Freddie Ljungberg Isn’t The Manager Arsenal Are Looking For

Copyright Arsenal.com

Sometimes bringing in a club hero as your caretaker boss can bring instant positive results, just look at Duncan Ferguson at Everton this past weekend as a prime example.

Then there’s other times that it just doesn’t work and the bounce doesn’t happen.

Unfortunately for Arsenal and Freddie Ljungberg they haven’t had a confident bounce since the Swede has taken over the Emirates hotseat from Unai Emery.

The Gunners have played twice with Freddie in charge and he has watched on as they drew with Norwich City and then lost at home to Brighton & Hove Albion. Those results and the team’s performances suggest that Ljungberg isn’t the man to lead Arsenal in the longterm and probably not even too much longer in the short term either.

A big issue, for me, is that Freddie has very little coaching experience and he was part of Emery’s backroom staff.

The current Gunners squad need a man that has experienced turning things around at a club, that’s brought with him success and a new voice to engage with the dressing room.

This Arsenal side are underachieving. They have a team that should be very capable of challenging for a top four spot but they need belief and that’s not coming from their current interim boss.

Massimiliano Allegri is the bookies favourite to takeover at the Emirates. That would be a smart and astute choice. The Italian has a winning pedigree and he could help shore up the Gunners backline (which needs to be worked on).

A big issue could be convincing the former Juventus boss. Allegri has stated that he won’t take on any new job until next summer:

“In June. I don’t know if you can call it a sabbatical or not,”

“As soon as the relationship with Juventus came to an end, the decision was to take a year out.”

Via Football.London

I wouldn’t be adverse in waiting for Allegri, if he committed now to accepting the role in the summer but I would still look at another option to takeover until the summer instead of Ljungberg, for example I would have Steve Bould in that role.

Brendan Rodgers has just signed a new deal at Leicester City, so that looks a no goer (Source The Independent). Then you’ve got Mauricio Pochettino, who was successful at North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur. That would be a statement appointment but would they be a good fit?

Personally, I if I were the Arsenal hierarchy, I would sound out former Liverpool and Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez and see if they can convince the experienced gaffer to leave China and come back to the Premier League.

I think the Arsenal board shouldn’t have sacked Unai Emery until they had a plan in place to bring in his successor. They are now finding out the hard way that they can’t just promote within and get better results!

Everton’s Stars All Played Like They Were Duncan Ferguson

Everton have lacked inspiration this season. The Toffees have also needed a true leader.

Yesterday, their caretaker boss Duncan Ferguson provided both inspiration and leadership at Goodison as he guided his team to a superb 3-1 win (BBC Match Report) over Frank Lampard’s Chelsea.

The Toffees threw themselves into every challenge, their attack battered Chelsea’s defence and they were fully committed in everything they did. It was a performance that the home faithful loved and it would’ve reminded them of watching Big Dunc the player.

Ferguson was a warrior. He gave absolutely everything for the Everton jersey when he was on the pitch. You felt that the Scotsman would bleed blue if he were ever to be cut open, he loved Everton that much!

His players all seemed to morph into Duncan Ferguson yesterday afternoon.

Under Marco Silva, they often looked timid and didn’t seem to have the appetite for a fight.

Duncan the manager didn’t come in and change everything with new glossy ideas and philosophies. No the interim gaffer just wanted to bring back the passion and add some extra bite. He also just ripped away some of the excess tactical baggage that’s weighed the team down this term and went back to basics.

Everton made more challenges against top four side Chelsea than they have in any other Premier League outing this season. Their win stopped a run of three defeats in a row and took them out of the relegation drop zone.

More importantly it was a performance that once again got Goodison Park rocking and showed the players that they are good enough when they work hard as a team!

It seemed very apt that Everton’s current number nine, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, managed to produce a display that reminded the crowd of Ferguson.

He would jump for every ball, he clattered into any Chelsea defender who found themselves in possession and he grabbed two vital goals.

