Man Utd’s inconsistency under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer worries supporters, says football writer Andy Mitten
Manchester United’s inconsistency under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer continues to worry supporters, says football writer Andy Mitten.
After back-to-back defeats to Arsenal and Istanbul Basaksehir, Solskjaer’s side came from behind to win 3-1 at Everton in the Premier League on Saturday and ease the pressure on the under-fire Norwegian.
The victory at Goodison Park was United’s seventh consecutive away win in the competition, but their disastrous home form has left them 14th in the table after seven games.
United’s inconsistent results and performances have become all-too-familiar under Solskjaer’s leadership and although the club have no plans to replace him, some supporters are becoming increasingly frustrated.
“I didn’t think he’d lose his job depending on the result at Goodison Park, but he did need a win. United had a terrible week with that home defeat against Arsenal and the defeat in Istanbul,” United We Stand editor Mitten told Sky Sports News.
“It’s the inconsistency that worries Manchester United fans. The team that can go away to Paris Saint-Germain and win and can be so convincing at home to RB Leipzig, can then lose two matches on the trot.
“So those worries haven’t vanished, and it was also baffling because United have won seven consecutive away games in the Premier League now.
“They can’t win at home. They haven’t won for seven games but away from home there’s no problems.
“I think United fans have been more divided on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as coach in the last week. He has still got a considerable amount of support, but there are worries and they won’t just go away.”
‘Ole has been privately fuming for weeks’
A furious Solskjaer heavily criticised the Premier League’s scheduling after United’s win at Everton, claiming his side “were set up to fail”.
United travelled to Turkey to face Istanbul Basaksehir in the Champions League on Wednesday before having to face a refreshed Everton at Goodison Park in the weekend’s early kick-off.
Despite his team coming from behind to claim all three points, Solskjaer still hit out at what he called the “absolute joke” schedule his players were faced with after Luke Shaw (hamstring), Victor Lindelof (back) and Marcus Rashford (shoulder) all picked up injuries.
Mitten added: “Ole’s point about the kick-off time – that wasn’t off the cuff. He’s been privately fuming about this for weeks.
“He came back from Istanbul and felt he didn’t have time to put his players through a proper training session.
“A point was made that Chelsea had also played, but Chelsea’s kick-off was 5.30pm and they could have had a full training session.
“I came back from Istanbul and I was shattered, and I had not spent Wednesday night chasing Demba Ba around.”
Fine margins keep wolves from Ole’s door again
By Sky Sports’ Ron Walker
With pressure mounting on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Manchester United again pulled a good win out of the bag when he most needed it – but how many times can we end up here?
On the face of it, United’s 3-1 win at Everton in the Saturday lunchtime kick-off did not tell us much about Solskjaer’s side that we did not already know.
Their defensive issues came straight to the fore as they were carved open with ease for Bernard’s opener, and they displayed the textbook attacking potency they have enjoyed against more open opponents since the manager arrived to deliver their rapid turnaround. Even before half-time, it was nothing we’ve not already seen over the last two years.
But just as fine margins were used to defend the narrow defeat United fell to against Arsenal last weekend, so too did they pave their way to victory at Goodison Park. Everton’s Lucas Digne hit a post with Dominic Calvert-Lewin unmarked at 1-1, and moments before Edinson Cavani’s injury-time third, Abdoulaye Doucoure may well have earned the hosts a point had he made any decent connection with Alex Iwobi’s tee-up.
Those fine margins have long been the story of United’s rises and falls, especially under Solskjaer, but they cannot continue to define his reign indefinitely.
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