There is an incredibly satisfying strategic move in Formula 1 where a team who is behind brings their car into the pits before their competitors in order to change tyres first. Essentially, what this ploy is meant to do is give a driver an advantage to get ahead by having fresher tyres that will generate greater speed. Aptly called ‘undercutting’, this strategy is done by those who are proactive when the chips are down. Indeed, carrying out such moves can be interpreted as risky but the only thing worse than not doing so is standing still whilst your rivals surge past you into the distance. That’s all good and well I hear you ask but what does it have to do with Manchester United?
The short answer is that it has everything to do with the Red Devils as the club is in limbo thanks to the hierarchy’s reluctance to fire Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Admittedly, there is a feeling that it could happen any day now and you need only look at the next Man United manager odds to get a better feel for this.
Indeed, it seems like every time the latest manager specials news comes out, Solskjaer takes one step closer to the edge with Zinedine Zidane and Brendan Rodgers being heavily tipped to take over. The truth, however, is that United have waited too long to bring in a world-class manager and will now have to stick with Solskjaer until one becomes available.
Lack of Top Options
Had the powers that be at Old Trafford been a bit more forward-thinking then they could have brought obsessive winner Conte in but instead, they were undercut by Spurs who decided to make a managerial change before United. That indecision to try and force the initiative by gaining the upper hand will surely come back to haunt United, especially if Spurs pip them to European qualification. Only one point separates the two sides in the league at the moment, but now that Spurs have a serial winner in charge there is every chance they will motor ahead and overtake United.
As far as United go, they will continue to pick up points but will ultimately get obliterated by better teams which means that they will fail to close the gap on their rivals. Recent thrashings by Liverpool and Manchester City will back this notion up and in reality, you’re forced to conclude that United will continue to be stuck in second gear under the Norwegian.
This could of course change when a world-class manager comes in but there’s no saying when this could happen when you consider that all the game’s best strategic minds are settled at their respective clubs.
The long and short of it is that by not adopting this effective Formula 1 strategy that has a tendency to catapult a team into the lead despite lagging behind, Manchester United have wasted precious time in their bid to become legitimate title contenders again. Such a short-sighted and risk-averse approach will ensure that the club continues to underperform as they make up the Premier League numbers.