The #OleOut Mailbox…

Editor F365
Manchester United manager (for now) Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

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Five #OleIns
I really should have sent this on Friday, it’s hard to send it after Man U just lost by 5 at home. Anyway, here are the reasons I think Ole keeps his job.

1. Who hired him? The man who hired Ole and extended his contract is also responsible for 3 other failures. 2 of the 3 we’re big time managers and still failed. I believe 4 consecutive failures is a mark of incompetence. Nobody wants to be called incompetent, this Ole keeps his job, because no rich man (Woodward) wants to look at a mirror and call it correct. I’m shit at this. Each club has expectations, Man U it’s silverware, Leeds, stay in the premier league, win a cup, Europa, the fact that Man U have been shite since he took over, it’s time to move on Woodward.
2. Club legend. Man U have 3 European titles, one being the famous treble, which Ole helped secure. Even if you want him gone, that Man won that club it’s biggest shouting point to this day. There is nobody shouting about the play style, nobody says Man U changed the game, but that treble though, it somehow keeps Giggs and Ole on a job.
3. Friends in the media. They seem keen to avoid criticizing the man. You would have to watch ESPN , to see anyone notice that Man U lost by 5 to Liverpool. Otherwise,it’s Paul Pogba’s fault, Luke Shaw, Ronaldo, or Maguire’s fault. In my opinion, elite Leve players. What about the management and coaching, does that never apply. According to the loudest mouth Gary Neville, never look past the players. The coaching is working it the players fault.
4. Broadcasting. Why is it Man U are always available. I watch an Everton game 2 times in a month. Even Liverpool, despite being better don’t appear on tv as much as Man U. Can someone on tv say to Man U, they need to improve their product and until then , limited tv time.
5. Fans. It’s hard to accuse Man U fans, I mean that’s the only fanbase that demonstatively acted against the super 12 league. How can they react like that in 1 week, but not react at all for 2-3 years?
All in all, Ole shouldn’t be fired, because the guy doing the hiring hasn’t changed. His latest hire was worse than his previous 3, so it’s actually getting worse. Even Moyes won some silverware. I feel like we’ll be here 3 years from now, new manager, who doesn’t fit the club, isn’t backed when it matters, Woodward then buys Mbappe and puts his manager on the crosshairs.
Dave(Groundhogs day, all over again), Somewhere

F365 says: Gary Neville on Ole is a logical endpoint for football’s chumocracy

Predictable sadness
Well, that was so predictable, I’m annoyed at myself for not putting a bet on.  I told my wife the starting line-up in the morning, that is how predictable it is.  We all knew it was going to be a battering, it’s sad.  Not sad in an upsetting way, just sad in the other way that I can’t describe.
Ole chased this young lad in Germany for about 18 months, finally signing him only to realise that he has no idea of what to do with him.
Ole signed a couple of young wingers, only to realise he has no idea of what to do with them.
Ole signed this guy from Holland, an apparent creative, lively character, only to realise he has no idea of what to do with him.
Ole signed a guy who had a few ok games for Palace and made him first choice, undroppable right back. Not realising and still not realising that he isn’t that good.
Ole signed the most expensive defender in the world, failing to realise that he has a terrible CV for a reason and then made him captain.
Ole signed Verane who has won everything and has made him look just as incompetent.
Ole said when he first came in that the team would outrun the opposition and they now sit bottom of the running stats.
Ole plays Fred and McTominay as 2 CDM when neither of them have been good enough from day one.
Ole plays 2 CDM and says he is an attacking team with the Utd DNA.
Ole has made Ronaldo look distinctively rubbish.
Ole has not developed any player, either ones already there or ones he has bought.  In fact, every player has regressed.
Ole still sees a player in Pogba and we are just awaiting him being unleashed.
Ole seems happy with Fernandes giving the ball away 95% of the time because he will eventually get one right.
Ole has spent close to 500million quid and made the team worse.
Ole’s cliches are a book in itself, awaiting the world’s most boring, predictable autobiograpghy.
Ole’s mates still won’t say it how it is, despite being paid to be impartial. (scholes ex)
Ole has been in charge of the worst period at Utd for over 30 years despite spending almost as much as his 3 predessors combined.
Ole says his coaching staff are brilliant.
Ole gave new contracts to Jones, Mata, Martial and probably a few others. He made De Gea the highest paid keeper in the world.
Ole says he’s come too far and he is so close to achieving what he set out to do. Which is what exactly? Please tell us.
Ole says winning trophies is not everything. I thought that was the whole point.
Ole doesn’t park in his own space. Becasue he doesn’t have a wheel.
Ole has no style of play, never has had, it’s a myth.
Ole promotes youth, another myth. Name one?
Ole yet again holds his hand up and says he made a mistake.  After every game.

