After almost three years in charge, Manchester United have decided to sack Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as manager.
This morning the club released an official statement on their website breaking the news and thanking the Norwegian for his service.
It is a sad end to what began as an exciting phase for the club.
James Ducker’s (The Telegraph) latest article analyses what exactly went wrong for Solskjaer.
Winning 14 of his first 19 games, no one could argue his immediate impact after the sacking of Jose Mourinho.
Bringing in Mike Phelan alongside Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna, many believed that Solskjaer’s appointment was a start of an exciting new chapter for the club.
However, the poor end of the 2018-19 season should have warned the United board for what’s to come ahead.
Solskjaer was adamant on quick change and got rid of some of Mourinho’s favourites.
Ducker states: “Having jettisoned Marouane Fellaini within weeks of taking over and later moved on Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez, Solskjaer, strangely, seemed to grow more indecisiveness the longer he was in the job.”
Another critical mistake was his decision to stick with Carrick and McKenna as his first-team coaches. The two oversaw Mourinho’s downfall after the departure of Rui Faria.
One thing that perhaps prolonged Solskjaer’s reign was his amiability.
“Mourinho used to sit in the corner of the canteen, sometimes with his hood pulled up, observing staff scurrying in like the grim reaper, according to one well-placed source.”
“Solskjaer was the polar opposite. He could remember the names of children of staff he had not seen for years.”
Fast forward two seasons and the club languish in seventh position in the Premier League, twelve points behind league leaders Chelsea.
United have failed to win silverware, raising huge question marks about the coaching and tactical education imparted to the players.
The recent performances had been abject, and the system has made highly talented players look average.
After spending over £120 million this summer, the fan’s expectations were that of a title challenge.
Ducker states: “Mini-booms followed by alarming slumps followed by salvage acts followed by more bumps, slumps and revival.”
“A board, so wedded to their self-proclaimed ‘cultural reboot’ and hellbent on seeing their initial gamble on a club legend pay off, that they ignored all the warning signs long before the wheels really did fall off what felt like a never-ending rebuild.”
After a series of embarrassing results against Leicester City, Liverpool, Manchester City, and Watford, the club acted out of desperation and decided to sack the manager.
“Yet United’s players, subconsciously, had checked out weeks before, dwindling confidence eventually giving way to a loss of faith in the manager’s tactics and selections and performances that left you wondering what the club do on the training field each day,” claims Ducker.
It was also reported today that Solskjaer was reluctant to change his backroom staff and considered his coaches ‘world-class.’
Incompetence from the board leaves the club in a dangerous position. The Glazers clearly have not planned for the future and are now forced to make rash decisions. United must act efficiently and find a suitable interim to take charge until a permanent manager is appointed.