Is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the right man for Manchester United?
On December 18, 2018, Manchester United announced they had parted ways with the 55-year-old tactician Jose Mourinho. It was a long time coming as Manchester United currently find themselves 6th in the table, 19 points behind league leaders Liverpool with the recent 3-1 away defeat to Liverpool proving to be the last nail in the coffin.
Mourinho's sideline outbursts and media rants, constantly announcing his dislike towards his players' performances, demonstrated a man who had no influence on the locker room nor the ability to get the best out of his players. Manchester United have hired club legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as a replacement but as a result, risk losing out on a ticket towards next years Champions League campaign.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is going to have the tough task of guiding Manchester United into a Champions League place; at the time of writing they find themselves 11 points behind 4th placed Chelsea, but a leaky back line and a disillusioned front line will certainly not make tasks easier.
For firsts, he will have to decide on a stable back line and an idea towards who his centre-back pairing is going to be. Since the Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand days, Old Trafford has not seen a back two which constantly starts game in and game out.
Mourinho desperately experimented among Eric Baily, Victor Lindelof, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Chris Smalling but never seemed to trust a certain partnership. If there to contend, Ole Gunnar Soslkjaer is quickly going to have to find a preferred back two.
The front line also needs to perform; Jose Mourinho sacking should not cover the fact that his attackers constantly failed him. Romelu Lukaku has only found the back of the net 6 times in the current Premier League campaign - looking patchy throughout - having gone from September 19 all the way through November without finding the back of the net.
Anthony Martial (7 goals) and Marcus Rashford (3 goals) have looked promising and a change in management will certainty help them regain confidence.
Having a clear-cut leader in the dressing room is going to be vital. Paul Pogba's public discontent and frustration with Mourinho should not mask the fact that he certainly has influence over the squad. Team captain Antonio Valencia, although a warrior and a club faithful, has failed to live up to the standards himself. The team as a whole should step up and lead themselves out of the hole they've dug themselves in.
If they're to fail to place in a top four place than overseeing a deep run in the current Champions League knockout stages will be vital. United face PSG in the last 16 and a good run of form leading up to the game is vital if they're to have any chance of stopping Thomas Tuchel's team.
A solid back two and a free-flowing midfield aiding the front line will certainly help. They have the quality and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have to step in to get the best out of the players.
Manchester United never looked like league contenders throughout the first half of the season losing to teams such as Brighton & Hove Albion and West Ham United, teams they should realistically be defeating, and as a result, have found themselves out of the title race.
The Red Devils still have an FA Cup and a Champions League campaign to look forward too. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is going to have to step up or fear duplicating his disastrous spell with Cardiff, which saw him oversee only 3 wins in 18 games and a rock bottom place finish. Only time will tell if he's the right man to lead Manchester United.