Any manager who loses 5-0 at home to their bitter rivals should face serious scrutiny on their future. For a Manchester United manager, that scrutiny is intensified.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer cannot point to this being a freak result either. United have just one point from the last four Premier League games.
Solskjaer plainly looks out of his depth. There is little chance he turns this around, and United’s season risks descending to new depths of disaster.
So why hasn’t Solskjaer been fired already? It’s not an easy question to answer, but there are reasons why United are reluctant to act.
Here is a look at four reasons why Solskjaer is still in a job, for now…
Sense of loyalty
United are still stuck on the sentiment which gave Solskjaer the job in the first place.
The Norwegian is a United man and for this reason, the club want to treat him with respect, whatever the eventual outcome.
This means Solskjaer will get more time than he deserves, and the club will give him an opportunity to turn around.
The club will wait for the situation to get worse, before acting. They feel Solskjaer deserves more time to rectify the situation.
Refusing to give up
United’s board gave Solskjaer a new contract in the summer and extended his staff’s contract just this past month.
The club will not want to give up on Solskjaer so soon, for it will be another admission of failure.
Ed Woodward is leaving at the end of the year and hoped to do so with United in a secure, steady place, full of optimism for the future.
Instead his latest failure has spectacularly fallen apart, another failure to add to his disastrous legacy.
But he simply is not ready to admit this yet, and the board will be hoping this is just a freak run which Solskjaer can navigate his way through, despite evidence suggesting to the contrary.
Waiting for a better time
It is often savvy to wait to present a new manager with a soft run of games to get off to a good start. It worked for Solskjaer.
Throwing in a new manager right now ahead of games against Tottenham, Atalanta, and Manchester City, could backfire and put a new boss under immediate pressure.
So there are two options. (A) Wait until after the international break, during which a new boss can have extended time to adjust and get to know his players.
(B) Wait until December, when matches against Villarreal and Chelsea are out of the way, and United’s fixture list eases up, with games against Palace and Norwich.
Glazer priorities elsewhere
Possibly the most galling reality is that the Glazer family don’t care enough right now to make a decision.
Their NFL team won last night which will have captured their attention.
But also their biggest priority is seemingly a potential bid for a cricket IPL franchise.
The Times of India report the Glazers are looking to win the bidding to take over one of the two new IPL clubs being created as the league expands.
With a business deal like this an important priority, Manchester United takes an inevitable backseat.
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