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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

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Man Utd have a team capable of winning titles but lack a manager to get there

THERE COMES A POINT when that’s just it. The manager has done a good job. And believe me Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has.

He put Manchester United back on the right track.


Solskjaer is under pressure after his side were comfortably beaten by another rival at homeCredit: GETTY IMAGES Yes Louis Van Gaal won the FA Cup, but goodness me wasn’t it dull.

Jose Mourinho’s reign was totally undervalued.

A League Cup, Europa League and second placed finish but why does his temperament always bring things crashing down.

It does everywhere, just look at Roma right now.

So United brought in the cooler, calmer, smilier face of United.

A club legend to reconnect with the club DNA.


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And it has worked, have no doubt it has.

From changing the onfield entertainment, to reengaging the fans with the team.

From giving belief that this long term plan could actually work.

The corner had been turned…and now a brick wall has been met.

You just can’t go on like this.

The club can’t, the manger can’t, it’s not fair on either.

It’s not fair on the fans either who are desperate not to turn on the manager.

But with every game like this the same depressing cycle turns again.


United looked out of ideasCredit: GETTY IMAGES One of many problems now for managers is that TV pundits are not just that, they are the story.

The ranting row that went on between Graeme Souness, Micah Richards and Roy Keane on TV after this almost made the performance worse.

Gary Neville piled in blaming the board as he always does.

Yet the board at Chelsea changes managers like the rest of us change clothes and it is template for success.

The board at United have supported their managers better than any in the world since Sir Alex Ferguson departed.

So forget that.

The thing is, other clubs have just got better since United last won the title.

Much better in terms of Manchester City under Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool and Chelsea, have come again, under Thomas Tuchel.


Pundits have become the storyCredit: GETTY IMAGES That happens, they are allowed to much as it might annoy the Red Devils faithful.

The point is that United have got to a position where they have the team to win the title.

They just have not got the manager to push them over the line.

When it comes to the big moments, the big decisions, the tactical plan there are people out there who are better.

That does not mean Solskjaer is a bad manger.

He’s just not in the elite and United need someone in the elite.

He can’t take it to the next step with a group of individuals who are good enough to win this title.

They have clearly lost faith in him and stopped listening.


Solskjaer is yet to win a trophy at United as managerCredit: GETTY IMAGES How many times do we have to hear about starting to slowly and needing to be on the front foot.

The players stand around in a formation wondering who is going to do what next.

City know, Liverpool know.

They know before the ball gets to their feet what is going to happen next and who is where.

United don’t. They get the ball and go ‘ok what now’.

That is why they lose possession so often.

Changing managers does not necessarily mean United have abandoned a long term plan.

The plan has got the club on course.

But now they can’t find a way through because unfortunately their manager and coaching staff is limited compared to those they should be challenging at the top tier.

Witness Mike Phelan – recent new contract.

He comes into the technical area and fold his arms.

Witness Klopp and Guardiola, pointing urging, explaining.

They conduct the game.

Solskjaer and his coaching team, watch and have no idea how to change things.

Against a rubbish Spurs team, yes, they can win, but they were there for the taking.

A well organised Leicester weren’t and did them 4-2.

Liverpool and City are on another planet.

Believe me this team should be as good as any in Europe, the board has provided the money to produce it but the players are individually getting worse.

So what happens next?

They face Watford next and might well win. Not exactly mighty opponents against the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes and Mason Greenwood.

They should win.

But Chelsea are on the horizon.

They will get drawn against a decent side in the Champions League, if as looks likely they get through.

Unless Ronaldo sprinkles his magic dust they will lose both.

Because right now that is what they rely on.

So Manchester City denied Ronaldo the ball, because they denied every United player the ball.

United had one touch in City’s box in the whole of the second half – ONE.

For the record Eric Bailly scored an own goal for City’s first and Bernardo Silva stretched his leg at the far post for the second just before half time.

Solskjaer has a win percentage of 55 per cent That was only part of the story.

Never have you seen a United team, so second best, chasing shadows as you did Saturday.

This was worse than Liverpool. This was unacceptable. This was it.

⚽ Read our Manchester United live blog for the latest news and transfer gossip from Old Trafford

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reacts to Manchester United’s 2-0 loss to Manchester City

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