Solskjaer is under more pressure than ever

Despite the arrivals of Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho in the summer, Manchester United are having a very average part of the season. So much so that Wednesday night’s poor result against Atalanta in the Champions League will weaken Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s position a little more, ahead of Sunday’s clash with Liverpool.

It looks like they are far away, the start is strong, the initial success against Leeds (5-1), Cristiano Ronaldo’s double for the first time against Newcastle (4-1), and that team feeling is finally starting. With autumn looming in the Northwest, with the 2021-2022 financial year approaching its quarter, Manchester United, as so often in recent years, finds itself in a results crunch.

With three defeats and a draw in their last five games, the Red Devils – who have already been eliminated from the League Cup – are only day six in the Premier League, five lengths behind leaders Chelsea, third in their F group of the Champions League, and tied. He points with their executioners on the first day, the formidable youth of Bern. Suffice it to say that upon receiving Atalanta on Wednesday evening, four days before a shock against Liverpool in the league, “Man U” is under pressure. And a man in particular: his coach, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Fans want his head, Carragher too

Since taking office in December 2018, the Norwegian technician has been unable to convince in the long run. He announced many times in the hot seat, always before the “Capital” match of his former future sub- It has so far withstood criticism and headwinds. But this time the wind is stormy.

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On Twitter, the hashtag #OleOut (Ole, overseas) has been found in major UK trends in recent days. Behind these six letters, many of Mancon’s supporters expressed – more or less violently – their indignation and boredom. Beyond the results, Solskjaer has been criticized for his tactical choices, such as Harry Maguire’s stint while sinking against Leicester on Saturday (4-2), his inability to give an assertive style to the team, or in general to make it progress. .

With the arrival of Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and especially Cristiano Ronaldo this summer, the Norwegian has yet to see the strengthening of his workforce. But this did not translate to the meadow. In addition to his five goals in eight games, the five-a-side Ballon d’Or – to speak only of him – makes the impression particularly of a tactical problem as well as his coach who can’t find the key. Does Solskjaer only have the ability? This is the whole question.

Even on British television, where the technician has long enjoyed the support of fellow consultants, who are able to balance business nicely while criticizing the team without criticizing him himself, the tone has changed. On Monday, it is the exit of Jamie Carragher, the former glory of Liverpool, which was particularly notable. “This team is not a bad team, on the contrary it is a good team, with a group of good individuals. (…) But the only trophy that United can play this season is the Cup or the Europa League, where the former – a defender treated on Sky. Sports, and even if the club wins one of these titles, it will not change anything, they will have to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Manchester United need a better coach, it is an observation, he does not have the level of other top managers in the Premier League.”

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Contract until 2024

After Tuesday’s call to respond to these remarks, the person in question wished to show some calm. “We’ve improved every season, seen progress, seen our development, that’s how he defended. This year, we’ve signed players who raise expectations, but other teams have recruited too. We’re in the same boat as other big teams. After that, obviously there’s pressure on us and on me.” .

However, his contractual status may allow him to set the record straight, as he has not escaped anyone’s noticing that the Red Devils extended Solskjaer this summer … until 2024. In other words: the dismissal would be very costly for the club. “I have my values ​​and my way of coaching. I have faith in the club and he trusts me now.” As for the Manchester United board of directors, it is possible. As for the players, it’s less certain…

After losing to Leicester last weekend, Paul Pogba – without his coach’s guidance – looked a bit lethal. “We have to change something,” the French midfielder said, without giving the impression that we believe too much. We don’t understand, this is frustrating, but we will have to find out the reasons for this failure very quickly to fight with others. (…) We have to find the right mentality and the right tactics.” And on Monday, it was the El Chiringuito program in Spain, which ensured that Cristiano Ronaldo would ask the club to contact Zinedine Zidane.

Facing Gian Piero Gasperini’s squad, this Wednesday at Old Trafford, there will be an opportunity, perhaps the last, to silence critics. He would also have to make the stats lie. Because with the Norwegian on the bench, Manchester United lost 58% of their Champions League matches (7 out of 12). No coach who has led an English team at least ten times in the competition has a worse record.

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