Ole Gunnar Solskjaer deserves as much sympathy as he is getting from many Man United fans. The man is having to deal with the garbage that was created by the previous three managers at the club.
The man looked embarrassed and shattered from the inside after United failed to beat Huddersfield Town on Sunday afternoon. What he was feeling on the inside was very much visible on his face. This wasn’t the Manchester United he used to play in. This wasn’t the sort of performance that his Manchester United side of the old ever tolerated.
In the press conference, Ole was vocal about how the game could have been the last for some players in the side. That was a statement of intent. A clear sign that the man means business.
Perhaps, that’s what United are in dire need of- business. Its something they have gone very wrong in ever since Sir Alex Ferguson retired. Be it selling or buying, the club is in a mess. It has no idea where its going and the lack of plan and direction translates itself out onto the pitch every time it plays.
Ashley Young, the man with the captain’s armband, was seen stand with the hands on his hips while United struggled against the relegated Terriers. Ole had to personally call some of his players one by one to deliver his messages.
That is a stark contrast to what happened for Liverpool at Newcastle yesterday. Virgil van Dijk took authority and shouted for Xherdan Shaqiri to take the free-kick that lead to the goal.
Here was Young, standing as if he knew nothing what to do. And there stood another leader in Paul Pogba. The man who had a big role in getting the previous manager sacked and is certain to leave United if the club doesn’t get top four. He was strolling around, as if this hardly mattered.
Up there sat Ed Woodward. Expressionless as ever. Probably as clueless as ever too. The man who’s running of this legendary club has left it to rot and scamper through a mess that hardly seems to end.
In between, on the sidelines sat Solskjaer. Sandwiched between two slices of mess that are leaving the club to rot. Not entirely blameless, Solskjaer is having to deal with something he has not created. He is dealing with problems of the previous managers. Problems that haven’t been solved yet by Ed Woodward.
The deadwood that clubs like Man City, Liverpool or Tottenham have gotten rid of three years ago is still swimming across in United’s waters. Its allowing the club to stagnate, rot and not progress. It is lowering the standards.
And Ed Woodward, words will fall short for how the man has gone wrong in his handling of a club that was supposed to challenge for the title now that it is six years since Sir Alex retired.
But here are Manchester United. Worse off than how they were after Fergie had left. In need of another transition.