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Man United must be ruthless, not romantic, if they are to start making progress

It’s been a seismic few weeks in the world of Premier League management.

Jose Mourinho now smugly warms the seat previously occupied by Mauricio Pochettino and Unai Emery’s desperate tenure at Arsenal has finally been put out of its misery.

Of the traditional ‘top six’, three of its members are really struggling this season and two have duly departed with their managers.


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Not a smile in sight

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Not a smile in sight

One, however, still remains.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Man United reign limps on, with no indication from the board that this is even a stay of execution.

You’ll remember Ole was temporarily ‘at the wheel’ after the new manager bounce kicked in nearly 12 months ago.

But the wheels have well and truly fallen off and the fact United are still persisting with a man so categorically out of his depth is a mystery.

Rashford’s fine form has been in vain

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Rashford’s fine form has been in vain

Under Sir Alex Ferguson the Red Devils were clinical and ruthless, recognising weaknesses and addressing them instantly.

Now United seem more concerned about tarnishing the legacy of one of their favourite sons than actually acting to save their season.

Mike Keegan at the Daily Mail summed their ineptitude perfectly:

This is no time for romance. This is no time for sentiment. This is Man United, the most successful club in domestic English football.

United are ninth, a point behind Arsenal, who are in the process of changing things up, and a further point adrift of Spurs, who now have Mourinho at the helm.

The stats make for ugly reading for Solskjaer.

Outplayed by another promoted club

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Outplayed by another promoted club

Since taking the job full time, he has taken just 26 points from 22 league games. That is comfortably the worst win percentage of any permanent manager since Fergie retired.

He would need to win all of his next three games to match the points tally Mourinho managed last season before he was asked to pack his bags.

The United of old – the United of Ferguson – would be moving mountains to make Pochettino an offer he can’t refuse.

Instead they seem hellbent on placating a man who is making all the wrong noises.

Only one man for the job

Reuters
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Only one man for the job

After getting outplayed by a promoted club for the second successive week, Solskjaer declared the league table wasn’t ‘the biggest concern because it’s so tight’.

He said: “I think there’s loads of evidence that these boys are closer to winning games than losing games and tipping those margins in our favour.”

These are soundbites you just don’t want to hear as a United fan, hardly filling anyone with confidence that this acceptance of mediocrity is going to go away any time soon.

Two of their ‘top six’ rivals have accepted change was necessary, now it’s time for United to go even bigger and bolder.