• Lawrence Awotwe


Manchester United put up a splendid performance to dispatch UEFA Champions League runners up PSG in their own backyard.

Ever since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer put pen to paper to sign a three-year deal, it has been plagued with mixed results and at the start of the current campaign, defeats to Crystal Palace and Tottenham ensured this was their worst ever start in the Premier League era.

It brings back the call by fans, whether he can sturdy the ship and win trophies for the Club, or will the board exercise their supervisory role by terminating his contract as previously done to its predecessors who were in the helm of affairs.

One may want to ask whether Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has the support of the board, supporters and players.

Ole was given the nod as the interim coach after the sacking of the ‘Special One’ Jose Mourinho.

The Portuguese managed to place second in his first season as United manager, qualifying for the Champions League a fate neither David Moyes nor Van Gaal could achieve during their time as manager of the club.

He also managed to win the only jigsaw puzzle missing in their trophy cabinet that is the Europa League.

During, Jose Mourinho’s time at United, he bemoaned not getting the backing of the board in acquiring the transfer targets he wanted, but the Portuguese spent more than 370 million pounds in strengthening his squad with eleven players.

Jose Mourinho encountered a mirage of problems at Old Trafford. For example, he had issues with man management of the players. It was purported that there were divisions among the players, which had effect on the outcome of matches.

Manchester United sacked Mourinho after a run of poor results culminated in a crushing 3-1 defeat at Liverpool 2018, but where did it go wrong.

In the 2017/18 season United had only collected 26 points from 17 games, the lowest tally at that stage of the campaign during the modern era.

But some stellar cup runs in his season and an impressive runner up finish in the Premier League boosted Mourinho’s record, leaving the club with a win ratio of 58.3% in all competitions.

That win rate surpasses predecessors Louis Van Gaal and David Moyes ranking behind Sir Alex Ferguson.

In December 2018, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was confirmed as caretaker manager of Manchester united for remainder of the season.

He started excellently, with 10 wins in 13 matches in the Premier League and a fantastic comeback victory against PSG made people believe Solskjaer was the man for the permanent job.

Going into that last 16 second leg tie against PSG, there were few who really believed Solksjaer’s side could overturn a two-goal deficit to progress. It was put to the Norwegian that should they pull it off it would be one of their greatest achievements in Europe.

Fast forward and Ole was rewarded with a permanent contract and in his first season in charge, he guided United to a third-place finish.

It has been a poor start to the new campaign with the 6-1 home defeat against Spurs.

The serial doubts over whether Ole is the right man for the job are getting loud on social media. Names like Massimiliano Allegri and Mauricio Pochettino keep popping up as possible replacements.

At the end of the season, Solskjaer’s ability to push United to the next level will be a huge factor on whether the Norwegian will still be in charge.