Thats another fine mess you’ve got into Ole.

Published: Wednesday, 19 December 2018

What on earth is going on at Manchester United? Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer. Really?

How many more times can Ed Woodward get it wrong? I don’t know Ole. I’m told he’s a lovely guy. He’s a legend at United that’s for sure - but what else about the former Molde manager, who had a disastrous spell in charge of Cardiff, qualifies him to take over from Mourinho? The answer is - nothing. Absolutely nothing.

We’re talking about Manchester United here - arguably the biggest club in world football. I know it’s only temporary - but why? It’s a staggering decision. Have they given up on the season totally?

At Cardiff Solskjaer had 30 games to save them from relegation. He won 9, losing 16. That’s it. That’s the sum total of his ‘senior’ managerial career.

‘Ah, he’s one of us’ United fans will say. So was Wilf McGuiness. And I don’t wish to be unkind - but Mike Phelan? I do know Mike. He’s a great guy, but his time has come and gone.

What I’m watching now smacks of the same decline that followed Busby, with the club following one bad decision with another. I’m not saying it will end the same way, but once rot sets in it’s very hard to cut out. This happened at Liverpool as well and it’s taken 28 years for them to get it right - in and off the pitch. They’ve got a structure in place now that is delivering top to bottom.

How United fans would love to have Klopp on their side. He’s a force of nature - right out of the Fergie mould. It’s too late if course. Too late for Guardiola. Pochettino is the man they’re closely linked with - but Real want him. That will be a fascinating tug of war if Pochettino really is the one they want. And it will say a lot about their ability to still get what they want. And let’s not forget - right now he’s Tottenham’s manager. He might just fancy carrying on at Spurs. In which case, that would make Mourinho right - no longer can United buy ‘the best’ at other clubs. It’s ironic he used Spurs as an example. Or was it? Did he know something?

I wonder if United let Fergie stay too long? In every respect United are now playing ‘catch up’. And the problem with trying to catch up is that everybody else around and about you will push on and make progress at the same time as you’re chasing them. Perhaps United should’ve started modernising sooner?

I’ve said before that United’s dominance of English football is over. They’re now ‘one of the rest’. I’ve seen it before. They were under Big Ron and for the first five years of Fergie’s reign. These are frightening times for United fans.

So what would I have done now? If I knew I’d got Poch in the bag and was simply waiting if have appointed Laurent Blanc. He’d have taken it. I’ve heard from sources that have checked.

He’s ‘one of United’s own’, so that the emotion covered. He’s hugely experienced. He’s a winner. He’s a modern coach, with all the same beliefs about playing the way United used to. His Paris teams were a joy to watch, but they also had muscle. He knows the PL and he knows all about PSG. How useful might that have been at the next round of the CL? He’s also someone Pogba would’ve loved to have played for.

United have also spoken to Zidane. After meeting in Paris two months ago, they made him an offer this week that he was unsure about. His preference is to start work in July - if the job is still on offer. I don’t blame Woodward entirely for missing out here - but what a statement that would’ve been - putting in a 3-time CL winner, whilst as the same time re-structuring the club - like Liverpool - top to bottom. Perhaps he should have locked Zidane in a room and refused to let him out until he said ‘yes’.

Ole couldn’t say ‘no’ - but he’s walked into a job that’s far too big for him - and United have made another fine mess. I wish him well - and all the luck in the world. He’s going to need it