Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists Marcus Rashford’s back injury was bad luck. But it doesn’t feel that way.
Rashford faces three months on the sidelines with a fractured back, and The Times state he could even miss the rest of the season.
Rashford had an existing back problem and played through it, and now he is out of action. He is not the only United player to suffer an injury reoccurrence.
Scott McTominay was rushed back into action before suffering a knee injury and he is not expected back any time soon.
Likewise Paul Pogba, whose ankle problem was aggravated back in September after he played through it and returned too quickly.
As for Harry Maguire, it feels like a setback is imminent at any time, with The Telegraph reporting he is playing with a ‘small hip muscle tear’.
Black mark against Solskjaer
Solskjaer has been in charge at United for 13 months now combining his interim and permanent spells.
It has not been an overwhelming success, and his long term prospects in the job remain uncertain with Mauricio Pochettino out of work.
As far as results go, United’s season has not been ideal, but we are around where we expected.
United are in fifth place, into the knockout stages of the Europa League and performed strongly to reach the Carabao Cup semi-finals.
Considering the poor transfer business conducted last summer, and glaring holes in the squad, United’s record is more than reasonable. We aspire for better, but you can stomach a temporary setback for one season if there is progress in the bigger picture.
Avoidable injuries to key players McTominay and Rashford undermine Solskjaer’s rebuild.
Solskajer has not handled them well at all. None of the players got the rest they really needed.
More professional approach
There is a perception that Solskjaer is too cavalier in his approach and this is how he comes across in his cordial and smiley press conferences.
The biggest black mark against him remaining as United manager is that the club simply need a more professional head coach.
A new manager with more experience, and a better staff around him, from his assistants right down to the medical personnel.
A lot of United’s problems are down to the squad, and the board’s decisions not to strengthen key positions up front and in attack.
If Solskjaer is happy with Woodward’s dealings, then a new manager who more willing to challenge the board could be the answer.
United deserve the best, and it feels like Solskjaer is settling in the transfer market, being too meek and just accepting not signing enough – or indeed any players.
Results can be debated all day long, and hopefully they pick up. But with key players out it won’t be easy.
We don’t want to see youngsters Brandon Williams and Mason Greenwood flogged to the point they break down too, while key man Fred has barely had a breather in midfield since October.
Hopefully United can find a way to go on a winning run, and a couple of new signings might help turn the season around. A top four place in still in our grasp.
Solskjaer needs it. And most of all, if his future in the job is still being weighed up in May, he cannot afford his remaining key players to suffer any more serious injuries.
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