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There's No Need To Sack Solskjaer, Nothing's Changed And No One Can Fix This

There's No Need To Sack Solskjaer, Nothing's Changed And No One Can Fix This

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took 'responsibility' for Manchester United's loss to Newcastle on Sunday but the truth is that the problems existed before the manager, nothing's changed and no one else is in a position to do much better.

There was surprise when Solskjaer was appointed as United's caretaker manager on December 19th 2018, three days after a 3-1 loss to Liverpool and a day after Jose Mourinho was sacked, but there was at least understanding.

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Solskjaer's appointment did come as a surprise initially. Image: PA Images
Solskjaer's appointment did come as a surprise initially. Image: PA Images

The understanding came from the fact the former striker would only be in charge until the end of the season as the club looked to make the changes in structure to the club they needed to make to be successful.

In United's statement in sacking Mourinho they said, "A new caretaker manager will be appointed until the end of the current season, while the club conducts a thorough recruitment process for a new, full-time manager."

Before that time it was understood the club would be appointing a director of football, who would no doubt have some say in who the next permanent boss would be.

The Guardian reported in August last year the club were searching for a director of football, the day before Mourinho's sacking the Telegraph claimed the manager's opposition to an appointment left him on a 'collision course' with the board and a day left the Manchester Evening News said they 'understood' the club still expected to appoint someone in the position before deciding on Mourinho's successor.

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The sacking of Solskjaer's predecessor came with the understanding from everyone that the boss was far from the only problem but it was the most fixable and he still needed to go.

When the Norwegian was then given his permanent contract in March this year, three weeks after the Champions League miracle against PSG, nothing had changed in the club's hierarchy and it still hasn't.

Instead of removing himself from making recruitment decisions and hiring someone else to do it, Ed Woodward has remained in charge of who to sign and got Solskjaer to sign his deal whilst the temporary boss was still on the crest of a wave, even if it had already started to die down post PSG.

In the summer some of United's decisions in the transfer market were spot on as they signed a centre back of quality, a right back of promise, who also had Premier League experience, and an exciting young winger.

Mourinho during his final loss at Liverpool. Image: PA Images
Mourinho during his final loss at Liverpool. Image: PA Images

However it was still left wanting as they failed to replace Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera in midfield or Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku up front, all who left the club.

The Red Devils lack of quality was there for all to see on Sunday, and not for the first time, with Andreas Pereira, Juan Mata and Fred all looking well short of what is needed.

Marcus Rashford looked short too but he is still just 21 and the team can't constantly rely on him, and 17-year-old substitute Mason Greenwood, to make the difference when there isn't enough chances being made anyway.

Unlike replacing Mourinho last year, when the atmosphere at the club had descended into chaos and players were at loggerheads with the manager, replacing Solskjaer right now makes no sense.

Even with Max Allegri available and Mauricio Pochettino looking ready to leave Spurs any day now, it's not like anyone would do much better with the players available.

The work Antonio Conte did with Italy and Rafa Benitez did with Newcastle suggests those two men could get a better tune out of the current side but those are two hugely unlikely appointments for differing reasons and either way the team looks so far short of being in the top four and arguably for United between fifth and 17th there is little difference.

Maybe Solskjaer isn't the right man in the long term but right now there is still no long term planning at Old Trafford.

December 19th might seem like a long time ago but behind the scenes at Manchester United nothing has changed and it's still understandable that Solskjaer is still there on a temporary deal.

Topics: Liverpool, Football News, Jose Mourinho, Manchester United, Premier League, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Gary Neville, Newcastle United, Sack Race

Ryan Sidle

Ryan is a writer for SPORTbible. He covers all sport from football, formula one, cricket, rugby, tennis, athletics, mma and wrestling. He obviously hates YOUR football team and has no interest in synchronised swimming.

 

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