It also shouldn’t be lost on anyone that Richarlison scored the first goal under Dunc’s tenure with a header! No player has actually scored more headed league goals than Richarlison’s three this term. Ferguson will be proud, given his record in the air. 

Ferguson would patrol his dugout with plenty of passion and energy and that transferred onto his players on the pitch. In one game he’s brought the belief back to those that were in the stadium.

The Everton legend was understandably jubilant after he guided his troops to a great win:

“It was emotional, exciting, I was nervous. You have to make sure you get your team into a good shape, it was very difficult to get the message across because the atmosphere was unbelievable but I could not have dreamt it any better.”

Via Liverpool Echo

The Toffees have been linked with various top class coaches since ditching Marco Silva this week. But maybe they could wait a bit longer and see if Duncan Ferguson and his players can keep up this momentum.

The man himself has stated he’d never say no to the job:

 “It is one game at a time for me, that is the way I am looking at it, I asked to come in step in for Everton Football Club.”

“I would never turn that down, but I’m realistic too. It was for the game, I’m made up, I’m delighted for the fans, it’s three points and it’s massive for us.”

Via Liverpool Echo

Two England Stars That Chelsea Could Swoop For In January

Chelsea will be allowed to buy players again in January, following their successful appeal to overturn the length of their transfer ban (Source BBC Sport).

The Premier League side have been performing well under new coach Frank Lampard so far this season but a few shrewd moves in the January transfer window could really cement The Blues place in the top four.

In that regard I think two current England internationals could come in and make an immediate impact at Chelsea.

Speculation mounts regarding the future of French international striker Olivier Giroud. The veteran hitman has struggled for playing time this season and he’s also failed to score a top flight goal this term. According to the Daily Mail, Atletico Madrid are the latest club interested in the World Cup winner.

Chelsea could use another centre forward in their ranks capable of challenging Tammy Abraham and Michy Batshuayi for a spot as the club’s lead striker.

In that regard, I’d suggest Lampard and his scouting team work on a deal to bring Callum Wilson to Stamford Bridge.

The AFC Bournemouth marksman offers a more rounded game than those currently at The Bridge. As well as having the ability to score and use his pace like Tammy and Michy, Wilson can also use his strength and ability to hold off opposing defenders and link up well with those attacking teammates that play in and around him like what Giroud offers the team.

In his four and a half seasons in the Premier League, Callum has made 102 appearances for The Cherries and scored 38 times. He has came back from two serious knee injuries and looked stronger and better each time!

I’m sure the twenty-seven year old would arrive at Chelsea knowing he’d have to fight for his place and understand that fellow English international Abraham would get the nod on certain occasions. I also think that Wilson presence in Chelsea’s final third would see Frank get more from the likes of Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Some games call for more power and a bit more experience and if Giroud were to leave, then Wilson could offer that for the Blues (if they were to sign him in January).

Cherries boss Eddie Howe was coy when asked about possibly selling his central striker back in early October:

“To hear transfer rumours circulating now the window is shut and far from opening, for me, it’s pointless talking about it.

Via The Bleacher Report

That certainly wasn’t a firm denial.

Another position Chelsea might want to look at is left-back.

Marcos Alonso hasn’t offered the same consistency in that role as he has in the past and that’s seen the Spaniard lose his place to Emerson Palmieri.

The Italian is a decent player and steady enough but I’m not sure he really offers the team enough.

Leicester City’s left sided full-back Ben Chilwell could be a better option, if they could persuade the Foxes to sell their talented asset.

Emerson hasn’t scored or assisted in any of his nine Premier League outings thus far this season, while Chilwell has scored once and created three assists for teammates. The England international also makes more headers, interceptions and clearances.

When you look at the teams currently placed above Chelsea in the league, you cannot help but notice the chances that the Liverpool, Manchester City and Leicester City full-backs create for their forwards. It’s just not the same at Chelsea.

We already know that Frank Lampard gets the best from his young talented English stars, surely it would make sense that they’d look at strengthening their squad with more from that market.

