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Brennan's brief Solskjaer has made no discernible impact on the fortunes of United since taking over two years ago

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It seems clear that Solskjaer is simply not up to the task of kicking Manchester United on to the next level

It seems clear that Solskjaer is simply not up to the task of kicking Manchester United on to the next level

It seems clear that Solskjaer is simply not up to the task of kicking Manchester United on to the next level

It’s time to talk about Ole. The hero of the Nou Camp two decades ago has been Manchester United manager for almost two years now, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made no discernible impact on the fortunes of Manchester United since his return to the club.

Last night’s defeat in the Champions League in Turkey was not to Galatasary or Fenerbache, clubs with a rich history and tradition of European football. It was to little-known Istanbul Basaksehir, a club that won its first ever Turkish title earlier this year.

Again, United played with no discernible pattern. Some days they have two ‘sitters’ in midfield, in other matches just one. Sometimes that one defensive minder is one end of a diamond formation, other games see Manchester United use two widemen and a striker.

Contrast that with Liverpool, who lose their one ‘irreplaceable’ player for the season in Virgil van Dijk. What does Jurgen Klopp do? He plays exactly the same way every week, 4-3-3, and replaces van Dijk like for like. No messing, no tinkering, no turning things around.

Solkskjaer came to Manchester United to steady the ship after the end of the Jose Mourinho reign. That was one job, largely done. But it seems clear that he is simply not up to the task of returning Manchester United to the very top tier of domestic and European football.

Is it all his fault? Well, yes you might say, of a manger who was somehow given the reins of the biggest football club in the world having managed Molde with success in Norway and brought Cardiff City to relegation from the Premier League.

Then you look behind the scenes and you wonder if the United boss is operating under the style of the footballing model in Italy or Spain, where the coach is just given the players that the club’s board or president have assembled and told to turn them into a team.

After all, if it was all Solskjaer’s call, he would surely have followed the advice of our Sunday World columnist, Old Trafford legend Paul McGrath, and shipped out Paul Pogba during the summer.

But, at this moment in time, who would be willing to pay big bucks for Pogba, particularly with crisis-hit clubs starved of matchday revenue? So, did the money men say to Solskjaer, “you better hang on to him for another while, so that we can get best value for Pogba in a year’s time.”

And what about United bringing on Edinson Cavani to save the game last night? A great player in his time, but now the once-feted Uruguayan striker is injury-prone and slowing. But that’s what Solskjaer got when United ought, according to former skipper Roy Keane, to have gone after Harry Kane.

In the Alex Ferguson-glory years, that’s what the club did, they bought the best players for a position in which they needed help. They don’t do it any more – and is that Solskjaer’s fault?

And speaking of Harry Kane, his old Spurs boss, Mauricio Pochettino, is still out there, unemployed. The Argentinian played a United-brand of football while with Tottenham. Every result like last night’s brings his arrival at Old Trafford one day closer.

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