Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Admits United Won’t Contend for Title Next Season


The post match comments of Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may evoke these song lyrics, penned by disco era R&B act McFadden & Whitehead in their timeless hit “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now.”

I know we’ve got, a long long way to go
And where we’ll end up, I don’t know

For the second week in a row, Manchester United were humiliated by an already relegated side/club with a tiny fraction of their player payroll.

The Red Devils’ season ended as disastrously as possible, with the team pretty much checking out after the final whistle blew on the draw with Chelsea three weeks ago and their top four finish hopes were extinguished.

sir alex old trafford man united

Their ended their extremely disappointing season with a 2-0 home loss to Cardiff City, leaving them with a finish in sixth place, the same slot they were on when Solskjaer took over for Jose Mourinho. They ended the year a whopping 36 points behind intra-city rivals Manchester City for the top of the table.

After the match today, Solskjaer admitted that the gap between United and title contention is just as wide as it appears on paper.

“We have a long and hard way to be where we want to be. It will take some time to close in on the top,” he said after yet another listless, disinterested performance by his players.

“We finished five or six points behind third, fourth, fifth and that has to be our aim. The top two teams have set a standard higher than before and we have to take up the next challenge.”

“The work starts now, everyone has the summer off but we have to come back with a different mentality and different attitude of being a Man United team.”

mason greenwood

Solskjaer was spot on- the top four is the best United can hope for next season; a summer transfer window isn’t going to fix this. There was one bright spot though (believe it or not), and that’s the first start ever for forward Mason Greenwood. The Norwegian admitted that the youngster really came to play today; and looked a lot better than everyone else.

“Mason Greenwood was brilliant, he was our best player by a mile and that says a lot about the kid,” Solskjaer said.

“He came into the team with a lack of confidence and you can see that has take a total. I am not surprised by his performance, we know he is capable of that.”

Hard to figure out what the answers are, and I don’t pretend to know them. However, it’s pretty obvious that it all has to start with players who really want to be there and genuinely want to play for the crest on the front of the kit, not the name on the back. Maybe that starts with playing hungry young kids/academy products.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, also contributes to Chicago NowFollow him on Twitter and Instagram. The content of his cat’s Instagram account is unquestionably superior to his.

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