This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Speaking to talkSPORT, former Wales international Dean Saunders has suggested Manchester United’s players will get Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sacked next season.
In a summer that has seen the Red Devils overwhelmed with questions surrounding most of their first-team stars, there is seemingly an uncertainty building as to what the future holds at Old Trafford.
The sagas involving Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku have dominated the headlines in recent weeks amid potential moves away for the pair, and Saunders believes Solskjaer walked into a “mess” when he took over from Jose Mourinho.
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He said: “I just think he’s walked into a mess and he’s got such a difficult job. These players have just got Mourinho the sack and if Solskjaer doesn’t get his own players on the pitch they’ll get him the sack, and he knows that.
“He knows if he keeps on with these players and doesn’t change the personnel, he’ll get sacked. I think he needs some help, you’ve got to write some cheques and get the job done, get the people you want out the building out as quick as possible.”
Make no mistake, this summer certainly seems to have all the hallmarks of being a potentially crucial period in the context of United’s immediate future. Whilst the club have brought in Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Solskjaer has publicly admitted the side still needs strengthening and is also having to contend with two of his most high-profile players seemingly wanting out.
The club, and to an extent, the culture inside it, has needed changing for a number of years. Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure left a hole that is just getting bigger by the day. Where once it would have been the players who would be given the boot, now it’s the managers.
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The absence of Ferguson’s authoritative presence has given the United squad free rein when it comes to doing what they want; when someone like Mourinho came along to challenge them head on, it was the Champions League winning manager who lost out.
And that’s perhaps why Saunders’ comments ring ever so true. If the next few weeks don’t produce the kind of profile of signings Solskjaer wants and he is also left with the likes of Pogba and Lukaku in his squad, then the Norwegian’s time at Old Trafford could very well be over sooner rather than later.