Even though I feel the players are not anyway near as good as they are made out to be, that is Ole’s team, that is what he has put together in almost 3 years.  I wouldn’t say that any player is safe when a decent, professional manager who knows what he is doing comes in.
We cannot defend even the most basic of attacks, we have no midfield, we create nothing, we have no style, no fight, no grit, no determination, no flair.  But Ole needs time?  He’s had 3 years and we are no better than we were when he took over, I’d even say we are worse, no, we definatley are worse than we ever were under LVG and Maur.  This result has been coming all season, with the exception of Leeds and Newcastle, we could have easily been beaten in every game.

Quick note on Pogba being sent off, (stupid hair style for a grown ass man) yes it was a bad foul, yes it was very dangerous, reckless, ill-disciplined, stupid, naive, reckless. Not disputing the sending off.  But can we just point out that it was yet another hospital ball from the messiah Fernandes.  That sort of challenge has been waiting to happen for months.  Terrible pass that was only going to end up one way.

Why on earth they decided to give Ole a new  contract in the summer is beyond me.  Nobody was ever going to come along and tap him up, he was never going to turn any offer down.  They could and should have waited until December, but decided to make him something like the 3rd highest paid manager in the league, which is now going to cost them millions when they eventually fire him.

But we finsihed 2nd last season.  So did Maurinho and you wanted him gone, plus, he actually won something.
Mike (Just give him more time and few more 100 million, we might keep a clean sheet) 

United confusion
United supporters, and indeed the club itself, are a very confused bunch. We’re so desperate to recreate the success and longevity of the Busby and Ferguson eras that we’re ignoring the real history of this club. For every Busby there have been multiple Frank O’Farrells and Wilf McGuiness’. Without being realistic about Dave Sexton and Ron Atkinson there would never have been a Ferguson era. Evolution has to be honest; make the best decisions you can and then assess in an honest manner whether they worked or not. No trophies are handed out for who’s had the longest manager.

For years we loved taking the piss out of Chelsea, and later City, for their attitudes towards binning managers – because let’s face it, we could – but in our desire to be different we’ve lost sight of what’s most important, that circumstances dictate the decisions, not the other way around. The policy of treating our managers with respect and giving them resources and time is a good one, but the knowledge that we aren’t the sort of club who sacks title winning managers (or doubles in Ancelotti’s) case after one poor run or next shiny bauble in the background has to be enough. No club is best served pursuing the wrong course too long.
Chris, MUFC.

Fixtures forcing United action
I genuinely believe that if Man Utd had a gentler run of fixtures to come after the game yesterday, there would still be plenty of support internally to let the Ole show run on and on and give him even more time to turn it around despite all the damning evidence against it. There are many who seem to think we’re in our ‘ta ra Fergie, 3 years of excuses and it’s still crap’ moment, and it’s all about to magically come good and become *something*. What exactly? Who can tell!

It’s only because the upcoming fixtures are so unappealing that their hands will be forced, whether it’s in the next day or so, or after Spurs, Man City or Chelsea. Ole can have no complaints, 3 years and the vast funds made available to him has given him far more patience to succeed than any other manager at a top level club would have enjoyed. This should have been the season Liverpool had after signing Alisson and VVD – it is not.

And this is really the problem – it’s all knee jerk from the Man Utd hierarchy, floating from day to day trying to cobble something together. What will really be different in another week or another month?

Bayern are really the super club Man Utd *should* have become. When they played in the 99′ final, they felt like similar clubs with similar histories and identities. Since then they have developed a culture based on their rich heritage and a ruthless desire to succeed, which has become bigger than any one person – there is no SAF. Ex players are in significant positions at the club, but it’s all in the pursuit of building a relentless winning machine. It feels like Man Utd had aspirations of adopting that kind of model; I think that was the vision when this cycle started. It’s just been horribly, horribly executed. Bleak!
Alex, Ipswich

What are United “close” to?
When asked if OGS was willing to resign his response was ‘We are too close to give up now’. I was a bit confused by this following this season’s showing so decided to look it up in the old Oxford English…it states close means ‘very near to someone or something; with very little space between’. Firstly, I was surprised, that as we are 8 points behind league leaders Chelsea after only 9 games, I am unsure if that qualifies as ‘close’, at least from a quantitative standpoint. Given what I also experienced last night being ‘utter dogsh#t’, and in fact worse than ANY football being played under his predecessors, I’m also unsure we can be considered ‘close’ on a qualitative level also.

The question then becomes ‘what the F…’ does Ole actually think we are close to, and does he expect another half billion to eke out that SMALL gap to City, Liverpool and Chelsea?

