In the grand scheme of things you have to say that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has done good things from Man United, but there are some interesting parallels with Frank Lampard at Chelsea.
Both managers appeared to thrive when they had to rescue a club in crisis, while expectations were low and all they really needed was some positivity to rally around, but as soon as big signings were made and expectations were raised it appears Solskjaer has been found out.
It’s not clear if he simply doesn’t know how to put together a game plan or if he’s unable to balance his team, but the world-class names on paper don’t usually translate into dominant performances as they continue to struggle in attack and they are porous at the back.
Solskjaer also deserves criticism for sticking by players who simply aren’t good enough for a team with title ambitions, and a report from the Sun has indicated that five could be forced out in January.
Anthony Martial has been out of form for months and has fallen down the pecking order, while it also sounds like the Donny van de Beek experiment could be over as they’re willing to accept defeat with him and let him go.
In defence Phil Jones and Victor Lindelof will be allowed to leave if a buyer comes in, while Jesse Lingard hasn’t nailed down a regular starting role since his return from West Ham, so he could be allowed to go to Newcastle.
Letting those five go does make sense when you consider they aren’t contributing too much to the team, but it’s only half the story as it’s rare that clubs will give up star players in January so finding new faces could be tough.
They desperately need a solid holding midfielder who can effectively protect the defence and actually provide some balance to this team, as it’s been proven that a combination of Fred/Matic/McTominay simply isn’t going to work on a consistent basis.
Finding buyers for the five players could also be tough so loan moves may be the most likely option here, but it will be interesting to see who comes and goes and if Solskjaer can finally find a formula that works.