Manchester United and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is under increading pressure at Old Trafford. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Ask yourself this question: if you were the chairman/owner of any of the top teams in any of Europe’s top leagues, would you hire Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as coach? Or would you rather opt for the likes of Antonio Conte or Zinedine Zidane, or push the boat out and tempt either Jurgen Klopp or Pep Guardiola? I think the answer is pretty obvious.

Solskjaer is not in the same league as the world’s best managers and it is befuddling that he is still in charge of one of the biggest football clubs in the world. Ever since Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down in 2013, United have handed the reins to several managers ranging from the up and coming in David Moyes to Jose Mourinho who has won everything in the game, but they have all failed to get The Red Devils back at the top of English football.

Out of his depth

Solskjaer is under mounting pressure and the clubs former super-sub striker is quite clearly out of his depth. It is obvious that his players are not responding to him anymore and the team is playing without any distinct style or rhythm. He has had plenty of time there and has been backed by the board in the transfer market but it just doesn’t seem to be working for the Norwegian.

If United have serious aspirations of challenging for the Premier League title and winning the Champions League then they need to do something very soon about the coach because he just isn’t up to the task. Their latest shambolic result, a 4-2 defeat at Leicester City, comes hot on the heels of several other lows. Following Cristiano Ronaldo’s second debut in their 4-1 win over Newcastle, things have unraveled at United. They were beaten by Young Boys in the Champions League, lost against West Ham in the League Cup, lost at home to Aston Villa in the league and were lucky to get a point against Everton. In each of these games, Solskjaer has looked lost on the touchline with every decision he’s made smacking of an act of desperation rather than a considered strategy to change the game in his favour.

Baffling decisions

His team selections of late have baffled fans. Yesterday he decided to play Harry Maguire but he clearly wasn’t match fit after a long injury lay-off and looked rusty on his return. He was to blame for Leicester’s first goal and his positioning for the fourth was questionable too. Solskjaer also had dropped key man Ronaldo for the Everton game and United looked lacklustre until the Portuguese superstar entered the fray in the second half but by then Everton had the bit between their teeth and were not going to allow United any space or time to fashion a chance.

United boast a squad loaded with talented stars - Pogba, Ronaldo, Greenwood, Fernandes and Sancho - but the coach just cannot seem to inspire them and bring the best out of them. Next Sunday, United face Liverpool and if Solskjaer is still in charge for that and loses, then surely his time will be up in the hot seat...