I’ve been rewatching all the James Bond’s this week ahead of watching No Time To Die and the title track for Spectre feels hauntingly appropriate to listen to while writing this because the writing is indeed on the wall for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
After the 5-0 humbling against Liverpool, Solskjaer could have been sacked but the club stood by him but the three following games were labelled as a stay of execution by many. If that was indeed the case, then what we saw against Atalanta was the curtain being closed.
Cristiano Ronaldo is incredible, his goals were incredible and he’s almost single handedly kept United in the Champions League but the performance was just as important for Solskjaer in current circumstances.
The 3-0 against Tottenham Hotspur gave him a glimmer of hope. A new formation, a new organisation to the team and defence, United played well in and out of possession. There was a hint of momentum to grab onto and you could feel that going into the Atalanta game.
And then it quickly faded.
The same patterns and problems that have marred United’s horribly inconsistent performances were once again on show and United once again looked all at sea. For me, that is why the writing is now on the wall.
These three games post Liverpool had to be the building of a new look United, a different outfit to what we’ve seen this season if Solskjaer is to be allowed one more true chance. We failed, Solskjaer failed. Against Atalanta, all the problems came back almost immediately and the cycle repeated itself.
I take zero pleasure in writing these words, I truly don’t, but United have now reached the crescendo with Solskjaer and I don’t see any other ending than Ole being replaced. His final act? It will most likely be Manchester City on Saturday.