Solskjaer’s future as Man United manager must be called into question after Tottenham humiliation


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer crossed the Rubicon as Manchester United manager on Sunday, the day he was humiliated by his predecessor Jose Mourinho in a 6-1 loss to Tottenham at Old Trafford which could prove to be the moment that triggered the search for his successor.Mauricio Pochettino, whom Mourinho replaced at Spurs last November, is still available and his shadow will weigh more and more on Solskjaer. And after such a brutal defeat, which featured a horrific performance from United players, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Argentine got a call from Executive Vice-President Ed Woodward during the international break.

If this turns out to be the case, Solskjaer cannot complain. There really is no hiding place now, regardless of what hand his bosses were given in the transfer market during the current transfer window, which ends at midnight Monday.

The point is, if Solskjaer loses his job, he will have to take as much blame as anyone else.

– Maguire 2/10 as United are humiliated
– Son, Kane 8/10 as Spurs crush six

Undoubtedly, he was disappointed by the club during the transfer window; United are almost certain not to sign primary target Jadon Sancho before the deadline, as no serious effort has been made to meet the manager’s request for a commanding center-half, a necessity confirmed by a defense abysmal against the Spurs.

Much like in Mourinho’s last transfer window as United manager, in the summer of 2018 the targets identified by the man in charge of the squad were not recruited and, as always, The club are embarking on a deadline race to make deals, with free agent Edinson Cavani and Porto left-back Alex Telles expected to sign.

Solskjaer wanted Erling Haaland last December, but despite a personal friendship with the player’s father and having worked with the young Molde striker, Woodward was unable to strike a deal until Borussia Dortmund took the teenager back from FC Salzburg . Besides Sancho, RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano is another target not close to signing.

But every manager has to come to terms with the frustration of not having the players they want, and the key to the job is to work with the available resources and make the players better.

Solskjaer could claim he convinced Anthony Martial to make the most of Mason Greenwood’s undoubted potential, but the majority of the United squad have regressed under his leadership.

Considering what followed, it’s worth remembering that United opened the scoring in two minutes against Spurs, with Bruno Fernandes converting a penalty. But what followed was goal after goal with one shambolic error after another, proof that Solskjaer’s defenders behave as if they were not properly trained.

When a team had a man sent off – United got Martial sent off for slapping Erik Lamela in the 29th minute when the score was 2-1 – the professional mentality is to stem the damage and kill the game. None of this was on display and Solskjaer, with his hands folded on the sideline, did nothing to cajole or inspire his players into action.

Meanwhile, on the other side, it was a triumph that will calm any critics who suggest Mourinho has lost his magic touch. Spurs were in their fourth game in a week and got off to the worst possible start, but took the lead within seven minutes of falling behind and then crossed over as their manager reveled in the circumstances.

Son Heung-Min and Harry Kane have each scored twice for the away team, while French duo Tanguy Ndombele and Serge Aurier have also managed to win command matches. Mourinho has guided his club through a turbulent time and Tottenham enter the international break with growing confidence and with the return of Gareth Bale approaching.

In contrast, the United players were horrible. If Paul Pogba, Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire don’t put on the red jersey after their inane appearances, they couldn’t complain.

Pogba played like a demolition ball… against his own team. The foul on Ben Davies, which led to the penalty for Tottenham’s sixth goal, was so bad you wouldn’t see a repeat in a children’s game. But Pogba is a £ 89million midfielder with a reputation that far exceeds his contribution.

They are a United side that have conceded 11 goals in three league appearances so far this season and for that there can be no excuse. They were down to 10 men against Spurs, not seven, so there really can be no attempt to tone down the embarrassing score.

Barely three games into the Premier League season, United are miles behind champions Liverpool and even nine point leaders Everton, so can forget about winning the title for another year. Maybe no one at Old Trafford thought they could win it anyway, but it’s not even Halloween and they’re already out of the race.

The big question now is how long United owners, the Glazer family, are going to put up with such dismal performances and results. History shows that they rarely act quickly; David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Mourinho were all sacked months after the first signs of decline, so Solskjaer could go on for quite a while.

When United and Spurs met in that game last December, Pochettino’s specter overshadowed the game. Almost a year later, he remains unemployed but will not be available forever. As the cameras turned to Woodward near the end of his club’s latest humiliation, he was seen texting his phone.

If he did not foresee a change in the principal’s office, there will be more and more who believe he should have been.


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