Should Ole Gunnar Solskjaer get more time at Manchester United?

It’s difficult to remember a time when the Manchester United fan base was as divided as it is regarding their current manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Even during the end of: David Moyes’, Louis van Gaal’s and Jose Mourinho’s time at Old Trafford, the majority of fans were in agreement regarding each manager being relieved of their duties. There’s no denying that since Solskjaer became the full time manager at Old Trafford, the results have been poor, but a large amount of United fans are happy to give Solskjaer more time in charge. Does Solskjaer deserve more time in charge? We’ve looked at the arguments for yes, and no.


He’s getting rid of the “deadwood”

One thing that has been a welcome change for United fans under Solskjaer is the moving on of/lack of gametime for their average players (also known as “the deadwood”), with the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Matteo Darmian being sold by Solskjaer last summer, as well as Alexis Sanchez and Chris Smalling being sent out on loan this season. Solskjaer is clearly in the process of slowly moving on the players who aren’t up to scratch and will likely carry on to do so during the next summer transfer window, if he is given enough time to make it until the end of the season that it.

He’s made good signings so far

One issue for United over recent seasons is the fact that they’ve opted to sign world class players instead of signing players to improve their weak points, with the signings of Alexis Sanchez and Angel Di Maria being two instances where they bought a player for their name rather than what they would bring to the team. Solskjaer’s three signings as United manager have clearly been thoughtful purchases that have been specific to what the team needed. United’s worst position’s last season were arguably centre-back and right-back, so the signings of Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace and Harry Maguire from Leicester have been welcome changes for Manchester United. The signing of Daniel James from Swansea for £15m has also looked like a brilliant addition to the squad as the young winger has been impressive since his move to Old Trafford.

Proven managers haven’t worked for United in the past

An argument put forward for why Solskjaer should be sacked is that he isn’t a proven manager (which we’ll talk more about later), but considering the three managers that were in charge before Solskjaer, having a proven manager doesn’t always lead to success. The CV’s of Jose Mourinho and Louis van Gaal at other clubs made little impact in terms of success at United. Yes, both managers won trophies at United, as Louis van Gaal won the FA Cup and Jose Mourinho won the League Cup and the Europa League, but those trophies essentially papered over the cracks of what were fundamentally unsuccessful spells for both managers where they failed to live up to expectations, with van Gaal failing to qualify for the Champions League during his second season, and Mourinho giving United their worst ever start to a Premier League season during his third season. Maybe it’s time for United to try something new and back a manager who has a personal attachment to the club and is still learning his trade.


The results have been poor

At the end of the day, football is a results business, and despite his brilliant time as interim manager where he won 14 of his 17 games in charge, the results since he became permanent manager have been extremely poor, winning only 11 of 31. It’s difficult to comprehend why United’s form went so downhill since Solskjaer was appointed, but there’s no hiding from the results.

He isn’t a proven manager

As well as the poor results, one key reason why some United fans aren’t prepared to give Solskjaer more time and give him an opportunity to improve his form at United is because he isn’t a proven manager. Apart from a couple of spells at Norwegian club Molde and a short time at Cardiff City where the club were relegated, Solskjaer doesn’t have any other experience as a first division manager. The majority of United fans understand that it will take time for the club to get back to competing for trophies, but they believe that a more experienced manager should be brought in and given time to rebuild the club. Since being relieved of his duties at Tottenham, Mauricio Pochettino has been heavily linked to replace Soslkjaer, and despite the fact that Pochettino didn’t win any trophies during his time at Tottenham, it can’t be ignored the vast improvement Tottenham have undergone thanks to Pochettino, such as consistently qualifying for the Champions League and reaching the Champions League final. Another name that has been linked to the United job is former AC Milan and Juventus manager Massimiliano Alegri who has been out of a job since he was replaced by Maurico Sarri in Turin at the end of last season. Allegri is as qualified as it comes regarding managers as he has won: 6 Serie A titles, 4 Coppa Italias and 3 Supercoppa Italianas, so if you’re going to be patient with a manager and give them time, it would make sense for it to be a manager who has won trophies.

As a personal opinion, Solskjaer doesn’t look like the man who can get United back to challenging for trophies, however, he is the best candidate to take United through this squad rebuild as he is willing to get rid of players who aren’t good enough and brings in players that are a good fit for his squad rather than bringing in big names.

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