He has been a dead man walking for weeks and Manchester United have now finally decided to relieve Ole Gunnar Solskjaer of his duties.
We could discuss the problems off the field at Old Trafford but that is another days work. For now let’s look at the reasons why United’s once baby faced legend had to go.
On a Premier League table taken over the last seven games, Manchester United sit rock bottom. A disappointing four points from a possible twenty one is never an acceptable points tally for a club the size of United.
The latest embarrassment at the hands of Watford leaves the club in 7th position only one point ahead of Crystal Palace! Twelve points off the leaders already means they are scrapping for a fourth place finish yet again.
No Visible Plan
Since Solskjaer abandoned his counter attacking style which brought some great victories like PSG away in the Champions League, the team has been in a slow decline.
The Norwegians results have been the poorer for it. Coaching a team to sit and counter attack is a hell of alot easier than to create fluid attacking movements and dominate the ball.
Solskjaer’s best attempt to change their style to a more attacking style seemed to be play all of his big name attack minded players at the same time and hope one of them wins the game for him.
He also has Ronaldo playing up front. Now if you are playing Ronaldo then you need to get service into the box. On too many occasions he has left footers on the right wing and right footers on the left wing.
The majority of the time they cut back inside the pitch instead of crossing the ball. Ronaldo feeds off good delivery into the box. At the moment he is not being used to maximum potential.
You don’t need to look back far to take a look for some head scratching substitutions. His last game against Watford, 2-1 down and Luke Shaw had to be taken off as a precaution.
Solskjaer had ten minutes or so to try to get something from the game. He had the choice between Diogo Dalot or Alex Telles. Dalot got the nod. The more attack minded and natural left sided player in Telles remained on the bench.
In the Europa League Final against Villarreal it was extra time, the 100th minute to be exact before Solskjaer tried to re-energize his side. His team were dead on their legs long before that. The more experienced Unai Emery had made five substitutions by this stage.
A huge problem under Solskjaer was that the players didn’t fear him or fear for their place. Anytime a player was out through injury or suspension he knew he would be straight back into the side. Luke Shaw, Wan Bissaka and Maguire have been under performing all season and even after an injury they have walked straight back into the team.
Fernandes hasn’t hit the levels of previous seasons yet he starts every game. The Portuguese midfielder has grown complacent in the knowelege he is first on the team sheet no matter what his level of performance is.
I could go through a team full of examples but the long and short of it is that this team has not been kept on their toes. Certain players know they are playing week in week out and others know for definite they are not, no matter what the level of performance is from the starting eleven! It was a recipe for disaster. It was also a recipe for a sacking.