Obviously these two potential transfers would cost Chelsea a serious amount of money. The fact that The Blues fought tooth and nail to get their transfer ban reduced suggests that they are ready to back Frank Lampard in the next window.

If Roman Abramovich wants to see Chelsea succeed then he’ll need to sanction a few big transfers that will help guide his manager and young squad further up the table and see them challenging for silverware!

Could Chris Wilder Be Manager Of The Year?

Chris Wilder is slowly putting together his credentials to earn a manager of the year award after guiding Sheffield United to an impressive start to the Premier League season. 

Wilder has been sensational during his tenure at Bramall Lane, guiding the club from League One to sixth in the top flight at the time of writing.

United are not blessed with talent across the pitch but are constantly punching above their weight against seemingly stronger opponents to earn positive results. It’s a testament to the system employed by Wilder that his team have managed to gain so much success to put them on pace for not only survival but also a top-half finish in the Premier League. The Blades are backed in the Premier League betting odds at 13/8 to finish in the top 10, and it would be a major achievement for a team that last finished in the top half of the top division in 1992. It has been an incredible rise from the third tier in four years and Wilder deserves all the accolades that are coming his way for their continued excellence on the pitch. 

United have managed to claim their points thus far this campaign by a variety of different methods. They’ve been resilient against the leading outfits in the Premier League, coming from behind to earn draws against Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United – albeit the last one came after sacrificing a two-goal advantage. Their clash against Spurs was controversial with a disallowed VAR goal, denying Wilder and his team a victory on the road. However, they’ve also managed to attain important victories by blowing away Everton at Goodison Park and Burnley on home soil. 

It speaks volumes to the chemistry of the team that they are able to battle away on a week-to-week basis shifting their identity on their opponent. The system developed in the lower tiers of the English football pyramid has stood them in good stead, producing enough of a goal threat, while remaining a solid unit at the back. They’ve already kept five clean sheets this term, which has provided the foundation for their attackers in the final third to play with license, knowing that one goal will be enough to secure a vital win. 


Wilder’s development of his squad has perhaps been a more vital tool for the Blades this term. Their entire defence has taken the next step. John Egan has been a standout in the middle (Vis The Star) of the backline alongside Jack O’Connell and Chris Basham. George Baldock and Enda Stevens have been a model of consistency in the full-back positions, while Dean Henderson has continued his stellar form between the sticks after re-joining on a second loan spell from Man United.

Being able to bring the best out of players is a key element of a successful manager and there will certainly be other teams in the Premier League that wish their respective coaches could have the same effect on their players. 

John Lundstram is in a tie with Egan as the most valuable player of the campaign. He has scored three goals from the middle of the park and has provided an energetic presence throughout, becoming the lynchpin for Chris Wilder. As has John Fleck, who is now a regular in the Scotland set-up.

Wilder has even brought out the best in players that have been afterthoughts at other Premier League clubs – notably Lys Mousset, who has been a revelation off the bench for the Blades this term. Everything Chris Wilder has touched has turned to gold and if he continues, in the same manner, Sheffield United could well be on course for their highest finish in 28 years along with earning the plaudits for the feat!

Rangers Would Definitely Sell Alfredo Morelos In January (For the Right Price)

There’s definitely a lot of love for Colombian striker Alfredo Morelos at Ibrox.

The supporters love him, Steven Gerrard adores him and the Gers hierarchy seem to have fallen for him too.

It’s easy to see why, as he’s a free-scoring hitman that will give his absolute all for the jersey.

Morelos has already scored twenty-five goals this term. Thirteen of them have been struck in thirteen Europa League outings. This season he has also shown us that he can keep his emotions in check and not get too many cards, like he has in the past.

His fantastic exploits both in the Scottish Premiership and in Europe have brought him plenty of attention. As well as international recognition, Alfredo has also been linked with a move away..

Rangers seem very reluctant for that to happen within the next transfer window in January.

Firstly outgoing chairman Dave King stated:

“I would say to you that I can’t imagine a circumstance where we will sell Alfredo.”

