A report in The Times at the weekend looked back on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first year and talked up the boss’ ‘ruthless’ methods.
The way he re-moulded his squad and booted out players who did not have the required attitude was talked up. The report also praised Solskjaer’s strict standards off the pitch, no late nights, and no boozing.
So what will he make of Jack Grealish’s latest mishap, as links to the player continue, now in some doubt?
To recap, hours after Grealish advised the public to ‘stay safe and stay home’, he went to a teammates’ house and crashed his car on the way back.
At best it was unfortunate. At worst, irresponsible and reckless. And as The Mail report, there could be a police investigation if they deem footage of the incident to require one.
How should United proceed?
The Mail‘s report claims United are currently favourites to sign Grealish for £80 million.
Let’s divert for a moment. There’s no way he goes for that amount now, especially with his reputation damaged, no international football to accelerate his fee, and the financial climate changing.
There is also some question as to whether he is needed if Paul Pogba stays put.
The best thing for United to do is to not overreact. This seems like a big story right now, but in a few months it will be swept over and almost forgotten.
Especially if when the season resumes, Grealish does his talking on the pitch. He can atone for his errors, and there’s also a danger that if United do not move, then another top six rival will.
Keeping a bit of perspective in all this is vital. Yet a decision could also be made to just simply, move on.
One option is to abandon pursuit
United could just decide to walk away altogether. In doing so, Solskjaer would show how ruthless he really can be.
With the signings of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Dan James, Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes and Odion Ighalo, all of their attitudes have been first class and 100 per cent professional.
Grealish clearly has a lot of growing up to do. This came on a day where Marcus Rashord, two years younger, put him to shame with his meals for schools initiative.
A previous quote from Solskjaer was published in The Mail: “When you’re a footballer you should be proper boring. You go to bed, you rest, you recover and you get ready for the next game. That’s the culture we need to get to.”
Grealish clearly isn’t there yet. This could be a wake up call for him, it really ought to be.
Depending on how far along United are in their pursuit of the midfielder, they may give him one last chance.
But if the club were undecided, this could be a swaying factor. Calling it off now would be a real statement from Solskjaer about the type of players he wants to bring to United.
For better or worse, he would be sticking to his guns, and continuing to do it his way. Moving on from Grealish and looking elsewhere would uphold a strong standard and send a real message.
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