Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is under intense scrutiny following Man Utd’s embarrassing defeat at the hands of Liverpool but the situation around Ed Woodward’s future could save the Norwegian in the short-term
Ed Woodward’s imminent departure could well prove crucial in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United future.
Pressure has never been higher on the Norwegian after he watched his side lose 5-0 at home to arch-rivals Liverpool on Sunday.
Patience is wearing thin with the United fan base, who adore Solskjaer following his success as a player, with divisions emerging as to whether his time is up.
The 48-year-old is approaching his third anniversary as the boss but results and performances this year have left a lot to be desired after some heavy investment.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford has not pushed them closer to the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City, with the gulf seemingly growing.
United have reiterated their commitment to Solskjaer recently despite some poor results.
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The manner of the Liverpool defeat will raise further questions, but with Woodward leaving at the end of 2021 he may be loathed to take on the job of finding a new manager.
United’s executive vice-chairman has resisted several calls to replace Solskjaer in recent years, so doing so this close to his exit would be a strange call.
The only credible candidate who has been linked with the role is former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte, who left Inter Milan in the summer.
Mauricio Pochettino and Max Allegri, two men to be linked with the post in the past, are no longer readily available.
It points towards Solskjaer riding out yet another storm to remain in the dugout, at least until the end of the season.
Woodward, who has copped criticism throughout his time at the club, spoke earlier this year of his belief in the current United boss and his direction.
He said: “We have invested more than £1bn in the squad during my time here and I am particularly delighted with the progress the players have made under the astute leadership of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his coaching team in the last two years.
“I am sure that with the changes we have made on-field and to the coaching and football staff in recent years this great club will soon be lifting silverware again. It deserves to.
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“I desperately wanted the club to win the Premier League during my tenure and I am certain the foundations are in place for us to win it back for our passionate fans.”
A run of challenging games was always set to test this United side and they have failed their recent assignments miserably.
Solskjaer referred to Sunday’s defeat as his “darkest day” in football as they slipped eight points behind Premier League pacesetters Chelsea.
Tottenham, Atalanta and neighbours Manchester City are United’s next three games.
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