Why do people remain unconvinced about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer? Because he can’t get his Manchester United side to consistently win against the lesser teams…
You can chalk up Manchester United’s win over PSG on Tuesday as another high-profile scalp under the management of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Solskjaer’s version of United seem to be very strong against the very strong, which is why you would back them in the ‘DNA derby’ against Frank Lampard’s Chelsea this weekend. But then when it comes to the more workaday business of beating teams like Crystal Palace or Burnley, they can struggle.
It’s a problem which explains why many remain so unconvinced about his tenure at the club, and explains why he remains the third-favourite Premier League manager to leave his job next, something we discussed on The Totally Football Show this week.
“We’ve seen this before,” said Duncan Alexander. “We’ve seen really good United performances over the last few years, but it’s building momentum from them that’s been the problem. They’ve got a big game this weekend in the Premier League, and if they can win that too, that could be the start of something.”
Tom Williams expanded on that point.
“This is the Solskjaer paradox. They have consistently produced these sorts of performances and these sorts of results against top level opposition, but at the same time have turned in some abject performances against the weaker teams.
“Solskjaer has showed he’s very good at setting up United to counter-attack against comparably strong opposition, and that should suit them well against Chelsea, so you wouldn’t be surprised to see United pull off another result there.
“But equally if they were to then lose to Fulham, Burnley, whoever – take your pick – that wouldn’t be a surprise either.
“When United fans who are pro-Solskjaer get annoyed about people questioning his credentials – it’s not as if winning away at PSG isn’t impressive, or beating City or Liverpool. But the very best managers these days find ways for their teams to beat everyone. Solskjaer still hasn’t done that, and that’s why the jury is still out, and why it will remain out until he does that on a consistent basis.”
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