Manchester United wasted no time in appointing a temporary successor to Jose Mourinho as the Portuguese was sacked last Tuesday and club legend Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer took the helm as caretaker manager. Former Chelsea and Inter boss Mourinho endured a turbulent relationship with club-record signing Paul Pogba in his two and a half year tenure at Old Trafford, but Solsjkaer is keen to whipe the Frenchman’s slate keen and allow him to reignite his Red Devils career – he would be wrong to do so.
Solsjkaer, dubbed the ‘Baby-faced Assassin’ in his playing days, has adopted a similarly passive approach to which his moniker suggests when it comes to how he will tackle the issue of the seemingly toxic dressing room which he has inherited – the 45-year-old has insisted that he will ignore any previous controversies, saying this:
“Whatever has happened has happened and everyone starts with a clean slate.”
One assumes that this would includes the misfit Pogba and, if the starting XI against Cardiff is anything to go by, it seems as if the Norwegian is staying true to his word – the World Cup winner started on the left of a midfield three after being benched for the two previous games which turned out to be Mourinho’s last.
While singling out Pogba in particular may perhaps be a bit unfair, the 25-year-old has been far from the player he was expected to be after completing an £94.5m move from Juventus in 2016, where he had previously looked like one of the best box-to-box midfielders in the world.
The fact that Solsjkaer is so keen to forget about anything that happened before his arrival shows how far United have fallen – such travesties that occurred under Mourinho and are now being swept under the carpet by the new honcho would never have been allowed under Sir Alex Ferguson.
There is no doubting that Pogba has the ability to be world-class, but by waving away the past two years the midfielder will surely do it again should the relationship between he and his new manager disintegrate – he should be taught a lesson but it seems Solsjkaer has already made the first big mistake of his United career.