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 Planet Football, former Manchester United striker Robin van Persie has insisted Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can be “great” for the club if given “a proper chance”.
The Norwegian was handed the reins on a full-time basis earlier this year after a hugely successful start to his managerial career at Old Trafford. However, a disappointing end to the campaign saw the Red Devils finish sixth in the Premier League and facing Europa League football for the upcoming season.
However, Van Persie has slammed the “negativity” surrounding the club and urged people to give Solskjaer a bit of time and patience.
He said: “I don’t like the negativity around United because it was only a few months ago that everyone was saying give Solskjaer a long contract after that win against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League. Now, everyone is questioning him and asking whether he can do the job, but I say give him some time to get it right. He is a guy who understands what is expected at United and I believe he can be great for them if he is given a proper chance.
“I like the way he talks about the club, the image he presents, the positivity of what he said and the attacking football he wants to play. We had people saying this was not there when (Louis) van Gaal and (Jose) Mourinho were United manager, so now they have a guy who wants to play positive football and they need to back him. We have to wait to see what Solskjaer can bring rather than judge him too quickly.”
The world of modern football means instant success is the main priority. No longer can managers and teams simply embark on a long-term project and sacrifice short-term happiness. Clubs and fans demand success immediately. And that is perhaps why the knives are out for Solskjaer.
Many were singing the Norwegian’s praises when everything was running smoothly at Old Trafford, and then when the tables turned, it quickly became a case of Solskjaer not being the man for the job. The fickle nature of it all means that whilst Van Persie’s calls for patience are certainly welcoming, a bad run of games at the start of the upcoming season will simply crank up that pressure to unbearable heights – even for a United legend.