The last few weeks have been difficult for Manchester United. Following their defeat to Liverpool, the Red Devils are now winless in four league games, and languishing in seventh place in the points table. They have also been ousted from the League Cup, which was seen as one of their likely avenues for winning silverware this season.
United hit rock-bottom over the weekend, suffering a 5-0 loss at Old Trafford to arch-rivals Liverpool. While the scoreline was a painful reflection of the gap between the two teams, the way in which the Red Devils surrendered the game was appalling. There was no cohesion or tactical nous as United looked meek in possession and horrendous without the ball.
The loss has mounted more pressure on Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with a report from ESPN's Mark Ogden suggesting he could be sacked very soon. Ogden stated that Solskjaer was slowly losing the dressing room as he also talked about a rift between Cristiano Ronaldo and Mason Greenwood. He wrote:
"Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is fighting to save his job as Manchester United manager, with sources telling ESPN that the 48-year-old had already lost the faith of a sizeable number of his squad even before Sunday's 5-0 defeat against Liverpool."
"Sources also said that senior players have become exasperated by Solskjaer's failure to impose his authority on United's misfiring forwards. One source cited the lack of understanding between Cristiano Ronaldo and Mason Greenwood as being down to Solskjaer and his inability to force the pair to link up more convincingly."
"Teammates have noticed that the pair rarely pass to each other in attacking positions and that Ronaldo is becoming visibly irritated by his young teammate's decision to shoot rather than pass in goal-scoring positions."
The report also suggests that the United board is aware of former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte's willingness to return to management. Both Conte and Zinedine Zidane are considered as favourites for the managerial position if Solskjaer exits the club.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United face a tough few weeks ahead
The rumours of tensions between Cristiano Ronaldo and Mason Greenwood only make an already testing period even worse for United.
An aura of optimism surrounded Old Trafford at the start of the new season with the arrival of Jadon Sancho, Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphael Varane. However, that optimism is long gone, and all three players are in unfavourable positions at the moment.
Varane is injured and likely to be out for some more time, while Sancho has yet to settle in and has been demoted to the bench in recent games. Ronaldo, meanwhile, began the season in fine form. But his inability to contribute to the team beyond his goalscoring has brought him plenty of criticism.
The fixture list doesn't favour Manchester United either. Solskjaer's side are slated to face Tottenham Hotspur, Atalanta and Chelsea away from home, and Manchester City at Old Trafford before the end of November.
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As things currently stand, the Norwegian is unlikely to be in the Manchester United hot seat by the end of this tough run of fixtures.