I guess Ole truly is at the wheel…but only with a provisional license. Things have gone from bad to worse for the Norwegian legend. During the week he saw his team offer no type of resistance whatsoever to a Messi-lead Barcelona, but what happened on Sunday was the final straw. The most famous club on the planet rocked up to Goodison Park and suffered a humiliating 4-0 loss.
That defeat made it six losses in eight games for the Red Devils, leading to some fans already calling for his head. It’s clear that the honeymoon period is over for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but we’ll have to see how far from grace the Norwegian has fallen in the coming weeks. For now, let’s digest the atrocity we saw at the weekend.
Three things we learned from Manchester United’s humiliating 4-0 loss at Goodison Park.
Dressing Room tensions?
Are we seeing a repeat here? I thought the clocks went forward, not backwards. Snarky comments in the press, poor performances on the pitch, we’re truly back in the José Mourinho era. This is exactly what got the Portuguese the sack. Now perhaps we’re seeing that it wasn’t all the 56-year-old’s fault after all.
Regardless of how we feel about it, Ole’s new approach with the media is a clever distraction tactic that deflects the heat away from his tactics onto his players. The Norwegian’s quotes before and after the match were completely damning of the players. You won’t believe what the United manager has uttered over the past few days:
- “We can’t change the whole squad.”
- In reference to the players: “some need to get a reality check of where they’re at.”
- “There’s no hiding place and everyone can see what level you’re at.”
These are literally the exact remarks you’d expect of José Mourinho. It’s clear that the 46-year-old is under severe pressure, let’s see if he turns into a diamond or not.
Romelu Lukaku’s days are numbered
Late last week, rumours began to circulate that Manchester United are open to listening to any offers for Romelu Lukaku. With clubs like Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan, Bayern Munich and Inter Milan reportedly interested in him, we could be seeing the final days of the Belgian in a United shirt. This season, the 25-year-old has only scored 15 goals in 39 appearances, that’s what you call an abysmal return for a £75million player.
Funnily enough, the Belgian’s best performances under Solskjaer have come from the right wing. Lukaku seems to thrive when not being weighed down by the responsibility of being his attack’s focal point. Nonetheless, United signed him to be their main goal scorer and they’re not seeing fruits for their investment.
Against Everton, Lukaku averaged a poor 58% pass accuracy, didn’t attempt one shot and was dispossessed twice. Not really the kind of numbers you want from your star striker.
No midfield balance
The Paul Pogba conundrum continues to rumble on. Over the years, we’ve seen José and Ole try a multitude of players to facilitate the Frenchman in Manchester United’s midfield. First, it was Marouane Fellaini, then Ander Herrera, Andrea Pereira and finally, Nemanja Matić. However, none have seemed to strike any type of chemistry with Paul Pogba.
At Goodison Park, Manchester United’s marquee player only made 1 tackle, 1 successful take-on, completed 86% of his passes and was dispossessed twice. As the most advanced midfielder, Pogba was meant to be the link between midfield and attack, however, he himself looked out of place and isolated.
The truth is, Paul Pogba is a marketable asset that is making millions of pounds for the club, regardless of his performances on the pitch. But everyone has their limit and if Ed Woodward & Co. can’t find a suitable midfielder partner for him, he’ll just go and win the Champions League at Real Madrid instead.