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Manchester United are on the right track and must stick with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Aaron Gales
ANALYST
Feature
Modified 03 Feb 2020, 09:04 IST

Progress has been slow but Manchester United must stick, and not twist, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Progress has been slow but Manchester United must stick, and not twist, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer





The two great eras of success in the history of Manchester United have come during periods of long term stability under Sir Matt Busby and Sir Alex Ferguson.

United's leadership, particularly that of Ed Woodward, has come under increasing levels of scrutiny as the red team in Manchester have struggled under the management of Ole Gunnar Solskjær. There is no doubt that since Ferguson retired that significant mistakes have been made on and off the pitch while the Old Trafford side have looked for short term solutions to get back to the successes they one enjoyed in England and in Europe.

With managers such as Mauricio Pochettino and Massimilano Allegri on the market there have been some calls for a change of direction at the club. However, United should stick with the man that so invigorated them following the end of José Mourinho's bad tempered time at the club.

Solskjær, relatively inexperienced as a manager, was a nod to the club's successful past, when long term planning, strategy, and the development of young players was essential to the club's trophy winning glory days.

Although United are currently out of the top four, lying seventh with 35 points from 25 games, they are undoubtedly on the right path with Solskjær, a man who is far stronger and decisive than he is often given credit for.

It must be recognised that he took on an aging and decaying squad, one that had been allowed to drift under the regimes of Moyes, Van Gaal, and Mourinho. There were too many players on big money, but seemingly without the desire or motivation to lift their performances to the standard required.

Where Solskjær deserves significant credit, and which should buy him time to get the job right, is his attitude in the transfer market and the way he is slowly developing his first choice team.

His three signings in the summer of 2019 reflected the long term view that he wants to take. Harry Maguire, Daniel James, and Aaron Wan-Bissaka all have their best days ahead of them but are also excellent players now. They will serve Manchester United well for years to come.

In Bruno Fernandes, United have signed their most exciting player in years
In Bruno Fernandes, United have signed their most exciting player in years
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The signing of Bruno Fernandes in January is of a similar vein.

Solskjær has also been brave in allowing established internationals such as Chris Smalling, Alexis Sanchez, and Romelu Lukaku to leave the club. The decision to allow Lukaku to leave was a particularly risky one as it left the club without a top line striker and heavily reliant on the previously inconsistent Marcus Rashford and the untested Mason Greenwood. Both have thrived this season while other young players such as Brandon Williams have also impressed.

Solskjær decided that the best thing for the club was to allow Lukaku to leave and take a risk on potential rather than risk having a disruptive influence in his camp. It is a decision he will surely take with Paul Pogba in the summer.

In short, the manager has put the long-term interests of the club ahead of his own and he should be allowed at least another two transfer windows to get a team truly built in his image.

Continuity has been key to success throughout their storied history. They must be brave and heed that lesson if they truly want the good times to return.


Also read: Why Manchester United must summon the spirit of 1990 and keep faith with Ole Gunnar Solskjær

Published 03 Feb 2020, 09:04 IST
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