Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is somehow still in a job despite the 5-0 home loss to Liverpool.
One way or another, it feels like Solskjaer’s days are numbered.
Has his time at the club been a success? Well, it has been a rollercoaster ride, that’s for sure.
There have been some enjoyable moments, but ultimately it has not delivered any success.
Solskjaer has still built a strong squad and a solid platform on which to build, but a lot of the positive aspects of his spell in charge have also been overblown.
Here is a look at the three biggest myths of the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer era…
He is a good man manager
Pros: Luke Shaw talked up how Solskjaer has rebuilt his confidence after the Jose Mourinho era in an interview with SkySports earlier this year.
Reality: Solskjaer has done a fine job with Shaw. But at the cost of Alex Telles.
Telles was signed to compete with Shaw and has not been given a fair chance. Then after scoring a crucial goal against Villarreal, Telles has not played a single minute, despite rancid form from the Englishman.
Then there are the situations with Donny van de Beek and Eric Bailly, neither of who have started a league game this season. What are they thinking right now?
Jesse Lingard was persuaded to stay and he has not been given a start either.
The biggest black mark against Solskjaer’s man management skills was the Sergio Romero situation. The goalkeeper was dropped for three consecutive semi-finals which United lost, and then denied a move and sent to train alone for a year. It was a poor way to treat a loyal player.
He plays youth
Pros: Solskjaer has made Mason Greenwood a regular and has handed debuts to 16 academy players during his time at the club.
Reality: Making Greenwood a part of the first team was a big move, but one which likely would have happened anyway regardless of who was in charge, he’s that talented.
Many of the players Solskjaer has handed debuts to have left the club, and nobody has forced their way into his plans as a regular. Angel Gomes quit and is now playing for French champions Lille.
Anthony Elanga has shown huge promise and yet can’t get a look in, while Hannibal has not been afforded a chance either. Extending Juan Mata’s contract sent the wrong message over giving opportunities to young players.
James Garner was on the cusp of the first team in the summer, but Solskjaer prioritised giving minutes to Andreas Pereira in pre-season, and sent Garner out on loan again.
United have a huge number of talented youth prospects, and while there is an argument that if they are good enough, they will find a way through, Solskjaer has been reluctant to help many of them reach the next level.
He’s brought the culture back
Pros: Undoubtedly this feels more like Manchester United than the end of the Jose Mourinho reign.
Reality: Solskjaer has done a lot of good, but it is being eroded by results. All the talk of having ‘Manchester United DNA’ counts for little when the team cannot do the basics right.
Manchester United’s culture involves winning trophies, lots off them. Solskjaer has been silverware-shy.
Employing a manager who can get the balance right and win silverware will do a lot more for United’s legacy as a club, than persisting with a substandard trophyless imitation of the Ferguson era.
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