The times seems very strange for Manchester United fans. Not just about the pandemic and the empty stands. One time they are very proud of their team and the results, screaming “Ole at wheels’. The next they are seeing their team play like part-time footballers and they find themselves singing the tune of ‘Ole out’. Today Marcus Rashford is better than Kylian Mbappe, tomorrow, he is the English version of Marouane Chamakh. Paul Pogba is a world class midfielder today, tomorrow, he is an over-hyped Abou Diaby. What are the problems with Manchester United and what must they do to fix them? One sentence answers it all -sack Ole! It will be further explained in this article.
Lack of Style
Manchester United have become like that liquid that takes the shape of its container, it is otherwise shapeless. The team has mastered the art of reacting to opponents in matches. This style will bring occasional results but nothing consistent. It is a style that helps teams to avoid relegation or force a top four finish, it is not one for champions. For champions, it is the other way round. Opponents are aware of their style but will set-up to counter them and also hope they (champions) have a off day. We have seen it with every proper team in the World. Liverpool and Manchester City – the two best teams in the Premier League presently are examples. One can not say this is Ole’s style after over a year in charge, all we know is the team plays well on the counter against superior oppositions.
Lack of Leaders
Leadership cuts across from the bench to the players. Solksjaer does not seem to have that character that a team like Manchester United needs. Someone that can handle the biggest of egos and cut them to size. Such managers will not cease to occasionally have clashes with some of their players because the demands they make of them will cause occasional clashes. However, how managers handle it differs. But Ole has this peaceful mien with everybody and there are clear signs most of the players do not give 100 percent or near-100 percent every matchday.
On to the pitch, the captain is a bag of errors and inconsistency. The fact that Harry Maguire became captain in his first season says a lot about a lack of leaders in the team. There is no one driving the others and standing out even when others are not doing well. Most times, when it is bad, it is bad all round.
Lack of Consistency
From the opening paragraph, this point has been made. However, consistency still bores down to the manager. It is evident many of the players have something to offer but the style and push to offer it consistently is lacking, which still comes down to a lack of style.
The selection most times is in response to the opponents, so some of the players do not have fixed roles. Sometimes Pogba is playing at the base of the midfield, behind the striker or on the right of a midfield diamond. Sometimes Rashford is a striker, sometimes he is a winger.
“Sometimes you say ‘there’s no reason to panic’. But the results and performances suggest you should be panicking. He says they are good boys and want to win but I judge a player by actions. My eyes don’t lie to me. The last disappointment was just a few weeks ago against Spurs – this teams reacts for a few weeks and get carried away with themselves.” Club legend, Roy Keane said after the defeat against Arsenal.
Holistically it does not look like Manchester United have a working team or a project they can be optimistic about. Their transfer business does not suggest they are working at anything and Ole does not seem to have the know-how to return Manchester United to the top. The earlier they cut ties with him, the better.