Tuesday night seemed to signal that current Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has found his level with his team after they were beaten 2-0 by French champions PSG in the last 16 of the Champions League.
Make no mistake PSG produced the perfect away record and United look likely to be going out of the competition. This loss is also the first under Solskjaer since the Norwegian took the job in December and it will be quite one to take.
The knee jerk reaction will be predictable for most, that because United lost to PSG in the Champions League, that’s it at the United board should now be looking to a more established manager for next season. Of course it’s true that OGS as he has commonly been named by the British media has a very average record as a manager. Being in charge of Molde for so many seasons is no real gage into how great he is and when he did get to manage in the Premier League for Cardiff they were relegated.
But OGS and United go together and it would be a mistake to criticise him too much. Because that is what in effect has happened to him, too much too soon. This is a United side that under his guidance went to Tottenham in the league and won. A team who knocked out Arsenal in the FA Cup, there is much to love about United since Jose Mourinho was sacked.
At the same time the football world is a business and it can be a very harsh one at that. Ed Woodward and co will be looking at this game and thinking that there are bigger managers out there. But OGS should not lose his job based on the Champions League this season, indeed if he can guide United to a top 4 place which he is currently doing then he deserves a second crack at the job next season and with a proper transfer window to boot.
Zinedine Zidane and Mauricio Pochettino have been touted as replacements. However it looks unlikely that the Tottenham manager will take up the role, as the club will be moving into their new stadium, the timing just seems off. But Zidane is out of a job and his attacking style and methods would most probably suit a club like United.
Sir Alex Ferguson may have a say in the appointment too, you can’t help but feel that the odds may just be stacked against OGS at this time.