Manchester United were in the final for the first time since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over as manager. To put it in perspective, this is his third year in charge and the team have been knocked out of the semi-finals more times than any other team in the Premier League.
When Ole joined, a lot of fans were worried about how he was going to turn the team around especially knowing that he came on an interim basis. The team had many issues but last season was a sign that maybe things were beginning to click for Ole and United.
United got into semi-finals but were knocked out so it was like a “nearly there” kind of thing. Then Bruno Fernandes signed and he was on fire, the Portuguese midfielder was dropping classic performances every match. Even United fans were beginning to forget a certain Paul Pogba. Some fans were even bold enough to say it is time for the World Cup winner to leave the club.
This season though, United are a different breed. They are unbeaten away from home this season winning 12 and drawing 7 which is a record they hold with Preston North End and Arsenal. However, they have no silverware to show for it.
Ole has everything other managers didn’t have, board backing
Which now brings us to the issue at hand, Ole seems to have done the best he could do with United. It is not like he doesn’t have the backing, he has bought the players he wanted, he has freedom to play the way he wants and even when results were not going his way, there was no talk of his sack.
In fact some fans are still surprised Ole is still in charge of the team even when they lost a final. Sometimes a manager is just not a good fit for a team or club, we have seen it happen with Moyes and United, Lampard at Chelsea and even Jose Mourinho at Spurs. Ole has all he needs to succeed but he just seem not to know how.
Ole still needs more experience
With the way the team plays, one can see that Ole has the idea but the execution most times elude him. When he plays top teams he has a certain style that always works. His team never plays progressive football against the top 6 even if they have the advantage to, however, they still don’t get the job done when they need to.
Just like Moyes is doing with West Ham, maybe Ole would do perfectly in a mid table team that doesn’t have much ambition. With the amount spent, a lot of fans are already demanding for silverwares and it doesn’t seem like it would come anytime soon if he is still in charge.
Sometimes it even looks like Ole is not the one in charge of the tactics. Are we really seeing Ole’s game plan or the game plan of Sir Alex watching from the stands. Case in point the Europa Final, Sir Alex was pictured having a talk with some of the top players ahead of the Europa Final and we could also see that it seemed like Ole ran out of ideas.
His substitution was called to question and even when he made late substitutions some pundits have asked why he didn’t take out De Gea knowing his records in penalties. What was his game plan for not using substitutions if he was not going to take out De Gea?
Not to put all the blame on the manager, the players also have a share of it. Maybe they needed a bit of inspiration from their manager and didn’t find any or they just didn’t have a reason to fight anymore.
With the way it is looking though, United fans will have to cope with another year with Ole because he is still at the wheels.
Let us know what you think about Ole and if he should still be in charge next season.