The Manchester United board offered manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer help to strengthen his coaching staff but the offer was declined, a new report claims.
Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna are the two main first team coaches and do not have a great deal of experience between them.
Solskjaer brought in set piece specialist Eric Ramsey in the summer but other than that, there had been no injection of experience during his reign, with Mike Phelan and Darren Fletcher not integral parts of the training set up. In addition, ‘several other coaches had previously worked with Solskjaer at Cardiff City, where he was relegated from the Premier League, and in Norway with Molde,’ notes ESPN’s Mark Ogden.
Solskjaer was sacked this morning after three years in charge and many fans, pundits and journalists had questioned whether the quality of the coaching staff was sufficient.
And according to Ogden, the United board shared those concerns and even offered to send in reinforcements.
‘Sources have said that the United hierarchy had become aware of the concerns over the quality of the coaching team and “offered Solskjaer every level of support and told him he could have whatever he needed to put it right”,’ Ogden writes.
‘Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward was told, however, that Solskjaer believed his coaches were world-class, forcing the club to back the manager’s judgement.’
Ogden further cites sources who ‘’have now said that several key players had become exasperated by the ability of Solskjaer and his coaches to make the team better, with one source telling ESPN that the players regarded the training as “too British” and unsuited to the requirements of the modern game at the elite level.’
It is hard to understand how Solskjaer could not see that the coaching at the club was not good enough, let alone believe they are ‘world class’.
Reports have repeatedly claimed that players had challenged the status quo in this regard and were particularly uninspired by McKenna.
Whether it was arrogance, short-sightedness or blind loyalty on the Norwegian’s part will probably never be known.
The same could be said of his persistence in sticking with players who were not delivering the goods, when he had the option of world class players such as Donny van de Beek languishing on the bench.
Harry Maguire’s form, for example, has been a particular cause for concern and yet he was neither stripped of his captaincy or dropped, culminating in a dreadful sending off yesterday against Watford that ultimately helped to seal Solskjaer’s fate.
The irony of McKenna and Carrick being part of the reason for Solskjaer’s demise is that they have escaped unscathed so far, with the club announcing today that Carrick will take temporary charge of the side.