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Is Ole-Gunnar Solskjaer living on borrowed time at Manchester United?

Red Devils boss set to face daunting run of fixtures in November

Only days ago, news of the Manchester United hierarchy backing manager Ole-Gunnar Solskjaer to remain as manager of the club for the foreseeable future broke, giving the Norwegian manager a sense of security at the club.

What Solskjaer needs to know, however, is that when club executives begin to defend a manager in public, such a manager’s days in charge of the club may be numbered.

For example, Chelsea fired Frank Lampard mere weeks after club president Bruce Buck publicly backed the Englishman to continue as manager.

The Norway-born Manchester United manager Solskjaer has not exactly impressed in his time as manager of the club for whom he scored loads of goals, including a remarkable added-time winner in the 1999 UEFA Champions League final against Bayern Munich.

After being appointed on an interim basis in 2019, Solskjaer managed to win ten and draw just two of his opening 12 matches in charge of the club, a run that saw him earn a permanent appointment at the end of the season.

Since then, however, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has failed to win a single trophy for the Red Devils despite receiving a significantly higher level of investment into his squad than many of his predecessors. Till date, the last trophy won by the club came in the 2016/17 season when Jose Mourinho led them to the UEFA Europa League, a part of his infamous treble in that season.

Solskjaer finds himself under increased pressure as a result of the amount of investment put into his squad over the summer, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho all brought in for huge amounts of money.

Despite the investment into his squad, Solskjaer’s side have already lost to Young Boys in the UEFA Champions League, Aston Villa in the league and West Ham United in the Carabao Cup. The Red Devils laboured to a 1-1 draw against Everton in their last match before the international break.

Following the groin injury picked up by Varane in the first half of France’s UEFA Nations League final win over Spain, Solskjaer is now left with only injury-prone Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof as his options in central defense after he lost captain Harry Maguire to injury against Aston Villa.

Manchester United face a daunting run of fixtures starting on October 16th against Leicester City, before facing Atalanta, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Atalanta, Manchester City, Watford, Villarreal, Chelsea and Arsenal in their next ten matches till the end of November.

Ole-Gunnar Solskjaer has no time to waste and must quickly prove his mettle as a top-level manager if he is to remain in a job for much longer. The Norwegian must lead the Red Devils to a first title since 2017 else the club may be forced to look at alternatives.

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