DRIVER DISMISSED, GAS EXHAUSTED; OLE NOT AT THE WHEEL ANYMORE

DRIVER DISMISSED, GAS EXHAUSTED; OLE NOT AT THE WHEEL ANYMORE

By Shivex

It was always bound to happen at some point in time. The way things were going at the club, it was just a matter of time before the axe fell on the manager’s head, and Manchester United, after seemingly holding back for what feels like an eternity have finally parted ways with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Ole was initially appointed as a caretaker manager of the club on 19 December 2018 after the sacking of former manager Jose Mourinho in the aftermath of the latter`s toxic last months at the club. Ole took over winning his first five matches in the league and becoming the first to do so since Sir Matt Busby in 1946. He received the manager of the month award in his first full month as United collected 10 out of a possible 12 points in the league also becoming the first United manager to win the award since the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson in October of 2012. Indeed, Ole’s first few months with Manchester United were full of numerous records being set and broken. The positivity feeling returned to the club and top stars like Paul Pogba played great football once again. And it was no surprise that On 28 March 2019, having won 14 of his 19 matches in charge, Solskjaer signed a three-year contract to take over as Manchester United manager on a permanent basis. The club would end up finishing 6th in the league and qualifying for the Europa League.

DRIVER DISMISSED, GAS EXHAUSTED; OLE NOT AT THE WHEEL ANYMORE

In the 2019/20 season, Ole’s first full season in charge of Man Utd, they amassed 66 points just like the last season but it was enough for them to finish third in the league only the second time since when Sir Alex Ferguson retired. They also reached three semi-finals, in the EFL Cup, FA Cup, and Europa League, but were not able to advance past the semis. This would come to be a beating stick for him in the nearest future.

The 2020/21 season was when things started to get sour a bit. The hashtag #Oleout started trending after one bad performance and another defeat. On 4 October 2020, Ole oversaw Manchester United’s joint heaviest defeat in the Premier League, a 1–6 home loss to Tottenham Hotspur, which he claimed was the worst day of his managerial career. On 9 December 2020, Solskjaer saw Manchester United fall from the Champions League group stage to the Europa League despite having beaten Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig by 2–1 and 5–0 respectively. They qualified for the Europa League by finishing 3rd in their group and would eventually reach the final before losing to Villarreal via penalties.

There was a lot of outrage on Social media after this particular incident because to many fans, it was unacceptable to fail to qualify from your group after being in a very commanding position before. But the decision-makers at the top turned deaf ears to all the noise and by the start of the new season, Ole was signing a new three-year contract extension with the club until 2024, with an option for a further year, till 2025. A lot of supporters felt this was a mistake too and made their displeasure known again via social media but the deed was already done. The support of legends and ex-players of united too made the possibility of another decision unlikely. Ole was backed frequently by ex-players especially the 1999 treble-winning team. They were always voicing their support at every turn when it seemed like Ole was in the red zone.

The constant support even generated claims of partiality and unfairness against the legends as questions were asked of them about their support to the other managers that came before Ole. The ability of Ole too to pull a rabbit out of the hat in near moments most times in the supposed fate-defining matches of his also made it difficult to sack him. He knew how to win the matches that would calm supporters and buy him more time whenever the team was in the red zone.

But everything in life that goes up must surely come down. The executioner’s metaphorical axe was up already and it was bound to come down at some point in time. And it happened on Sunday, the 21st of November just a day after the four-nil trashing at Vicarage Road against Watford. Manchester United announced that they had parted ways with club manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. It is being called a mutual agreement to part ways which is fair respect to a club legend no matter the circumstances the club may be in. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer leaves united 7th on the league table on 17 points after 12 matches played. His record stands at 91 games won (53.17%) in 168 matches played and having drawn 37 and lost 40 of the matches he managed for United.

He leaves united with no trophy won in his three years at the club and it makes one wonder why The club’s hierarchy have left it this late to make a decision. Antonio Conte, a man many United fans would have loved to be their new coach has already been snapped up by Spurs after united won away at Spurs 0-3 in yet another rabbit out of the hat performance by Ole. It robbed united of the chance to acquire the services of a manager known for his winning pedigree and now they must search for a manager that will bring out the best in this amazing crop of talents within the club and deliver the goods for them. Not that the fans would worry much for now though, they can be happy that they’ve finally gotten their wish; #Oleout has come to pass.

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