“I’ve said to the manager, if you get offered £25m for him, £30m, I wouldn’t sell him. You make your decision.”

“I don’t want money in the bank. We’re here to win league titles.”

Via Daily Record

Gers manager Gerrard followed that up by saying this about whether he’d sell his goalscoring frontman:

“No. And you can add another £10m on as well.”

Via The Scottish Sun

I admire the two men as they try and keep their best asset but let’s be honest they would 100% sell Alfredo if they received a £40m or £50m bid for the player. Actually I would bet that Rangers would accept a £20m offer for Morelos.

The statements about the high fees and not selling him work either way for Rangers, in my opinion.

It will probably push the price up and keep vultures away that won’t offer a big fee for his services. They might know that no one will pursue the attacker in January, so the big talk will help get the supporters to stay onside. Plus maybe they can do a deal and keep Alfredo for the rest of the current campaign.

If it puts clubs off, then Rangers will keep their top scorer for the remainder of a vital season.

Now why do I feel Rangers would sell for around £20m?

Because that is still a huge fee for any Scottish team. The highest fee The Gers have received for a player was the £9m they brought in for Alan Hutton in 2008!

The oldco Rangers business went bust in 2012, a lot of that was down to the club being run in a cavalier manner and being mismanaged financially. So it makes little to no sense for them to turn down a record fee for any player.

Last month it was announced that Rangers needed another £10m to be ploughed into the football club before the end of the season (Source Scotsman). They could get that via loans and/or from a share issue. But surely it would make more sense for the club to pay for itself via transfer business. They could then keep hold of Jermain Defoe and use spare cash to bring in another striker to challenge for the number nine shirt.

Plus I doubt El Buffalo would be extremely unhappy and angry if The Light Blues refused to sell him to a top club or to a side in a strong league for a big fee.

I know that league titles and stopping Celtic is paramount in the minds of Gers fans but the board and the manager have to be more realistic and do what’s ultimately best for Rangers Football Club.

That could see Alfredo Morelos leave Ibrox in January, but only if The Gers receive an acceptable offer and that will still come with a big fee!

Man United Should Thwart Liverpool & Spurs By Re-Signing Memphis Depay

It’s believed that interest in Memphis Depay could be high amongst Premier League clubs.

The Mirror have reported that Tottenham Hotspur could be ready to table a bid for the Dutchman, while Calciomercato.com have gone further and stated that Liverpool have joined Spurs in the race for the Olympique Lyonnais forward.

But it’s widely believed that fellow Premier League side Manchester United inserted a buy-back clause when they sold Depay to Lyon in 2017, which means they can jump ahead of any potential queue and re-sign the Dutch international (Source Manchester Evening News).

Personally, I think Man United would be best served in bringing Memphis Depay back to Old Trafford this January.

Firstly, the move would prevent two league rivals from strengthening their own frontline.

Why would United want to see a former player help Liverpool to their first Premier League title? Why would the Red Devils want to see Jose Mourinho bolster his squad and helping their chances to a top four finish ahead of United?

It would make more sense to bring Depay back and see if he’s now ready to lead the line in a United jersey.

The Dutch striker has thrived in Ligue 1, where he has benefitted from being played through the middle. He has scored forty-one league strikes in his ninety-nine appearances for Les Gones.

Then we need to remember that Man Utd are lacking in the forward department.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sanctioned the sale of Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan and the Red Devils hierarchy never replaced the Belgian goalscorer.

That’s left them short up-top with only an out of form Marcus Rashford, an injury hampered Anthony Martial and a raw Mason Greenwood to choose from.

United have struggled to see games out and they haven’t been the best in front of goal.

Bringing Depay back would give Ole (or potentially a new manager) added experience and another face in the team that has a history of scoring goals. As well as banging in the goals for Lyon, Memphis Sepay has also been prolific for the Netherlands national team in recent years!

