Lingard thrilled to have Ronaldo back at Man Utd
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Manchester United legend Gary Neville is fearful of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s prospects over the next few weeks because of their deceiving start to the season. The Red Devils are not far off the top of the table, although an easy run of fixtures is about to give way to a succession of tough games which should put the Glazers on high alert.
Solskjaer’s side started the season promisingly, although losses to the likes of Aston Villa and West Ham, as well as dropped points against Everton, have begun to raise questions.
To make prospects of a bounceback more difficult, both Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane are set to miss Sunday’s crunch clash with Leicester City through injury.
Paul Pogba should be in good spirits having just won the Nations League though, and Marcus Rashford is edging ever-closer to first-team action after undergoing shoulder surgery.
Despite the positives which may lie on the horizon, Neville has still expressed concern that the Glazers could soon be called into action.
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“[Ole] has to keep a more consistent team in the league, and the league is going to be the competition that will make or break him,” he told The Overlap.
“Of course he could win a Champions League as a one-off, but he does have to win the league at some point.
“You can’t keep spending the money and not winning the league.
“My fear for Ole is that the start of the season is worse than it looks. At the moment, they’re two points off the top, but they haven’t played a single team.
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“Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City have all played each other, United haven’t kicked a ball against what you would call a top team yet.”
That is certainly set to change, with bumper fixtures against Liverpool, Tottenham and City, among others, coming up in the next few weeks.
On that daunting run, Solskjaer will surely either prove his doubters wrong or come unstuck.
One thing that could help the Norwegian to shrug off future speculation is, as Neville said, to field a more consistent team as successful sides in the past have done.
For that to be a possibility, they are still lacking squad depth in a couple of areas, namely right-back and central-midfield.
That much cannot detract from the fact that their starting XI is riddled with superstars, which ultimately raises the question of why they went after attackers during the summer when there were holes to fill elsewhere.
Full-back Kieran Trippier and midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni could yet be monitored as solutions in January, although fielding a consistent team will not be an issue if the starters manage to stay fit.
It is time for Solskjaer to show his worth, although it will be tough to overcome so many tricky hurdles in quick succession.
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