Ole may be at the wheel, but the vehicle is running dangerously low on nostalgic fumes

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is and will always be a Manchester United legend. His name was written in Old Trafford folklore the moment he stuck his boot on the end of Teddy Sheringham’s flick-on against Bayern Munich in 1999. A truly excellent player and one all fans will be thankful turned out in red, however… 

A manager – he is not.

Having taken over from Jose Mourinho three years ago, Solskjaer, who was only ever supposed to be a temporary plug, rode an unbeaten run and ended up being appointed on a permanent basis.

Fast forward a few seasons, countless semi-final defeats, Europa League final heartbreak, a 5-0 thumping against rivals Liverpool and things are as bad as they’ve ever been.

But listen – I get it, okay… If Solskjaer lifted a major trophy, most notably the Premier League or Champions League – it would be a romantic fairytale come true.

Manchester United are built upon solid foundations – foundations that incorporate developing youth, as well as having a solid core of backroom staff, so I understand why there is always such a hesitancy to engage in a ‘hire, fire’ culture.

But let’s be honest now – Solskjaer has had his moments – there have been plenty of comeback wins and there’s certainly been an improvement when it comes to shipping out the deadwood.

However – a manager, especially when at the helm of one of Europe’s biggest clubs, is only ever judged based on his win record and his ability to lift trophies – although the Norweigan has yet to win a major trophy, up until recently, he had a decent win record to fall back on – but even that is waning now.

Having just been thumped 5-0 against fierce enemies Liverpool, which, if we’re being brutally honest, wasn’t really a shock, was it?

The Red Devils and have been riding their luck in games for quite some time – had it not have been for megastar Cristiano Ronaldo, Solskjaer wouldn’t even be able to boast recent and narrow wins against Villarreal and Atalanta – both of which are just two examples of when the side left it late to turn up to the party.

Liverpool on Sunday were not Atalanta and they were not Villarreal though – they were the better side in each and every area of the pitch. They went man-for-man and dominated.

Despite being reluctant to give a knee-jerk reaction to what is well up with one of the club’s darkest days – and although in light of the devastating defeat, the heat on Solskjaer will undoubtedly be turned up a notch, there is also a major factor and bigger picture which many are not seeing.

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Make no mistake – although previously shelved – the European Super League (ESL) will happen. It will become a reality, it may not be tomorrow or next season, but within the next five years, it will very much become part of top-flight football.

I mean, come on – you didn’t think clubs all across Europe’s top leagues spent eye-watering sums this summer when their profits fell through the floor over the last 18-months, for no reason, did you?

Look at Newcastle United – recently purchased by mega-wealthy Mohammad Bin Salman for a whopping £300m – regardless of whether or not the Saudi Prince can afford to wipe his arse on gold-encrusted Andrex, no one drops nine figures on a football club that was not supposed to be a part of the original ESL – unless of course, they knew something that we, yet, do not.

There are already leaking reports and documents detailing how a newly reformed ESL would be presented, some of which includes an increase in participating clubs – so really, let’s cut the crap and call the ESL what it is – inevitable.

Now – let’s look at that bigger picture I mentioned – an ESL would be a selection of Europe’s so-called biggest and richest clubs, Manchester United will be a member. They all want to cash in like the biggest online casinos with the belief these football clubs could attract even more cash on an annual basis.

Now, the biggest elephant in the room is how on earth can the Glazers enter their club into what will be the sports’ most lucrative and showcased competition, probably ever, knowing the man in charge of the team isn’t up to scratch?

The short answer is – they can’t.

Whether Manchester United play Liverpool on a Sunday afternoon at Old Trafford, in the Premier League, or if they play Liverpool on a Tuesday night in China in the ESL – the teams are the same. One is guided by one of the world’s best managers, a manager who demands sky-high standards and often gets them. The other is desperately out of his depth and has a CV no more impressive now than it was when he oversaw Cardiff City’s relegation in 2014.

So let’s be real here –

Will the ESL happen? – Yes.

Will the Glazers entrust Solskjaer to oversee Manchester United’s participation? – No.

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One response to “Ole may be at the wheel, but the vehicle is running dangerously low on nostalgic fumes”

  1. Paul S Lott says:

    How Olé is still at the wheel I’ve no idea. But surely the bus has skidded off of the road and flipped over a couple of times and is currently teetering on the edge of a cliff??
    I just don’t understand why he is being left to teeter on the edge of the cliff? But very little that has taken place in the Old Trafford board room since 2013 makes sense does it? Giving Olé a new contract in July 2021???? Ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.
    He’s had nearly 3 years and that was (0-5), and it still might be, the perfect time to say thanks and goodbye, you’ve done what you can.
    He’s not going to take us to the next level. No way. His transfer dealings this year have not been good. Team selections are shocking so I think just bite the bullet and get Brendan or Antonio in asap. Put Olé out of his (or our) misery.