UNITED FIFTH DEFEATS, in their last seven Premier League games, worsened by the 4-1 humiliating loss to Watford, on Saturday. It was obvious that the club’s Manager, Ole Gunner Solskjaer, could be fired. The last straw that broke the camel’s back. And it came to pass. On Sunday, United board, announced that Solskjaer was no longer the Manager of United.
United Board’s statement said: “Ole will always be a legend at Manchester United and it is with regret that we have reached this difficult decision. While the past few weeks have been disappointing, they should not obscure all the work he has done over the past three years to rebuild the foundations for long-term success.
“Ole leaves with our sincerest thanks for his tireless efforts as Manager and our very best wishes for the future. His place in the club’s history will always be secure, not just for his story as a player, but as a great man and a Manager who gave us many great moments. He will forever be welcome back at Old Trafford as part of the Manchester United family”, the statement acknowledged.
Despite his sack, Solskjaer seemed to remain dear to the hearts of United board. According to the board’s statement, “his place in the club’s history will always be secure, not just for his story as a player, but as a great man and a manager who gave us many great moments”. And will “forever be welcome back at Old Trafford as part of United family”.
Solskjaer has been with the club as player in different roles – including as manager, for a period spanning over 18 years. He scored United’s winning goal in the 1999 Champions League final against Bayern Munich. But failed to win trophy as Manager in Old Trafford.
UNITED SUFFERED embarrassing home defeat, by Liverpool and city rival Manchester City, before the international break. It was speculated after both matches, that United were looking for replacement for Solskjaer. Former Real Madrid manager, Zinedine Zidane; former Inter Milan manager Antonio Conte; and Leicester manager Brenda Rodgers were linked with the job, if Solskjaer was sacked.
The reported possible sack of Solskjaer did not come to pass. The club’s management stuck to Solskjaer; perhaps, to see if he could turn things around for the club. While some United fans want him to remain the manager, others were scorning the team’s abysmal performance, wondering if United will not end the season woefully. They clamoured for the sack of Solskjaer. The board acted to save the club.
Michael Carrick, former United player, was announced by the club’s management to take charge of the team, pending the appointment of an interim manager for the club, that will take it through the remaining matches of the season.
“Michael Carrick will now take charge of the team for forthcoming games, while the club looks to appoint an interim manager to the end of the season”. United board statement further stated.
United is presently, 12-points below on the Premier League Table. United players looked sullied after their defeat by Watford; while the fans booed Solskjaer. Solskjaer said: “I’m working for and with the club and I’ve done that for 18 years. We’ve got a good communication and if the club were thinking about doing something then that is between me and the club.
“The results are not good enough, we know that. We’ve gone 30 games unbeaten away from home and now we’ve lost two on the bounce and conceded four goals in both of them, so of course something is wrong”, Solskjaer said after the game with Watford.
David de Gea, United goalkeeper said: “It was embarrassing, to be honest, to see Manchester United play like we did today. I think it’s unacceptable, to be honest, the way we are doing things and the way we are playing.
“Of course, now it’s easy to blame the manager and the staff, but sometimes it’s the players. We are professional players, we are playing for Manchester United, so we need to show much more than we are”, David de Gea added.
What has disturbed football analysts and United fans, about the present performance of the club, is that United pre-season sign-on invested heavily on Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane. After which the club’s performance and standard began to decline.