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‘Solskjaer is hurting a lot of people at the moment’

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Manchester United’s Norwegian manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer watches from the stands during the English FA Cup quarter-final football match between Norwich City and Manchester United at Carrow Road in Norwich, eastern England on June 27, 2020. Catherine Ivill / POOL / AFP

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer “is hurting a lot of people at the moment”, according to Paul Parker, who thinks the Manchester United boss has successfully silenced his critics in 2020.

Solskjaer’s appointment as United’s permanent boss in March 2019 was initially a popular choice among supporters, who had been taken in by the club legend’s impressive interim spell in the hot seat following the sacking of Jose Mourinho.

However, results quickly took a turn for the worse after the 47-year-old was handed a three-year contract, and the Red Devils ended up finishing down in sixth in last season’s final Premier League standings.

Calls for Mauricio Pochettino, who was in charge of Tottenham at the time, to replace Solskjaer became widespread, but the Norwegian stuck to a rebuilding task admirably amid intense speculation over his future.

United’s struggles for inconsistency continued in the first half of the 2019-20 campaign, before the January arrival of Bruno Fernandes sparked a turnaround in fortunes.

The Red Devils are now in the hunt for a third-place finish as well as FA Cup and Europa League honours, and Parker thinks Solskjaer deserves more credit from fans and experts who were previously too quick to question his credentials.

The ex-United midfielder wrote in his latest column for Eurosport: “People are still struggling to come forward and say ‘Well done Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’, no one wants to do it because a lot of people wanted him to get the sack so they could follow up and say ‘we told you so’.

“He’s hurting a lot of people at the moment, I don’t want to begrudge anybody that opportunity because it’s still viable it could happen, but he has made people’s life a little bit more difficult because of how good a job he has been doing.

“If you throw out any top manager’s name, somebody in the press or a keyboard warrior would know all the reasons why Mauricio Pochettino would be doing better than Solskjaer. In fact, they don’t really know, to be honest, they haven’t got a clue why he would be better, all they know is that he’s a bigger name.

“Ole’s record prior to United wasn’t very good, but a lot of managers were getting jobs and we all questioned why, and they’ve been quite successful.”

People questioned Arsene Wenger coming to Arsenal, look what a difference he made there. He made them an institution and changed other clubs’ habits as well.

“Mourinho didn’t achieve enough, or the right things, at United on and off the pitch, so who says Pochettino could go and do that. He will want to bring in his own people, change the playing style, why are United going to go backwards and do that again?

“No one wanted to give Ole any time at all. Yes, it has taken him a while, but he had to get rid of a lot of bad eggs and lift a club in the doldrums because of the previous manager.

“He has put smiles back on people’s faces, done a lot of homework and worked to know what United needed off the pitch. There are still issues to be sorted out above, but he has put himself in the best position to change the culture and get people at the club thinking more about winning games and trophies, rather than coming close and worrying about a profit line in the market.”
Culled from yahoosports


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