds turned into a brand new midfield for Solskjaer, solving almost every problem they currently have on the pitch.
When asked about reuniting the three brothers, meaning Florentin Pogba and Paul Pogba get moved to Spain, he answered: “No doubt before our careers are over we’ll get together in the same country. Hopefully, it’ll be in Spain. It might be this season, but it doesn’t depend just on us. If Flo and Paul get the chance, they’ll come.”
Whether it was meant to be or not, Pogba’s wishes to join Real Madrid have not been kept secret. The Frenchman even admitted during his tour of Asia that he wanted a “new challenge”, away from Old Trafford.
Most of those who have worked with Pogba regard him as highly professional, dedicated and talented. His brother said “He should go where they offer him the best conditions. Our mother worked so we could make it as footballers and now we need to make her happy”.
Will Pogba leave, and when? And who will replace him?
With the mass amounts of criticism, insults and even racism directed towards Paul Pogba in Manchester, coupled with his lack of success for the club, there is no reason for him to stay other than to honour his contract. But this would mean that Pogba, a £150million player, would leave the club for free. Recent history suggests that whilst the owners and board of Man Utd are absolutely clueless, they wouldn’t pass up such a large amount of money.
Taking all of this into consideration, Paul Pogba will likely leave Man Utd in summer of 2020. But don’t expect that to be reinvested, though. When Cristiano Ronaldo was sold for £80million, Gabriel Obertan and Michael Owen were brought in as replacements. One of whom got injured, Owen and the other failed to make a mark on Man Utd, then failed at Newcastle, and currently finds himself at Erzurumspor in Turkey.
Without Pogba, Man Utd’s midfield has no chance. You could even say Man Utd as a whole has no chance at all.
Man Utd has quickly realised they need midfield reinforcements, and not strengthening the area in the summer window is now looking like a huge oversight.
However, they will have to wait till January now to bring in their preferred targets, which according to the Mirror is Leicester City’s, James Maddison. Many Man Utd fans would have welcomed the assist king with open arms going of his stats last year.
in 2850 minutes in the Premier League, Maddison scored seven, assisted seven, had an average of 2.8 key passes per game and 2.3 shots per game. Alongside this seasons 3 games, 2 assists and 75.4% pass completion, it seems the Leicester man is perfect for Solskjaer.
Rated 36m by Transfermarkt, Maddison seems a snip. However, when Man Utd come calling, the price often trebles. Especially after taking Maguire off their hands a few weeks ago.
The frustrating part with the window closing before the season starts is the wait to waiting to improve the squad. Solskjaer will have to make do for a few months and hope that Ed Woodward can sort these types of deals out in the background. The last thing Man United needs is to be waiting until the end of January for any deal to prevail.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United are doomed before the season has even started. Here is why.
Since landing the job on a permanent basis, Solskjaer has pledged to ‘rebuild’ this Man Utd squad. He also assured the fans that he ‘will be successful’ and will be ‘ruthless’ with his squad.
Despite these promises, very little has changed. Two players have exited, Ander Herrera (the club’s second-best midfielder) and Romelu Lukaku (the club’s most prolific goalscorer). Could these two really have been who Solskjaer meant when he said we ‘wouldn’t see’ some of these players again? Surely not.
There are both positives and negatives to come out of this transfer window. Naturally, we’ll start with the negatives…
So, with the Reds losing a striker and a midfielder. Who have they brought in to replace them? Two defenders from lower clubs and a winger from Swansea. Fantastic business, no?
Given the benefit of the doubt, Solskjaer will likely not have purposely lied to the fans. More so, the board have once again let a manager down.
During the uproar of fan concern and protest against the ‘higher-ups’ in the clubs, we saw leaks about promising players such as Paulo Dybala, Bruno Fernandes and Christian Eriksen, all of which did not materialise.
As it stands, with ins and outs, Man Utd have a transfer window net spend of £70million. Man Utd needed to invest upwards of £200million to have a fighting chance at winning anything this season.
This is the biggest and richest club in English football with the weakest squad, fans have seen in well over 20 years. The same club that has promised a rebuild and success to the fans. Once again, let down.
Solskjaer has said that he would only want players who are keen to play for Man Utd, hence why deals with big players fell through. As Man Utd is ultimately a step-down from Juventus and even Tottenham, as of current circumstances.
However, last season Solskjaer also stated that big names are eager to join his team. Whilst their only acquisitions were players from Leicester City, Crystal Palace and Swansea City. Despite this, the signings made do look promising…
The introduction of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire have turned a laughing stock of defence, into one of the most elite defences in the Premier League. To this, hats off.
Wan-Bissaka has proven in pre-season to be practically unbeatable and will be a huge upgrade from Ashley Young. Who despite his best efforts, is not cut out for challenging for titles.
With Harry Maguire, fans know what they’re getting. A solid, English, Premier League proven defender whose mistakes are few and far between. A huge upgrade on Eric Bailly, who is always injured. Phil Jones, who tends to forget which side he plays for. And Chris Smalling, who’s decent performances are one in ten.
Daniel James gives some insight into the future projections of Man Utd. The fact they have any at all will be good news for fans.
Drastic. Football games are won and lost in the midfield. Manchester United have a Paul Pogba who doesn’t want to be there. Andreas Pereira who is set to be Man Utd’s next 27-year-old ‘youth prospect’ and Scott McTominay who is a fantastic footballer, but totally unproven in the red jersey. There is also Fred and Matic who practically do nothing but give the ball away.
It will be a tough season for Man Utd. But remember, it most likely isn’t the fault of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. It is evident that he loves the club. The best-case scenario would be for the amazing youth talents to come through and show the rest how it’s done.
Fans will have to do their bit and support through thick and thin. As most of the Man Utd squad can’t be trusted to perform, the fans should remain consistently supportive throughout the season. If not for the club, then for every moment of glory that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has given them in the years gone by.
Eric Bailly is injured once again, but there may be some silver lining to this sad story for Man United.
Man Utd’s Ivorian defender Eric Bailly suffered a knee injury in their pre-season match again Spurs. In an attempt to block the goal from a cutting-inside Son Heung-min, Bailly found himself hitting the ground on several occasions in a matter of second, due to the South Korean ‘fake shooting’ inside the box. The attack amounted to nothing, but Bailly’s season could have been over in that moment.
Bailly’s knee injury has been a recurring problem since he joined from Villareal in 2016. According to Man Utd fans, Bailly is regarded as their second-best centre-back, behind the recently in-form Victor Lindelof.
In the three years that Bailly has been at Old Trafford, he has only made 50 Premier League appearances. This is an average of less than 17 PL appearances per season. There is no doubt about his talent, but his injuries make him too unreliable for a team trying to win trophies again.
The silver lining
Man Utd has been in talks with Leicester City’s Harry Maguire. In typical Man Utd fashion, the deal has been prolonged in an attempt to lower the price as much as possible.
Ed Woodward’s slow negotiations have caused great frustration to the fans over recent years, but especially this summer. However, with Man Utd’s second-best centre-back being spotted in Manchester with a cast on his leg, Woodward may ‘be forced to meet Leicester’s £80million asking price for Harry Maguire’, according to the Mirror.
With Maguire in the squad, the missing piece of Man Utd (a solid defence) will finally be complete. As Solskjaer’s attack during pre-season looks almost complete.