Has Ole Gunnar Solskjaer taken Manchester United as far as he can?

‘I’m going to be successful here, and there are players there that won’t be part of that successful team.’ Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s words after his Manchester United side were beaten 4-0 at Goodison Park in April 2019. Just over two years on, it still begs the question whether Solskjaer will be successful at United. 

How far can the positivity Solskjaer has brought back to Manchester United take him?

There’s no doubt the Norwegian has brought back a positive feeling within the club, largely down to the squad overhaul. The 48-year-old has signed leaders, and players who want to play for Manchester United. Under previous managers, this was a huge issue with players coming to Old Trafford due to the huge wages they’d been offered.

The squad looks a shadow of what it was under Jose Mourinho and Louis Van Gaal. United have serious personalities across the pitch in Raphaël Varane, Harry Maguire, Bruno Fernandes, and Cristiano Ronaldo. And that is down to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and newly-appointed sporting director, John Murtough. However, building a squad is only a small part of management. In key moments, Solskjaer and his coaching staff have fallen short, showing their inexperience. United still face the same issues as they did from the moment Solskjaer walked in, although there has been evident year-on-year progress.

Many believe the upcoming fixtures will decide the fate of the current Manchester United manager. United face Leicester, Atalanta, Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City all in under the space of a month. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs results, and he needs them quickly. But what could be the reason for United falling short in big moments?

Solskjaer and his coaching staff

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been managing for nine years. But United still struggle to break down a low-block. Rumours have surfaced that Solskjaer’s assistants, Kieran McKenna and Michael Carrick take the training sessions. A club of Manchester United’s stature needs experienced, innovative coaches who have worked at the top-level previously. Although McKenna is highly-rated by many, he has only coached at youth level for United and Tottenham Hotspur. Coaching the Manchester United first-team is a level above any of the Northern Irishman’s previous experiences. As for Michael Carrick, his unbelievable 12-years as player was what gifted him the assistant manager role. Manchester United clearly aren’t a well-coached side. Currently, it seems both the assistants aren’t up to standard to coach one of the biggest clubs in the world. 


Pre-season, there was talk of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer adopting a more attacking 4-3-3 formation. However, The Reds have continuously lined-up with a 4-2-3-1 formation. It doesn’t take a tactician to know that this isn’t cutting it. United regularly fail to create chances in games and are weak in turnovers defensively. Solskjaer often seems fearful of the opposition with his team selections and formation, with Fred and Scott McTominay starting on a regular basis.

If Solskjaer is to see success as manager of Manchester United, changes must be made to his coaching staff and their methods. 

Author: Aadam Haladh