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How near-misses are fast becoming a mark of Solskjaer's tenure at Manchester United

Manchester United have exited the FA Cup
Manchester United have exited the FA Cup
ANALYST
Modified 22 Mar 2021
Feature

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tenure at Manchester United has become synonymous with losing when it matters most. The Red Devils have become nearly men who are always close to trophies and yet so far.

Last season, they reached the semi-finals of the Europa League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup and lost in each one of them. The situation has been no different this season, with the Reds suffering defeat to Manchester City in yet another Carabao Cup semi-final earlier in the campaign.

The latest disappointment came on Sunday when Manchester United exited the FA Cup at the quarter-final stage at the hands of Leicester City.

Solskjaer’s side was completely outplayed and soundly beaten, thanks to goals from Kelechi Iheanacho (double) and Youri Tielemans, with Mason Greenwood’s strike only good enough to be a consolation.

First trophy remains elusive to Solskjaer

Solskjaer has been in charge for two and a half years but there’s still nothing to show. The Reds are yet to reach the final of any competition, let alone win a trophy.

No one can deny the fact that Manchester United have improved under Solskjaer, but the club’s fanbase is yearning for a trophy. The Reds haven’t won any major trophy since 2017 and it’s becoming frustrating.

There’s been a lot of investment made in the squad with very little to point to. Sunday’s 3-1 defeat to Leicester is evidence that Manchester United still have a long way to go.

And so the wait for a first trophy under Solskjaer continues. Now the Reds have put all their efforts into the Europa League, where a quarter-final clash against Granada awaits next month.

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Near-misses beginning to mark Solskjaer’s tenure

Solskjaer’s man-management is been top-notch in his time at Manchester United, but some of his utterances haven’t helped in recent months.

He seemed to be throwing in excuse after excuse before last week’s Europa League last-16 second leg against AC Milan.

But what the Norwegian hasn’t realized is that the constant failure in cup games is becoming the most notable mark of his tenure.

“I’ve been impressed, under these circumstances, which are unprecedented,” Solskjaer said after the game, as quoted by Manutd.com.
“I don’t think anyone in the world, or in England, has experienced these times before and I’ve been impressed by my boys. They’ve been excellent and the run we’ve been on has been excellent. Unfortunately, we just couldn’t find our normal selves tonight and sometimes that happens.”

Manchester United’s failures in cup games now looks like a psychological challenge and could blight Solskjaer’s tenure at the club.

Published 22 Mar 2021, 16:11 IST
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