Did you see Manchester United’s defeat to Lionel Messi last night at the Nou Camp? Yes, I know that some other players played alongside the little man but, as usual, Barcelona’s brilliant win came about as a result of what he did. Plus added United crapness. There’s trouble at Old Trafford.
Could I be the first to say that I have doubts as to whether United’s latest manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will last until the end of the season, never mind the three years of his contract? On the basis of last night’s performance, United’s problems go far deeper than the need to sign a few new players. They need a new team.
Who didn’t look up to being a United player? Where do I begin? Smalling, Jones, Young, Fred, McTominay, Lingard, Lukaku, Sanchez and even Pogba were miles off the pace, nowhere near the level you might expect for a Manchester United player. In fact, I barely noticed Lingard, who I normally like, and Pogba, who only appears to turn it on when he is in the mood, when the former was substituted and when the latter shook hands with the victor at the end of the game.
Was the appointment of Solskjaer premature? A few successful years at the giants of Molde in Norway and a disastrous nine months with Cardiff City did not suggest a great manager in waiting. When the new manager oversaw a long winning run at Old Trafford, was it because he was not Mourinho, with added new manager freshness? I can’t possibly know but it has happened before.
We are into ‘what if’ land, but what if United’s current dismal run of results continues to the end of the season and they fail to qualify for the Champions League? Do United’s hedge fund owners persist with their new manager and hope he can rebuild the squad in double-quick time or do they poach a ‘name’ from somewhere else? If I was a Spurs fan, this would be in the back of my mind, or maybe even the front of it.
Either way, it looks like Solskjaer’s knee-jerk appointment after an exceptional run of results could be yet another boardroom mistake at Old Trafford. It will cost them the earth to build a new squad so will anyone be surprised if they break the bank to get the best manager out there to build it?