Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been coming under increasing pressure after his side extended their winless run in the Premier League to three games over the weekend.
What’s the story?
After Leicester inflicted United’s fourth loss of the season at the King Power Stadium, there was a renewed inquest into Solskjaer’s position at the helm of the 20-time English champions.
And now, well-known journalist Fabrizio Romano has provided an update on the Norwegian tactician’s situation, claiming that a change in the Old Trafford dugout is not thought to be imminent.
He tweeted: “Manchester United are still backing Ole Gunnar Solskjær. They expect the situation to improve in the next weeks of course, not happy with last results & team performances – but club still protecting the manager.”
Should Ole remain as manager?
Red Devils fans may be concerned
Given the recent results and performances of United, a large section of the club’s supporters may be concerned at Romano’s latest revelation.
There is no doubt Solskjaer has done an impressive job during his two-and-a-half-year tenure with the Red Devils, but there is an ever-growing concern that they have reached their ceiling under the 48-year-old.
Since his arrival in December 2018, the ex-striker has overseen a hugely successful squad overhaul, has achieved consecutive top-four finishes for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson retired and has reinstalled several fundamental features that gave United their distinct identity.
And while Solskjaer deserves immense credit for the rebuilding job he has conducted, it’s possible that he has now taken the club as far as he can.
Despite reaching multiple semi-finals and last season’s Europa League final, United are yet to win a piece of silverware since 2016/17, their longest trophy drought in over 30 years.
The defeat to Villarreal in the showpiece event exposed United’s lack of tactical nouse when coming up against an organised, compact opponent, with Rio Ferdinand summarising what went wrong in the aftermath of the penalty shoot-out defeat.
“Manchester United have relied upon individuals this season to come up with the trump cards in games at critical moments in the games,” said the BT Sport pundit.
“Bruno [Fernandes] has invariably been the man they have leaned on, [Edinson] Cavani late on in the season, Mason [Greenwood] sometimes, Marcus [Rashford]. But today, they just never came up with the goods.”
Yet several months on, the same issues continue to plague United’s progress. “They don’t really have an identity,” Micah Richards told Match of the Day following the Leicester defeat over the weekend (as relayed by the Daily Mail).
It’s the Old Trafford outfit’s over-reliance on individual brilliance and lack of tactical identity that continue to hold them back, and ultimately, that blame lies at Solskjaer’s door.
He may be a club legend who has got the side back within touching distance of their former glory, yet it seems increasingly unlikely that he is the person who can return them to the summit of English and European football.
And, in other news…Forget AWB: Man United ace who won just 56% duels let Ole down today