Sir Alex Ferguson shows support for Solskjaer during tough period

Without releasing a statement or giving any kind of interview, Sir Alex Ferguson has shown his support to Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The pair were spotted together at United’s Carrington Aon Training Complex on Saturday morning. Michael Carrick joined Ferguson and Solskjaer as they watched the club’s under-18s side play Middlesbrough. Anthony Elanga scored for the Reds in a 1-1 draw.

Ferguson backs Solskjaer

It’s an important show of support from Ferguson, the man who brought Solskjaer to the club as a player and taught him much about managing in the modern game. Solskjaer has even leaned on Ferguson for advice occasionally in his time as a coach.

Ferguson is the club’s greatest manager and the ex-master of mind games in the press knows exactly the kind of statement his visit to see his old player sends. It’s one of support and faith that says ‘I want you to still be Manchester United manager’.

Mind games master will know impact of visit

It can be seen as a deliberate tactic to ease the pressure on Solskjaer because Ferguson will have been all too aware of the timing of this move. In these last couple of years, United’s fan base has been incredibly divided and toxic. But all can agree on the value of the support of Ferguson.

Of course, the 77-year-old is a Director at United and has some input on the footballing side of things. That role and his links with the media mean he can influence decisions even though he has no genuine role in the running of the club. This is one example of that.

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

Simultaneously, it’s a fantastic gesture for United’s young players. Many of the under-18s have joined the club because of its grand history which Ferguson plays such a huge part in. It will be a great source of confidence to see him watching a regular game at the training ground.

For the fans, too, it’s Ferguson’s way of saying, as he once did with David Moyes, “your job now is to stand by your new manager”. United fans should do just that. Of course criticism can be lain at Solskjaer’s door. He has done many things wrong. But it should ultimately be directed at the club’s owners and directors.

For now, Solskjaer is the man to stick by and his management will make the errors and mistakes of the Glazers and Woodward extremely obvious.

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Life-long Manchester United fan with a strong interest in the club's academy. Host of the Manchester United Weekly Podcast and United Through Time. First game at Old Trafford was the 7-1 rout of AS Roma in 2007.