Two reasons why Man United won’t sack Ole Gunnar Solskjaer soon


LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Interim Manager of Manchester United celebrates victory after the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on January 13, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

The 20-time Premier League champions are currently sitting at 9th place in the table, with just 7 points separating them from the relegation places.

Despite their brilliant comeback at the Bramall Lane on Sunday, Man United were forced to share the points due to a late equalizer by the newly promoted Sheffield United side.

The stalemate left the Red Devils well off the pace in the race for Champions League places, with the likes of Burnley, Wolves and even their Sunday’s hosts better placed than Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men to finish the season in the top four.

Why then, one might ask, the Man United board is not seriously considering the prospect of replacing the Norwegian with a new manager who could turn things around at Old Trafford?

The question gains even more significance when one looks at the Premier League table, where Tottenham, who have the same number of points after 13 games as United, have already sacked the manager who took them to the Champions League final last season.

Reason # 1: Premier League's mediocrity keeps Solskjaer in his job

HUDDERSFIELD, ENGLAND - MAY 05: Fred of Manchester United arrives prior to the Premier League match between Huddersfield Town and Manchester United at John Smith's Stadium on May 05, 2019 in Huddersfield, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Barring the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City who are in a stratosphere of their own, Premier League, as a general, has been mediocre this season.

No example illustrates this point better than that of Wolves. Currently sitting at 5th place in the Premiership, Nuno Espirito Santo’s men were barely four points off relegation at the start of October, with only 1-point separating them from then 12th place Man United.

This unpredictability in part has stemmed from the mediocrity which, excluding the top four, has gripped the Premier League this season. More points separate the sixth-place Sheffield United from league leaders Liverpool (19) than bottom-of-the-table Watford (10).

This mediocrity might have played a huge part in convincing the Man United hierarchy that even though the club has suffered its worst start to a domestic season in over 3 decades, it could still have a shot at the Champions League places if either of Leicester City or Chelsea slip-up in the race for the top four.

While the chances of that happening seem quite remote now, nobody could deny that United, despite their poor defensive record this season, still have a good shot at finishing 5th in the League come the end of May. And for a club that’s in transition and marred by injuries, that’s not a nightmarish scenario.

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Reason # 2: Solskjaer’s history with United

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 13: Manchester United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson presents Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a print of his winning goal celebration from the 1999 Champions League Final prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford on December 13, 2010 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Reporters covering the Premier League are aware of the fact that rarely does any Manchester United press conference passes without Solskjaer quoting an example from the glory days of the 90s.

There might be a method to this seemingly frustrating approach of the Norwegian. While it might seem boring to the reporters who want something new to write every week, for an average club fan who isn’t happy with today’s mediocre days, these words, by harking back to the glory days, keep them motivated.

Had it not been the case, and Solskjaer was being judged in the same vein as his three immediate predecessors at the Man United job, the 46-year-old should have been in trouble. After all, his record at Old Trafford after 34 games (57 points) is the exact same as that of David Moyes.

While David Moyes was sacked from his job despite it being only his first season at the Old Trafford, Solskjaer, who was given the job on a permanent basis back in April, can still manage to make transfer plans for the foreseeable future.

That doesn’t suggest that Manchester United fans are happy at the club’s performances under the Norwegian. It’s just that their view is tainted by sentimentality, and as long as they don’t use the same criteria to judge Solskjaer which employed with Moyes, the 46-year-old will remain on the job.

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