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Opinion: Five reasons Man United should stick with Solskjaer and swerve serial bottler Pochettino

According to Manchester Evening News, Mauricio Pochettino has been approached for the United job. We’ve looked at why the club should keep faith in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The report claims that Pochettino is United’s number one replacement for Solskjaer, who suffered a second consecutive defeat at the hands of Istanbul Basaksehir yesterday evening.

Here’s five reasons that would be the wrong move from the Man United hierarchy.

MORE: Opinion: Four reasons Mauricio Pochettino is the ideal choice to be next Manchester United manager

Bigger picture

ole gunnar solskjaer raised hands

It’s easy to get caught up in a couple of negative results, but Solskjaer is not doing a bad job at Man United. He secured a third-place finish last season in a campaign where his side previously looked down and out.

Prior to the toothless performance against Arsenal and capitulation in Istanbul, Man United looked as though they had turned a corner. The performance against PSG at the Parc des Princes and at home to RB Leipzig are two of the best we’ve seen since the Norwegian took the reins.

There is a reason that a manager with no real prior credentials has made it this far in a job as coveted as United’s, and that’s because, while results have been a mixed bag throughout, the bigger picture shows that they have made progress under his stewardship.

He inherited a squad far from complete and has made worthwhile additions to it in the form of Harry Maguire (recent form aside) and Bruno Fernandes. Marcus Rashford has also hit another level under Solskjaer, while the likes of Mason Greenwood and Scott McTominay hav been given the platform to develop.

More than two games need to be taken into consideration before you can thinking about sacking a manager, especially one who has contributed as much for the club as Ole has.

Record-breaker

Many of the statistics we have seen involving Man United in recent seasons have been negative ones, such has been the disparity between their class in the past and their shortfalls in the present.

However, Solskjaer has actually set a couple of impressive records himself, outperforming former manager Sir Alex Ferguson in doing so, the man who is considered one of the greatest of all-time.

While Sir Alex delivered silverware with the Red Devils year after year, he only did so because he was given the opportunity to build a team that he felt could succeed in the manner in which they did.

Ole has not had sufficient time to get anywhere near where Man United of old were. Even with a blank cheque being written by the Glazers, it’s time to work with the squad and instil your philosophy into the team which really brings success.

If he was to be dismissed now and replaced by Pochettino, the former Tottenham manager would be left with an unfinished project, one which he’d have to tear up and start again. What good is that for United?

Tracking ahead of the best

klopp liverpool

Jurgen Klopp is widely considered one of the best managers around, if not the best. Streets ahead of Solskjaer – right?

Well, while there is currently no argument in Solskjaer’s favour when compared to the Liverpool boss, as shown in a head-to-head comparison of their first 100 games in charge of their respective clubs by Football365, the Man United manager comes out on top.

Solskjaer has a higher win percentage, with more goals scored and less conceded, across his first 100 games at United than Klopp did at Liverpool. The German has gone on to deliver the Champions League and the Reds’ first ever Premier League title.

There is no guarantee that Solskjaer could get anywhere close to delivering at Man United what Klopp has at Liverpool, but it urges a little bit of perspective. If at this stage in Klopp’s Liverpool tenure FSG opted to pull the plug, you have to think Merseyside would still be without a Premier League crown.

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1 Comment

  1. Rashed says:

    Thank you Jamie and it is so pleasant to read such balanced and justified viewpoints,,,while sympathizing with United supporters who deserve better performances , the hire and fire approach doesn’t work as shown by the number of managers hired since SAF ,,, Ole is by far the best of them and should be given more time

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