Manchester United players question whether manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is a top coach, according to an inside source.
In an article in The Athletic, reporter Laurie Whitwell quotes a source ‘close to the players’ as saying:
‘I must be clear, the players I speak to are never saying he’s a disaster. But they question whether he is a top, top coach.
‘They are worried how things spiral after a bad result, the momentum swings too dramatically.
‘There is a feeling the team is too dependent on players in attack doing wonderful individual things.’
It is a concerning report but does not come as too much of a surprise.
There certainly has been a pattern of fantastic runs under Solskjaer being followed by equally disastrous ones and while, as Whitwell points out, that is to some extent inevitable when building a young squad, doubts remain as to the Norwegian’s ability to take the side to the next level.
In fairness, Solskjaer’s cause will not be helped by the lack of support from the board in this summer’s transfer window, when the club did not secure any of the manager’s chosen transfer targets.
Observers such as United Peoples TV’s Sam Peoples have pointed to a pattern whereby the club’s owners invest only a sufficient amount to maintain a top four position and then the manager is scapegoated and sacked when that lack of investment results in a deterioration in performance.
And it would seem that the pattern could be set to be repeated again, with former Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino waiting in the wings. Whitwell reports that ‘informed industry sources believe an approach [to Pochettino] is on the agenda if results do not improve.
‘United deny any contact and continue to privately insist Solskjaer’s position is safe.’
Time will tell, but Solskjaer’s position, which seemed extremely secure just a few weeks ago as the Red Devils climbed to third place in the Premier League and reached the semi-finals of the Europa League, suddenly looks very precarious indeed.
This summer’s transfer window has been one of the strangest in living memory. So cast your mind back to less stressful days and test your knowledge of past United arrivals and departures in our quiz below.