Solskjaer needs another Man Utd miracle to convince board he’s a better choice than PochettinoJanuary 12, 2019
IT’S been Solskjaer so very good for Ole since he took over from the toxic Jose Mourinho in December.
But there’s still plenty of work to be done if he wants to jump above Mauricio Pochettino as the outstanding candidate for the role on a full-time basis.
Mind you, it wouldn’t have taken much to improve on the Portuguese chief’s latter months.
And the shrewd addition of Mike Phelan and open invitation to Sir Alex Ferguson to attend the training ground on a more frequent basis has undoubtedly lifted the mood.
Solskjaer has removed Mourinho’s shackles from his players and injected some long overdue enjoyment back into the club by allowing his attacking players to do what they do best. Attack.
But, if Solskjaer truly has a chance of becoming the United manager permanently then the next two months will provide us with a clearer picture.
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Does Solskjaer possess the tactical nouse required in a big game? Is the honeymoon period merely that and no more?
How reliant is he on, not only Sir Alex’s input, but that of his coaching team, of Phelan, Michael Carrick and the highly regarded Kieran McKenna?
We’re about to find out.
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Solskjaer has tapped into the United fans and helped them reconnect with their club.
If he does secure a top four position and take United to the latter stages of the Champions League and FA Cup then calls for him remain beyond this campaign may become too much for Ed Woodward to ignore.
The trouble for Solskjaer is that there’s a wider problem – one that goes beyond just a playing philosophy.
A director of football is expected to be installed over the next few months and their first job will be to make some sense of the recent recruitment policy and then decide how the next few years will be approached.
A clearer path from academy through the first team needs to be defined as well – which will again take more than a few regurgitated lines from Sir Alex’s day to keep everyone happy.
Also from the Glazer point of view, you can see why someone like Pochettino appeals.
Aside from his attractive style of play, he promotes from within and takes his team into the top four pretty regularly.
And most importantly for them, appears to spend next to nothing in comparison to the competition.
If the Argentine was installed next to a football or sporting director and given more money than at Tottenham, but slightly less that the £400m Mourinho wasted, what might he be capable of achieving?
Solskjaer performed miracles for United in his playing days, but it’ll take something similar for him to take the job on beyond this summer.
Meanwhile in Noth London, Pochettino’s media silence speaks volumes, but so do all his other standout qualities.