Manchester United Are At Yet Another Crossroads!

Since Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure from Old Trafford in 2013, Manchester United have gone from one possible revival to yet another slump.

United are now onto their fourth manager since Fergie’s retirement and after a bright honeymoon period current Man United gaffer Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is now under severe pressure himself.

The Champions League winning legend has watched on as his side have struggled to compete this season.

The club that have won more Premier League titles than any other team have won just twice in their opening eight league games. They sit in twelfth position in the table and are actually closer to bottom placed Watford than they are to current leaders Liverpool.

The Red Devils made a bright start to the campaign, beating Chelsea at Old Trafford but since then they’ve lost three times in the league. In each of those losses (to Crystal Palace, West Ham United and Newcastle United) Ole’s team were pretty impotent, lackadaisical and lacked any real confidence.

Those performances along with poor outings against Rochdale in the Carabao Cup and in the Europa League have seen the Norwegian’s future come under fierce scrutiny. Some reports suggest that if United lose heavily in their next game to bitter rivals Liverpool then the heriachy at Old Trafford will let Solskjaer go (Source Daily Mail).

It does indeed look like Manchester United are at yet another crossroads. So what should they do next?

Firstly, I don’t think the issues start and stop with the manager.

How many times have we heard that Man Utd are looking for a new sporting director type figure? It seems to be a search that’s lasted around twelve months now. That’s ridiculous for one of the world’s perceived biggest clubs.

They definitely need that position filled. Vice Chairman Ed Woodward might be a very good businessman that can manage balance sheets and get sponsorship deals over the line but he has looked inept in repeated transfer windows.

There’s no point sacking yet another coach if you don’t have a proper football administrative structure in place. Woodward should stick to what he’s good at and leave the football business to someone that’s proven in that field.

Man United are stuck in Fergie time (pardon the pun) by not having a proper footballing structure in place to help a head coach and get deals over the line.

Look at their summer transfer window.

They sold proven Premier League goalscorer Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan but never replaced him. That means they’ve got a threadbare attacking line and one that distinctly lacks any experience. They were relying on Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford to grab the goals. Martial has been injured for much of this term thus far and Rashford is playing on empty, both physically and mentally. After that they’ve got a very talented but raw eighteen year old in Mason Greenwood.

That’s not good enough to compete at the top.

It is almost criminal that United didn’t have an experienced hitman lined up to help carry the load this season.

Just look back at Solskjaer’s greatest United goal, it was against Bayern Munich in the 1999 Champions League final. That day Ferguson used four top proven strikers in Ole, Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole and Teddy Sheringham. So you’ve got to believe the Man United manager understands the strengths that come with having experience and competition within your ranks.

United have had to over spend in bringing in defenders Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan Bissaka. In the case of Magure they let that deal drag out all summer before finally agreeing the fee that selling club Leicester City wanted all along!

Inexcpliity United didn’t sign a central midfielder. Solskjaer clearly doesn’t fancy Fred who is yet another overpriced purchase. He then has youngsters Scott McTominay and Andreas Pereira battling it out with Paul Pogba and Nemjana Matic for starting places. They lost experienced duo Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera during the last two transfer windows.

To be fair, the younger players have given their all.

Matic looks to be a declining figure and then you’ve got Pogba. I love the French World Cup winner but he seems to want away and he’s been inconsistent again too many times this term. He has all the tools needed to boss midfield battles at the highest level but he really needs to have the hunger to do it. If he can’t do it on a regular basis and wants to leave then let him go for a big fee.

It’s hard to see how much of the squads faults are down to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. He has been working with an arm tied behind his back as the board haven’t performed well in the transfer market. That has left him with an unbalanced squad.

But at the same time he has to accept some of the blame. I think he sanctioned the move that saw Lukaku leave for the San Siro. I think he came in wanting to focus too much on youth and he needed a wee bit more experience in there to help the younger players to develop.

Solskjaer came in and said his team needed to be ruthless and in the summer stated his players had to be fitter than ever before:

“It is not a case of breaking them down, it is not about proving a point, they are not fit enough.

“We are here to build them up, that is where we are. When the league starts, everyone should be as fit as they possibly could be from the starting point.

“Pre-season is about laying good foundations, so they won’t have to have that rest.”

Via The Sun

Importantly Man United haven’t looked any fitter this term and they certainly haven’t been ruthless in front of goal. Two points Ole quickly asserted needed to change and they haven’t. That could be his biggest failings as a manager.

I’m not sure Ole is the man to get Man United back to the top but I’m 100% positive that before anything gets better at Old Trafford the football administration at the club has to be completely overhauled. Once that happens then the new sporting director has to work with the manager and develop a plan that brings success back to United.

It won’t happen right away but progress can be seen quickly if things are done properly.

2 Responses to “Manchester United Are At Yet Another Crossroads!”

  1. The guy who is coaching Ajax is underrated but one of the best coaches in the world right now.Please look at this guy he is amazing .He will not spend much but will definitely improve the players we have

  2. It does come down to a need of a sporting director who envisions the future and sticks to that while managers might come and go, so that the club’s philoposhy remains. Chelsea, Manchester city, Liverpool, Arsenal all have that. Daniel levy and Tottenham are an exception and i believe Ed Woodward is awestuck by seeing another finance guy make it into running a football club successfully. He doesn’t seem to have an urgency or need to appoint the sporting director because of his confidence as a skillful dealmaker and negotiator. But anyone who follows United would know that woodward is nothing like levy and would never be. There is not a single piece of screwed business deal woodward has been capable of pushing over the line when it mattered. They have been all forced,overpayed, dragged and made the fans go nuts before the deals were finalised. Also the midfield is utter shit and why does united still play with 2 defensive midfielders when almost every single big team in this world have a single pivot role there. Makes sense because they need more players upfront near the goal to create more chances. So very little tactical flexibilty by Ole also highlights his inexperience to handle this job to its full extent. Good as a part time interim,but not good enough to handle it as a full time coach/manager. .and thats the case with almost everyone in the club. Top to bottom. Players, managers, chief executive,owners.JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

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