The way this Premier league season has unfolded for the Red Devils, it is clear that they might lose faith in Solskjaer very soon, however, they have no option but to stick with the Norwegian for longer than they might wish. The team has reached such a level of mismanagement that the removal of Solskjaer seems inevitable to many, but the lack of any other outstanding candidate to take over his position, means that he will continue with ManU at least till the end of this tournament.
A defeat at the hands of Liverpool might make matters worse
A heavy defeat at the hands of Liverpool after the Premier league resumes Post the international break might leave Solskjaer in a very difficult position. Going by the football betting markets, Liverpool go into that match as clear favourites at odds of 8/11, while Manchester United are being offered at 7/2.
Even before the team comes up with any excuses for that defeat, it would be a given that the manager couldn’t boost his players for the biggest rivalry of the club. It would also imply that their so-called solid defence wasn’t capable of holding on when it mattered the most. Not to forget, the club would be at a very high risk of relegation.
There aren’t many alternatives either
All these factors combined would require some sort of necessary action from the management. A squad that is lacking inspiration and also has small incidents of dissatisfaction, must be either pacified in some way by changing things, or put into its place. Till now, Ed Woodward has gone for the latter option under Solskjaer. Expensive buys like Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanches were put in their place. Although their replacements were not good enough, at least the ones that wanted out were gotten rid of. Solskjaer was confident that the team will not struggle for goals in the absence of Lukaku, but the team’s performance in its first 8 Premier League outings this season tells a different story.
Now we are well into October and there’s plenty of time to go until the transfer window opens again in January. There is no chance of booting out any troublesome players at this stage. You can’t freeze them out of the group without demoralising the others. Manchester United have no option but to stick with this team until the summer. Hence, the obvious temptation is to look for some other type of boost in morale, perhaps by getting rid of the manager, the approach they took in case of Jose Mourinho.
There is no good replacement of Solskjaer in sight right now. The swiftness with which Mourinho was replaced by Solskjaer indicated that the move was initiated long before Mourinho was given the marching orders. This time around there is no clear way to bring a new man in, someone with a credible endorsement.
Although Solskjaer didn’t have much experience, he understood the club well. If they go for someone from within, even on a temporary basis, Mike Phelan and Michael Carrick seem like the best bets. The outsider names that come to mind right now are that of Max Allegri and Mauricio Pochettino. But if we look closely, it’s apparent that there’s no quick-fix solution to this problem. The timing of it all has made things worse for the club.