Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is a man under pressure as his floundering Manchester United side are away to a tricky Watford team at Vicarage Road in this week's Premier League showdown.
Earlier this week, leaked reports from the United camp suggested that the under-fire manager had plans to start Donny van de Beek against Watford. The Dutch midfielder has featured inconsistently for the Red Devils since completing a move from Ajax before the start of the 2020 season.
This has led to some fans referring to the Dutchman as “Van de Bench” with the former Ajax wonderkid only managing a meager four starts in the Premier League.
Solskjaer’s sudden interest in this long-neglected player suggests the Manchester United legend really is really clutching at straws as he tries to save his job at Old Trafford.
The United board sanctioned giving Solskjaer a new three-year contract, mostly because the Norwegian had strong backers in the Glazers and Ed Woodward. They backed Solskjaer in the transfer market, splashing the cash on blockbuster signings like Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Yet about a third of the way into the Premier League campaign after such a huge outlay, Solskjaer’s job is in danger. Manchester United are in sixth place, having lost half of their last 12 matches across all competitions, including defeats at the hands of Leicester, Liverpool and Manchester City.
Regardless of van de Beek’s place at the start of the game, results must improve quickly or Manchester United could very well give Solskjaer the ax before the new year.
I'm in contact with the club: Solskjaer remains under pressure at Manchester United job
Recent rumors about Zinedine Zidane potentially taking the reins at Manchester United have picked up steam with fans but Solskjaer is keeping his cards close to his chest on the issue of his job.
The Manchester United legend still has his job but is clearly under pressure. When asked about this, Solskjaer responded:
“Of course, I’ve been in contact and communicated with the club as I do all the time anyway. It’s been a long international break but it’s one that we’ve utilised to our benefit, we feel it’s been a good response from the players and we’re ready for the Watford game.”
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“Yeah, the players, the staff, myself, the club, we are working to one goal to improve, get better results, fans are still supporting the team and the club, they’ve been through this period, backed the team through the rebuild."