Plus it has been suggest that £42m is Lyon’s asking price and if Man Utd do have a buy-back clause then it would be the easiest deal for the United board to make this winter transfer window.

Memphis can also play on the wing and that versatility won’t go a miss at the Theatre of Dreams at the moment either.

I just can’t see why Manchester United would step aside and watch a former player (who they could bring back) scoring for another top Premier League side. It would represent another poor bit of transfer business if they allowed a goal threat to join Liverpool or Tottenham Hotspur this January.

Last season ahead of playing against Memphis Depay showed that he still had addiction for The Red Devils:

“It’s the first time I’ve come back to Manchester after I left,”

“That feels special and I’m happy to come back here and play against Man City.”

“For sure, the city is still red and we will try to get a good result against the Blues.”

Via Manchester Evening News

The United faithful wouldn’t mind seeing that passion back on the park!

Liverpool Playing Like Champions (And Still Haven’t Peaked)

Liverpool have opened up an eleven point lead over last season’s Premier League champions Manchester City.

Today, Jurgen Klopp’s men managed to see out a 2-1 win (BBC Match Report) over Brighton & Hove Albion at Anfield. That was The Reds’ thirteenth win in their opening fourteen league outings this season!

To be honest, Liverpool haven’t been playing flamboyant football for the most part this term. At times they’ve even looked sluggish. But all great champions learn to gain victories no matter how they are playing.

The problem for the rest of the Premier League could be that Liverpool really find their groove in the second half of the season and become pretty unstoppable.

The Reds haven’t scored as many as Man City and they’ve conceded more than Leicester City but what they have done this season is manage the game that is in front of them. That’s seen them pick up wins over both their nearest rivals this term.

Klopp has great belief in his team and trusts his players. He has the best centre-half in the world in Virgil van Dijk, who today scored a brace to put The Seagulls to the sword. Goalkeeper Alisson may have been sent off in today’s encounter but he too gives the team another rock steady presence at the back!

The full-backs offer the team tremendous width and they provide plenty of ammunition and assists to the forward line. As well as being terrific going forward, Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold also have supreme engines to always trackback and help their defensive colleagues.

The midfield is full of foot-soldiers, who remain disciplined and they offer the team a spine that helps the attackers to fully flourish.

No trio is currently as feared as Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. They offer directness, pace and a prolific scoring record that shows little signs of unabating. They’ve struck eighteen times so far in the English top flight this season.

Yet you still get the feeling that most of the team, including the forwards haven’t peaked yet. Personally I still expect more will come from them. They could produce a hiding for an opponent in the next month, Everton are next up and they won’t fancy facing their nearest rivals at the moment.

After today’s game, German boss Jurgen Klopp appreciated his side’s opponents but he was also very pleased that his team worked hard to see out the victory:

“It was difficult this game because Brighton are a good football side. They put players between the lines. They put so many players there so it’s difficult to defend. They had a lot of possession and we had to work really hard. I loved that the boys were prepared to do that after a busy week.”

Via Yahoo Sport

In football, winning is the best habit to fall into. Liverpool ended the last campaign as Champions League winners and that triumph seems to have ignited a real hunger within Klopp’s troops to go on and finally secure their first Premier League title.

Manchester City Should Prioritise The Champions League

Manchester City picked up a home draw against Shakhtar Donetsk last night (ManCity.com Match Report) as they secured safe passage into the knock-out stages of the Champions League, with a game in hand.

For me, City and their manager Pep Guardiola should probably make Europe’s most elite club competition their top priority this season.

When I say that I don’t mean that they just discount their chances of winning a third Premier League title in a row or win any of the other domestic trophies. They should always go into every game looking to win it.

But they now have a break from the Champions League, well before their next meaningful tie. If they come back to it in the new year and they’re still around nine points behind league leaders Liverpool, then they should definitely concentrate more on the Champions League.

The Citizens have never won Europe’s top trophy and it really is the pinnacle of European football. It’s such an illustrious prize that I can’t imagine that when Sheikh Mansour bought the club in the summer of 2008, he didn’t have it as a major goal for City’s future.

