Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is by demeanour a cheery person. But he was a bit too positive after United’s defeat to Arsenal.
The first 45 minutes at The Emirates was one of United’s worst halves of football this season. And there is quite a bit of competition in that category.
In Solskjaer’s post-game interview with BT Sport he was smiling and joking. It was a bit too much.
Former United hero Robin van Persie said it right with his in-studio reaction to Solskjaer’s interview.
He said: “When I listen to Ole, he sounds like a really nice guy. I would like to see him a bit more mean at times, just be angry. I see him smiling now after a game like that. This is not the moment to smile.”
From supporters who saw Sir Alex Ferguson win title after title with a teacup-smashing authoritarian approach, Solskjaer just seems a bit too calm.
We want to see him share our frustration, our anger, and see that he is just as infuriated by the result and performance.
The last thing we want to see is him laughing and joking, almost as if he doesn’t care as much as he should.
Losing to Arsenal, especially this poor version of their side, is no laughing matter. There was nothing amusing about our defending for the two goals either.
While we don’t doubt that he cares, Solskjaer’s post-match interview struck the wrong note. It was an own goal.
Reaction now is what matters
This is a United squad which needs help. The midfield was light before injuries, and now the lack of depth is critical.
Solskjaer needs to be strong and forceful when it comes to discussions in the boardroom to make sure United get the players who are needed.
We don’t want a manager who will just turn around and accept whatever Ed Woodward and the Glazers are prepared to offer.
A bit of anger towards the board would be good to see. The worst thing Solskjaer could be is ‘out of touch’ and last night he looked it, making unpopular selection decisions of Luke Shaw and Jesse Lingard was a contributing factor to defeat.
Combined with the farcical Paul Pogba situation which continues to make him look weak, this was a bad night for Solskjaer.
The defeat to Arsenal will be followed up by an away trip to Wolves in the FA Cup. It’s like last March all over again. Solskjaer needs to lead strongly.
This is a time for him to show leadership and get our 2020 off to a belated good start at Molineux at the weekend.
If it goes wrong and United suffer a third round exit, we don’t want to see Solskjaer smiling.
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