Ole at the wheel is no more working

Rassiq Aziz Kabir | Monday, 8 November 2021

When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was brought in to replace the veteran Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford, the expectations from him were quite high. 

There was a certain sense of romanticism associated with his appointment and the fans were rightfully ecstatic.

After all, Ole as a player contributed to one of the most memorable events in the history of Manchester United-- the injury-time goal against Bayern Munich which led to United's second-ever Champions League glory, first under the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson. 

United Legends were confident about United returning to their core philosophy, something the team have missed ever since Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down from the helm. But after nearly 3 years, most of the fans are agitated with Solskjaer and his tactics.

On paper, the current Manchester United team is one of the best teams in Europe and with the acquisition of Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane in this transfer window, they have gotten even stronger. But the results do not reflect the strength of the team in reality.

After the arrival of Ronaldo, Ole has mostly used a 4-5-1 with Ronaldo as a lone striker, Bruno behind him, and mostly between Rashford, Sancho and Greenwood in either flank. The pivot has been rotated between any of the two of Pogba, Fred and McTominay. 

Ronaldo, in his career, has never functioned well as the sole target man. As a 37-year-old, his pressing game has deteriorated a lot. 

Although Ronaldo being Ronaldo, has saved United several games already, his best comes when he is partnered with Edinson Cavani. But Ole doesn’t go with this striking duo that often. 

Other than this, Jadon Sancho has not settled quite well in his new life in England. As a result, United have lacked the dynamism in attack, something that was highly expected from Sancho. 

The Pogba problem continues to hurt as well with the midfielder being massively inconsistent in performance. Critics have blamed Ole for putting additional defensive responsibility on Pogba's shoulders which have massively hampered his natural game.

Ole has also been criticised for not using Donny Van De Beek and using the infamous McFred duo, as the midfield has been one of the main problems of Manchester United throughout the season. Defensively, Harry Maguire's disastrous form has made United suffer a lot as well. 

Solskjaer is said to defeat any team when his job is at stake. It was believed by many United faithful that Ole might replicate Sir Alex's legacy at Old Trafford. But for the time being, this seems to be a far-fetched dream. 

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