United Club Director Backs Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Despite Fan Unrest


There have been calls to replace manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, by Manchester United supporters, for some time, but lately it feels like the number of people in the #OleOut camp is growing.

Solskjaer’s decision to drop Cristiano Ronaldo against Everton, in a game just before an international break, has drawn a lot of criticism. Sir Alex Ferguson himself expressed disagreement with the decision. And amid this environment, in which an #OleOut campaign has taken off on social media, MUFC Director John Murtough gave the Norwegian a vote of confidence.

“We have a long-term strategy and confidence in the direction that we’re going,” Murtough told a fans’ forum meeting.

“The Premier League is one of the most competitive leagues in the world but we are 100% up for that challenge. We can’t get carried away and deviate from our plan. Ole and the staff are very focused on that.

“We won’t get distracted by what’s said on social media, which can sometimes create fervour and hysteria. It’s part of the modern game, but we stay focused.

“We believe that we’ve got the talent and the character within the squad to succeed.”

It’s safe to say that these comments won’t sit too well with a lot of United supporters, especially those who are well aware of OGS’ record, and failure to win a trophy.

United have only won two of their last six, and the club leadership’s disinterest in sacking him and finding someone better is yet another reason for supporters to be angry at the Glazers.

Backlash against the ownership has been present for years, and the European Super League debacle only ramped that up. Murtough made more comments that will only ramp up discontent:

“The manager always has a key role in everything that we do on player recruitment. We listen to our recruitment department and support them in terms of their thoughts or opinions. Now we have increased scouting coverage globally and trust our experts in what we do.

“Squad development is never ending and constantly evolving. We’re sitting with Ole and we’re talking about future plans in terms of where the squad will go and how we think it will develop.”

“We want to balance squads with the right profile in terms of positions and in terms of age. We want a squad that can challenge today but also in the future as well.”

In the end, all of that is a lot of corporatespeak and buzzwords that sound nice in theory, but aren’t backed up by the results on the pitch.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune.

He co-hosts the After Extra Time podcast. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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