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Why Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Manchester United cannot afford to disappoint against Granada

Manchester United have a crucial Europa League game against Granada
Manchester United have a crucial Europa League game against Granada
ANALYST
Modified 08 Apr 2021
Feature

The majority of neutral football fans will have their eyes set on the Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes on Thursday as Granada host Manchester United in the first leg of the Europa League quarter-final.

This may be the Granada’s debut season in Europe, but they’ve already exceeded expectations. Having eliminated Napoli and Molde in the previous rounds, the Spanish side are now gunning for the Red Devils. However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be tougher than any side they’ve faced in the competition this season.

Having said that, Manchester United would have to be careful not to underestimate their opponents, who have already beaten teams like Napoli and PSV in the Europa League.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s rotation conundrum

For all the progress that has been made under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the Manchester United boss still has some shortcomings in his coaching. For instance, his inexplicable rotation against Leicester City cost the team a place in the FA Cup semi-final.

That was a game played right before the international break, and there was no need to rest any players. However, the Norwegian left his best players on the bench, and Manchester United deservedly got punished for it.

As the Red Devils prepare to take on Granada on Thursday, Solskjaer cannot afford to repeat the same mistakes. A trophy is at stake, and such errors will not be tolerated.

He may still be learning on the job, but a key part of learning is not to repeat errors. Solskjaer simply cannot afford to disappoint the millions of Manchester United fans this time.

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Manchester United’s only chance of winning a trophy

It’s been a rollercoaster season for Manchester United, but there’s still a lot to play for. The Red Devils may be far from winning the Premier League, but they sit comfortably in second place.

With Champions League qualification all but secured, the next step is to win a trophy. Solskjaer has been in charge for two years, but his tenure is yet to yield any silverware.

Earlier this week, club legend Paul Scholes commended the Norwegian for the work he’s done since taking charge but highlighted the need for a trophy at Old Trafford.

Scholes said (as quoted by Goal):

"I think he probably deserves it. There's been progress from the manager before. I think the team looks a lot better, it's much more exciting, there's goals in the team - which you always expect from a United team, anyway.”
"I think the only problem is: win something. It's a little bit of a worry. Losing the [FA Cup] quarter-final to Leicester, it wasn't good.”

It would be a successful season for Manchester United if they finish second in the Premier League and win the Europa League. That should be the goal for them now, and there’s no room for disappointment.

Published 08 Apr 2021, 14:04 IST
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