In the eleven years since that sensational takeover the City Football Group have ploughed hundreds of millions into the football club (Just today the BBC announced that the Group had received further huge investment). The constant source to vast sums has seen Man City win major domestic trophies, bring in a world class coach in Guardiola and amass a wonderful strong that has strength in depth and full of talented footballers!

There’s no reason for City not to challenge for this trophy, especially if they give it their full concentration. They have players in Sergio Augero, Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva, Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva that can change any game in their favour.

They’ve also got a terrific goalkeeper in Ederson and a strong defence if everyone stays fit.

These players must dream of one day lifting that huge trophy; whilst the Champions League theme blares from stadium speakers and glaring pyro goes off in the background.

Pep must also be itching to get his hands back on that coveted prize.

In the past the Spaniard has stated that he wasn’t brought to the Etihad to win the Champions League:

“In my first press conference in my first year in Manchester it was the same question– ‘you are here to win the Champions League’.

“I said ‘OK’ but I spoke a few times with Khaldoon (Al Mubarak), our chairman, and Ferran (Soriano, chief executive). They didn’t tell me that.”

Via The Belfast Telegraph

I suspect Pep is just trying to take the pressure off of his players. If it wasn’t said to him directly, then I think that’s because it didn’t need to be said.

Guardiola is commonly thought of as being the best in the business, you don’t bring a manager in with that pedigree, spend huge sums on players and not imagine that he’ll deliver the biggest trophies.

The coach himself will want to prove that he’s the best. To do that he needs to win back the Champions League for the first time since his FC Barcelona days.

The one thing Jose Mourinho still has over Guardiola is that he’s got a better European winning record!

I do believe the ultimate goal for Pep Guardiola and Manchester City is to secure the crown that they’ve never succeeded in before and become one of Europe’s truly elite football clubs.

They might not get a better chance than they’ve got this term and they should look at giving themselves the best possible chance and that’s by making it their top priority this year.

Nicolas Pépé Will Come Good At Arsenal

Nicolas Pépé hasn’t hit the ground running at Arsenal as Gunners fans would’ve hoped.

He’s now made sixteen appearances for the Premier League club and in those outings Nicolas has only managed to score three times and create four assists.

The Arsenal faithful were probably expecting more from their £72m man, who scored twenty-two times and made eleven assists in his last season with Lille OSC in Ligue 1.

Pépé has shown glimpses of his talent in the red and white. His pace has caused various teams problems, even Liverpool struggled to deal with him at times.

The fact is that the twenty-four year old is still adapting to his new surroundings and the English style. He was under pressure from the get go, given the hefty price tag that it took to get him to The Emirates. That pressure has only intensified with the inconsistent results Arsenal have secured this term.

Gunners manager Unai Emery is now struggling to convince the home support that he’s the right person to get Arsenal back into the top four and challenging for silverware.

Club legend Robert Pires has stated that the Spaniard must know that things aren’t going to plan for the North London club:

‘Everybody knows at Arsenal, even Unai Emery, that they are in big trouble,’

‘But [Emery] is a competitor, he knows the high level. He was a great manager with Sevilla, with Paris Saint-Germain, but the situation is not so good.”

Via The Metro

Then there’s the position of club captain Granit Xhaka. The Swiss international isn’t a fan favourite at the Emirates. His inconsistent performances seem to sum up what’s wrong with Arsenal at the moment. In October during a home draw with Crystal Palace (BBC Match Report), Xhaka was subbed and he received jeers and boos from sections of his own team’s support. The international midfielder didn’t react well to the situation and he hasn’t been seen since.

This turmoil at the club has made things even tougher for Pépé. The heat that currently surrounds the squad can’t make it easy for the player’s to relax and play their best football.

Yet when you look deeper into the stats, the wide forward is actually showing signs of promise. No player has made more league assists and only Mesut Ozil has bettered Pépé’s average of 1.4 key passes per game. His 80% passing success rate is decent for a wide player and only the club’s two main hitmen have had more attempts at goal (Stats from Whoscored).

