Ed Woodward Says He’s Backing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Long Term

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There are several ways one could read the comments of Manchester United CEO Ed Woodward at a recent fans forum meeting. Woodward once again provided a public vote of confidence in his embattled and polarizing manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Like Solskjaer, Woodward himself has seen plenty of calls for his dismissal from large groups of United supporters. Conventional wisdom holds that Woodward’s job is much safer than Solskjaer’s, regardless of the results on the pitch.

Given a disastrous result in midweek, at home versus PSG in Champions League play, United will head into their final UCL group stage game needing a result to qualify for the knockout round.

Domestically, a mediocre start to the season sees them currently mid-table in the league. This less than inspiring run of form has seen the #OleOut crowd get noisier. Woodward stands by his man though, stating at the forum that he’s backing the Norwegian long term, with investment in players in the summer transfer window(s).

“I told this forum back in April that we remained committed to strengthening the squad, while being disciplined in our spending during the pandemic,” said Woodward.

“I believe we’ve delivered on that, with the additions we made during the summer taking our total net spending to over [$240 million] since summer 2019 — more than any other major European club over that period.”

“We will continue to support Ole with a planned, long-term approach to recruitment, focused on the summer windows.”

Of course, the United executive also just said right there that we should not expect anything significant to happen in the January transfer window. So you can read these comments several ways. Not sure if anybody expected any big moves to happen in January, but given how disappointing the summer transfer window turned out, it was plausible that the club would try to make up for that.

Or maybe he’s telling the truth, they’re going to be a summer buying only club moving forward. Or this is all a smokescreen because no one wants to give away their transfer strategy anyway. Bottom line, when will the Jadon Sancho acquisition get done?

Next summer, if ever, apparently.

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West Ham United vs Manchester United FYIs 

Kickoff: Saturday, Dec 5, 5:30pm, London Stadium

Team news for both sides: go to this link

Premier League Form Guide  United WWWLD  West Ham WWWLD

Table Position: United 9th, 16 points     West Ham 5th, 17 pts

Odds: United win +150  Draw +245    West Ham win +205

TV: NBCSN

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Prediction: West Ham 0, United 0

Crunching the numbers, you gotta pick a stalemate. This could be a grindy, gritty affair, and it may lack in entertainment value.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports IllustratedChicago Tribune and SB NationFollow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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