Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s position as Manchester United manager was precarious enough even before Wednesday night’s disastrous 2-0 defeat at home to Burnley.
The Red Devils have lost three out of their last four league games, intercepted only by a win against 20th-placed Norwich City.
That they are still fifth is almost immaterial; the nature of the league this season means they are as close to 14th as they are the Champions League spots.
Solskjaer’s side have lost one in three this season, yet the mood has never been as dark as it was at Old Trafford last night.
Fans took the opportunity to protest, not so much against the boss himself, but at the Glazer regime, Ed Woodward, and their hapless running of the 20-time champions.
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Solskjaer is in a fortunate position with regards to his standing among the fans.
As a club legend, he will always be revered and to their credit, the Old Trafford faithful have a reputation for always respecting their manager even in the bad times.
However, that appears not to be the case among the players.
The Independent report that the Norwegian is losing the dressing room, with a number of squad members “irritated” by his drills and what is more, his wider tactical approach.
It’s stated that while the players like him – and there’s no denying Solskjaer is a very likeable character – they do not think he should have been appointed in the first place.
The divisions within the club are such that some in the United hierarchy blame the players themselves for being unhappy under his management.
The same newspaper quote a source saying: “This lot probably would have had a problem with Fergie.”
Given the reputation of some United players, it sounds like a case of six of one and half a dozen of the other.
GIVEMESPORT’s Kat Lucas:
When Solskjaer got the job, we were told he was nicknamed “the anti-Mourinho” and that speaks volumes. His appointment was a knee-jerk reaction and a crowd-pleaser, not based on logic but on misguided nostalgia and feeling.
That said, now that he is in charge, the board have made things very difficult for him – selling Romelu Lukaku without a proper replacement, for one. If he had any sort of depth up front, he wouldn’t have been forced into making the rash decision to play Marcus Rashford and aggravate his back injury in the FA Cup replay against Wolves.
He can’t possibly be expected to compete with Liverpool or Manchester City, but these repeated defeats to West Ham, Watford and Burnley are not good enough even for a sub-par United team.
The worst thing United could do now would be to sack Solskjaer without a proper plan. Admittedly, he looks out of his depth but unless Mauricio Pochettino is willing to take over immediately – and the indications are he’s taking a sabbatical – it wouldn’t be catastrophic to stick with their man until the end of the season.