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Poor Solskjaer

Whisper it softly but I feel sorry for the under-pressure Manchester United boss.

I’m no particular fan of the Reds – and indeed rather enjoy seeing a club big on triumphalism in the past – now in crisis.

So why this sudden shift of sympathy?

Firstly, it’s one of the least edifying aspects of football to see a beleagured boss getting a kicking from analysts, writers and fans.

Gary Neville, that archetypal champagne socialist who was an abject failure as manager at Valencia, is leading the charge, followed by Liverpool old boys Graeme Souness – a flop in his managerial career – and Jamie Carragher, who never managed at all.

The soccer press are big on criticism but less expansive on who might succeed him.

United have tried an intense Scot in the manner of Alex Ferguson – David Moyes; a proven European coach, Louis van Gaal;  a serial winner of trophies inJose Mourinho – and all were sacked.

It may be that Solskjaer never wanted Ronaldo as the deal seems to have been brokered by Alex Ferguson and Rio Ferdinand in order to put one over rivals City.

Few pointed out that, whilst Ronaldo might well score goals, his narcissism and wages might upset the dressing room.

And is United now an attractive managerial option?

Ferguson still wields great power with a seat on the board but Manchester City are now by some distance the more successful team and club.

Which brings me onto fan expectation. As a United legend Solskjaer was a popular choice.

Fans always like ex-players until poor results kick in.

Many fans still call United the biggest club in the world. Most profitable yes – biggest no.

Fan expectation is unrealistically high.

Better to stick with Solskjaer and hope that Manchester United qualify for the Champions League.

About Rex Mitchell

Rex Mitchell is a Brentford supporter from childhood. This has not prevented him having a distinguished Fleet Street career as a sports reporter and later deputy football editor. A widower, Rex is a bit of a bandit golfer off his official handicap of 20 and is currently chairman of his local bowls club. More Posts