Publish mortem has already began for Manchester United
It just wasn't meant for Manchester United and boss Ole Gunnar Solskjær when they fell on penalties against Villarreal after a 1-1 draw over 120 minutes. Questions are already being asked as to whether the club or its manager is doing almost enough to push him back to where many believe he rightly belongs.
Is Ole Gunnar Solskjær good enough for Manchester United?
The wait for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's first trophy as Man Utd manager has to go on …… # UELfinal pic.twitter.com/96PkZwdWCr
– Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 26, 2021
This marked the first chance for the former United striker to put his name on a major silver coin for the club since taking over for José Mourinho in December 2018. So far, Solskjær has not yet reached the level the club expects on an annual basis, although there has been some degree of improvement since his appointment.
In his first full season at the helm in 2019-20, Solskjær pushed the club to third place in the Premier League table after doing his best to put the ship back in order after the club in Mourinhos had absorbed water last season. He would then perform better in 2020-21, finishing second at rivals Manchester City. At the same time, he would oversee the advance of a major trophy final for the first time in four seasons. But is that good enough for the fan base or a club the size and reach United has?
Some didn't wait long to criticize the club and its headmaster, claiming the club had re-exposed its shortcomings, including criticism of certain players like David De Gea and Marcus Rashford, while also lamenting the lack of the required depth of quality in the First team squad. There is still a lot of work to be done in the Manchester United summer window if a conversion program is to come in line with the club's goal, but other criticisms have also targeted the Atlantic.
Should the Glazer family ask for more this summer?
Little love is lost between supporters of Manchester United and the hated owners of the Glazer family. Protests against their property this season have already resulted in mass protests, with fans rushing onto the Old Trafford pitch and reacting violently to the clubs' involvement in the failed attempt to create the European Super League. But another season without a trophy could lead to further setbacks and demands from fans to correct the wrongs on the pitch.
The advantage of big defeats is that you cannot cover up the cracks. De Gea's demise, Rashford's loss of form, Solskjaer's game management and lack of squad depth added to that tonight. But do the glaziers care enough to address the main issues?
– Mark Ogden (@MarkOgden_) May 26, 2021
For many, the question will always be whether or not the glaziers care enough about Manchester United to really blame those directly responsible for the non-performance on the pitch. United now have four seasons without any noteworthy silverware, while the last time they topped the Premier League was eight seasons ago in 2012/13, while Sir Alex Fergusons was at the helm last year.
Many suggest that the club needs to start a spending program in the summer to address a number of key areas, including center-backs, central midfield and a striker to take the lead. The demand for signings like Harry Kane is sure to soon follow thick and fast. Others could still demand that Solskjær be removed from his post after both Antonio Conte and Zinedine Zidane left their roles at Inter Milan and Real Marid respectively. While such a move would surely show the owners' intention to rely on a far more experienced manager who has won trophies in the past, the same theory has been linked to Mourinho's appointment with mixed results. The Portuguese led Manchester United to Europa League success in 2016-17 but left the club in a real crisis after leaving. Regardless of what happens in the future, something has to change if United are to get back on top of the football landscape.
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