For me, it’s only a matter of time before Nicolas picks up more goals and assists. He’s trying and he has all the ability to do so. He just needs a break in luck and a bit more confidence.

The Ivorian international could look at Gunners legend Thierry Henry for inspiration.

The French World Cup winner also endured a slow start to his Arsenal career before he started shining and he’d end up the club’s all-time leading goalscorer.

Henry, himself, has also backed Nicolas Pépé to get on the right track with The Gunners:

“At the minute, it’s not a Pepe thing, it’s an Arsenal thing. Hopefully he and the team can get better so we can get in the top four again.”

“People need to forget about the price tag,” Henry told Yahoo Sports. “He didn’t ask to be bought for that amount of money himself.

“It’s not always easy to arrive in a team, adapt to a new style of play. The Premier League, as we know, is not the same as the French league – or any other league, by the way – so he needs to adapt to that. We need to give him time.

“He needs to make sure he doesn’t listen to that and go out and perform.”

Via Evening Standard

Maybe it will take a goal from open play, maybe it will take a rest from the team or maybe it will take Arsenal sacking Emery but I believe something will soon spark Nicolas Pépé into top form with The Gunners.

Mauricio Pochettino’s Shadow Will Continually Loom Over Solskjaer At Man United

When Jose Mourinho was let go at Manchester United last year it was thought that Mauricio Pochettino would be the big favourite to takeover the Old Trafford hot-seat.

Caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer came in and initially did a wonderful job, so much so that the United hierarchy decided to give him the managerial role on a full-time basis.

Not long after Ole was confirmed in the role, United’s wheels started to come off again.

They finished the season in poor form and ended the Premier League campaign in sixth place.

It has been a fairly inconsistent year thus far in the league, United have struggled to put any kind of meaningful run together and they already look set to finish outside the top four.

The United side are once again playing without too much passion, often looking( awkward and clumsy. These poor performances have led many to question if Solskjaer really was the right person for the job.

Last week, Tottenham Hotspur dropped bombshell as they announced that they had sacked Pochettino as their head coach and (ironically) replaced him with former Red Devils gaffer Jose Mourinho (Via The Guardian).

With Poch now on the open market and looking for a new gig, speculation quickly mounted regarding the Argentine manager and the position that Solskjaer currently holds within Old Trafford.

Last week, Ole said he didn’t feel under pressure even with Mauricio now out of work:

“No, it doesn’t bother me at all,”

“I’ve got the best job in the world and if you’re in or out of a job, you want this job, so it doesn’t really matter whatever happens around it.”

Via The Mirror

Even if that were true on the Friday, I doubt Solskjaer will be so relaxed about his role this week.

United dropped two more points on Sunday, drawing 3-3 with Sheffield United (BBC Match Report), in what was another poor display from Man Utd.

That result and performance saw quite a few Red Devils supporters, on social media, calling for Pochettino to takeover at Old Trafford:

The fact is that after the draw this past weekend, United are now in ninth position and nine points away from fourth spot. Had they had the same results and were in the same position under David Moyes or Mourinho then even more United supporters would be calling for the manager’s head.

Solskjaer gets a wee bit more breathing space because of his legendary status as a player for the club. But in reality, the Norwegian isn’t a proven coach in the Premier League. Before taking over at Man United last winter, he had one other stint in England’s top flight and it ended badly for him at Cardiff City as he didn’t last a year there!

With every poor game from here on in, the pressure on Solskjaer is only going to intensify.

Mauricio Pochettino is a manager who has shown at Spurs that he can get the most from his players, who can build a consistent top four side and who will develop youngsters and play British stars too. Those are all qualities that will endear him to United fans who want success now and who are starting to question Ole.

The only way this can change is if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can get the very best from his squad. The longer he can’t and the longer Pochettino is out of a job then the more calls will echo around the Theatre of Dreams demanding Mauricio takes over the helm at Manchester United!