Manchester United v Manchester City Match in Pictures
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Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has no plans on quitting his job at Old Trafford despite their poor season so far, reports say. The Norwegian was given a fresh three-year contract back in the summer. Yet with his team losing six of their last 12 matches, his position has been called into question.
United decided to give Solskjaer a contract because they believed they’d made progress under the Norwegian.
They finished second in the Premier League table last term, a year on from ending up third, but failed to win the Europa League after losing to Villarreal in the final.
United also gave Solskjaer big transfer backing, splashing out on the likes of Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo – who touched down from Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid and Juventus respectively.
With results going from bad to worse under the 48-year-old, talk of the sack has arisen.
Zinedine Zidane’s availability has seen him thrust into the spotlight, with the Frenchman still available following his summer departure from Real Madrid.
Brendan Rodgers, Mauricio Pochettino and Erik ten Hag have also been linked despite their commitments at Leicester, Paris Saint-Germain and Ajax.
And The Sun say that, when it comes to resigning, Solskjaer isn’t interested.
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The Norwegian is said to still feel his side are close to winning major honours, despite their recent bad results.
And though the doom and gloom mood is intensifying, the Red Devils’ former No 20 has no plans to throw in the towel.
Solskjaer is, however, facing a big fight to keep his job at United going into this weekend’s match with Watford.
Fringe players Donny van de Beek and Jesse Lingard are unhappy, with the pair barely playing in the Premier League this term.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes are said to be in agreement, with the duo both thinking the team should be performing much better.
And United are resigned to losing Paul Pogba, with the France international set to leave as a free agent at the ed of the campaign.
Solskjaer, though, is currently ‘upbeat in the face of adversity’.
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And victory over Watford on Saturday would make his position a little safer, potentially serving as a foundation to start all over again.
If United are forced into relieving Solskjaer of his duties, he’ll become the fourth managerial casualty of the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era.
David Moyes was the first, getting the chop after just 10 months having failed to secure Champions League football in 2014.
Louis van Gaal was then sacked two years later for the same reasons, despite winning the FA Cup.
And Jose Mourinho was axed in December 2018 after he’d lost the support of the United dressing room.
Former Tottenham star Jamie O’Hara, meanwhile, has branded United a ‘shambles’ for sticking with Solskjaer.
“I’ve been saying this for weeks, months – Manchester United are a shambles keeping hold of the manager,” he said.
“They’ve got a world-class squad of players with a basic manager who wouldn’t even get another job in the Premier League. I can’t believe they’re not being ruthless enough to say, ‘right, now’s the time to do it’.
“They’ve kept hanging on and hanging on. This season, he [Solskjaer] even said no more excuses with the squad of players they’ve got. Everyone said that.
“And straight away they’re out of the title race, they’re not going to win the title this season, so they’ve wasted another season.
“These players like Paul Pogba and Cristiano Ronaldo will be looking at it thinking, ‘for Christ’s sake, there are so many good players we’ve got and we should be doing so much better’, but they are all over the place!
“They are painful to watch. It’s actually painful to watch such a good group of players play so badly.
“Any other manager, if it was Mourinho or Van Gaal, if anyone else was going on this run they’d be slaughtered.
“For some reason, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seems to get a free ride.
“They have got a world class group of players but a bang average manager who’s out of his depth.
“I don’t know why they’re clinging on to something that’s never going to work and never going to last.
“Even Pogba’s coming out and basically said the manager isn’t good enough.
“It’s desperation. Every time I watch Man United, it’s desperation.
“You watch Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea and you know exactly what you’re getting because their managers have them set up a certain way.
“With Man United, the only reason they get results is because they have great players, they don’t have a philosophy or style, they don’t know what they’re doing!”
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