For any supporters of Manchester United hoping for a change in the dugout, Ed Woodward’s support of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will come as a hammer blow.
The Red Devils have had an inconsistent campaign so far in 2020/21, but United’s Chief Executive appears satisfied enough to continue backing the manager, in the summer transfer windows at least.
“What happens on the field is clearly our top priority, and while it’s not the same without fans in the stadium, we’ve seen lots of highs since our last meeting in April, with that 14-game unbeaten run to finish third in last season’s Premier League run and great wins against PSG and RB Leipzig on our return to the Champions League this season,” he is quoted by Sky Sports as saying at a recent fans forum.
“Of course, we recognise there’s more hard work ahead to achieve the consistency needed to win trophies. But we see positive signs on the pitch and the training ground that reinforce our belief in the progress being made by Ole, his coaching team and the players.
“I told this forum back in April that we remained committed to strengthening the squad, while being disciplined in our spending during the pandemic. I believe we’ve delivered on that, with the additions we made during the summer taking our total net spending to over €200m since summer 2019 – more than any other major European club over that period.
“We will continue to support Ole with a planned, long-term approach to recruitment, focused on the summer windows.”
Although Solskjaer certainly appears to have the backing of his players too, results clearly need to change.
What’s interesting is that Woodward, and therefore by association the owners, the Glazer family, look to be willing to give the Norwegian time to get the Red Devils back to where they need to be.
Given a lack of supporters in stadiums, which would clearly have an effect, and also a pandemic and no pre-season to speak of, there are logical reasons why the club would stick with Solskjaer – for now.
No potential signings in January might be cause for concern, however. Just look how different United looked once Bruno Fernandes was signed last winter.
Time will indeed tell if Solskjaer is still the right man for the job.