Is Ole Already Showing Wear And Tear?

Is Ole Already Showing Wear And Tear?

If you are familiar with the chant that Manchester United fans have been singing recently, then you will know that their new manager is at the wheel and although Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revitalised a group of underperforming players, there is still a lot of driving still to be done.

After taking over from Jose Mourinho at the tail end of last year, the former Norwegian international was initially given the role of manager on an interim basis and, if anything, was only meant to be a safe pair of hands until a higher profile replacement was then announced.

However, things have a habit of panning out differently in football and after the incredible unbeaten run that the club went on under the stewardship of Solskjaer, it became apparent that he had made himself a serious contender for being given the job on a permanent basis.

By late March, the United hierarchy decided that the 46-year-old was the right man to sit in the Old Trafford hot seat on a long-term basis and from that point, the planning for the 2019/20 season will have begun.

While this appointment has given the club the stability it has been craving, it has also seen a downturn in results and in some quarters, the question is being asked as to whether this announcement was made too early.

It was clear when Mourinho was sacked in December 2018, that he had left behind a squad that was feeling demoralised and therefore producing nothing near to what their hefty pay packets would expect them to do.

Therefore, the arrival of Solskjaer – a man who knows the true identity of this great club – was a masterstroke. All he had to do was put an arm around the likes of Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford and he would be rewarded with performances on the pitch.

But Ole now seems to be losing that magic touch: with a wretched run of domestic results, which subsequently ended their hopes of finishing in the top four and booking a place in the next edition of the Champions League.

Many pundits felt that United were the outsiders when it came to finishing in England’s top quartet of clubs and when looking at the latest Premier League betting, this is also a sentiment that was shared by the bookmakers.

When casting an eye at the top-four outright market, bet365 had the Red Devils priced at a lengthy 10/1 with just two weeks of the season remaining and this is in comparison to the likes of Chelsea at 4/11 and fellow London outfit Arsenal, who were at an inviting 11/5.

United’s sixth-place finish means that the 1999 and 2008 Champions League winners will be plying their continental trade on Thursday nights instead. Although that will at least salvage what has been a rather forgettable season, it also makes the rebuilding job a lot more difficult.

Without the allure of playing in Europe’s premier club competition, it will make the task of recruiting new players to the club a lot harder and therefore they might not be able to land the targets that have been on their radar for quite a while.

So while the change of manager may have galvanised the team, those effects are starting to wear off. That’s where the real work starts for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. He might be at the wheel now, but if results don’t go his way at the start of next season, he may be told to park up and hand the keys back.