Manchester United were not planning to sack Ole Gunnar Solskjaer prior to Saturday afternoon’s defeat to Watford, according to reports. The 48-year-old has now been relieved of his duties after nearly three years in charge.
Defeat at Vicarage Road left Solskjaer’s side seventh in the Premier League table and with just 17 points from their opening 12 games.
Pressure on Solskjaer was already building after heavy defeats to Liverpool and Manchester City but according to the Manchester Evening News, the club felt that Solskjaer deserved a chance to turn it around following last week’s international break.
Thus, a dismissal prior to the Watford game was not in their plans but the nature of the defeat forced United’s hand – Solskjaer was subsequently dismissed on Sunday.
These reports are backed up by CaughtOffside, who add that Manchester United were only going to sack Solskjaer if the result against Watford was ‘totally disastrous’, with a 4-1 defeat never expected.
SN’s verdict on Man Utd going forward following Solskjaer’s departure…
Manchester United’s lack of succession planning is alarming. The writing has been on the wall for several months and with no signs of the team improving, the club should have seen this coming.
The finger couldn’t have been further from the pulse on this one and now, it feels like the club has written of the season despite there being 26 games left to play in the Premier League.
The inclination to offer Solskjaer a final lifeline is understandable but to not have an emergency plan is unacceptable, especially at a club as big as Manchester United.