There is a distinct feeling among Manchester United fans — certainly those who are prevalent on social media channels such as Twitter, Insta and Facebook — that things are going to get worse (not much, mind you) before they get better for under-fire head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The Old Trafford head coach is struggling to find the right balance and combination in his side as they go about their business in the Premier League and although they have enjoyed some success — witness the 4-0 thrashing of Frank Lampard’s Chelsea (no great shakes themselves it turns out) in the opening game of the new campaign — it hasn’t matched the expectation of the manager nor the fans.
One thing is for sure; United have the talent available. The summer was reasonably fruitful and around £140million was spent on super-talented recruits such as England ace Harry Maguire, Crystal Palace defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James, from Swansea. Could Solskjaer have more talent to manipulate his tactics? Unquestionably. But let us not forget but for certain aspects of transfer policy and perhaps a running-out-of-time scenario the influential Paul Pogba would now not been in the United ranks. So, for the time being Solskjaer must try to shape what he has.
What has unfolded since the victory over the Blues doesn’t give keen observers the impression that to date he is moulding his set-up too well. What has followed is two unconvincing draws on the road at both Wolves and Southampton — and in between a horrendous 2-1 defeat at the Theatre of Dreams when Crystal Palace, of all teams, came to town and gleefully took off down the M6 with the points (don’t mention penalty kicks at this point to any Stretford Ender what every you do).
And while the thinking is that it may get worse before an upturn in form, the searching question is: will United powerbrokers give Solskjaer the time needed for him to fulfil his plans? No, is the opinion of your humble correspondent. Amidst all of the action, a startling fact to consider is that United – Sir Alex Ferguson look away now — have managed to keep just one clean sheet in 19 outings. Frankly, that is appalling.
The international break will give Solskjaer some breathing space as he contemplates where he is going wrong. But it won’t be too long before his credentials are once more put on the line — and in a true test, too. Because next up for United is the slight matter of a game against in-form Leicester City at home. If his charges fail and ex-Liverpool boss Brendan Rogers succeeds with the travelling Foxes, don’t be surprised to see Solskjaer enter the danger zone in terms of his tenure. Then if form doesn’t improve, he could easily be gone by Christmas.