Dubai Red


Where are the tactics?
If there is one team in the EPL that consistently plays the same way, regardless of who comes into the team that day, over the 3 years OGS has been in charge of United, it’s Liverpool.

City occasionally change things up – Cancelo pushing into midfield last season or false 9’s when Aguero was out injured. Chelsea have been through a couple of managers, etc.

But Liverpool play exactly the same way.

So how can OGS and his coaching team set up and play so badly. Scholes saw how bad they were against Atalanta and prophesied exactly what was going to happen. It was that clear.

So for Neville to continue defending the manager and coaching team to the hilt, was extraordinary.

OGS had set them up with a 2 man midfield and they were going to press (if you can call it that) when they clearly hadn’t been coached how to do it properly or the players couldn’t be arsed to do it properly. I just can’t imagine they were doing this brilliantly in training and then failed on Sunday. But against Liverpool?

Neville using the “United came second ahead of Liverpool and Chelsea last year” to defend his pal
OGS is insane. It is clear that Fernandes has been the single positive impact since joining. And playing counter attacking football leveraging several fast forwards. Since bringing in Ronaldo they have changed the playing philosophy. Fernandes doesn’t have the same influence or impact (just as when he plays for Portugal), they have one less fast forward, Ronaldo shuffles around preserving energy waiting for an opportunity in the box. He is an amazing header of the ball but it is unsurprising he scores a higher percentage than on the ground now, as it means he doesn’t have to chase and run hard to get into position. He doesn’t bring other players into the game like Cavani either – who would have been better to start yesterday.

But the point the question is who is the most deluded? Neville or OGS. OGS saying the project Is close to coming together or Neville saying OGS is a good manager with a great snd experienced coaching team? How much does OGS think it’s going okay because of support from people like Neville snd Ferdinand?

United have become the archetypical vanity project. Expensive players who think they are so good they only have to turn up to win. With teams playing to a system and with players who are willing to put in the graft to go with it, United are being left behind.

How much further down will they go using the same tactics against more astute managers than OGS ( or Neville.)
Paul McDevitt

Former Man Utd defender Gary Neville and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer


Formation change
Man utd have been awful for the past games and watching them against Liverpool was heartbreaking.As a fan, I don’t understand the coach’s obsession with a 4-2-3-1 formation. I think solskjaer should change to 5-3-2 formation. Play Wanbisaka at the right of the defensive 3; Shaw and Dalot as wing backs; any 2 in the midfield with Bruno Fernandez/Sancho/Lingardinhio slightly ahead; Ronaldo and any of Rashford/Cavani/Greenwood up top. This would make us more compact and solid at the back and dangerous in the attack. It would also suit the counterattacking style of play he loves to play. I think Conte, if given the opportunity, would utilize this same system.
Joel Z.


Time to say goodbye 
Been very much #OleIn all along and been trying to cling to signs of growth but the last few games have shown he has done his job and has taken them as far as he can. Time to say thanks and goodbye as this result has been on the cards for a while.

Whilst they would still have been miles off the signing of Ronaldo was always going to cause issues in some way or another and I’m sure it wont be long before the media leaks start.

However, to my point, I heard someone make a very good point over the weekend about when he goes (it’s When not if now). He won’t resign due to being stubborn/proud (delete as applicable) so it will need the trigger being pulled. Woodward is due to leave at the end of the year and there is no way he will be the guy ‘who shot Bambi’ So, he is here till January when the job will fall to Richard Arnold…and we all know he hasn’t been the same since GMTV (one for the morning TV crowd)

Right back in to exile
King Ralph (stayed till the end to avoid the Traffic)


No need to gloat…
So I’m a Liverpool fan but I’m not here to gloat. No need. We were and are a superior TEAM. Have your expensive toys. They just go to waste on the bench anyway. Just to prove how Ole is out of his depth is the fact he took off your best player in the 1St half, Greenwood, and left on that Oldie Wan Kenobi ‘Ronaldo’ who was the icing on that pile of shite.

I’ve watched many comedies in my life.  Only Fools and Horses, Arrested Development, Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Allo Allo. So many classics. But yesterday during United Liverpool someone should have told me they’d interrupt the program to show Benny Hill on the tear. Don’t get me wrong, it was HILARIOUS! Who you ask? The most expensive CB in world is who! Harry ‘Benny Hill’ Maguire. I mean he’s  so bad it’s actually hilarious. I thought Djimi Traore was funny but Maguire has clearly said I said your shite defending son and raise you utter shite. Watch him for each first half goal. For the 1st, forget about it. Just standing like a tree in the middle of nowhere. For the second he actually tackles and pushes his own man. Brilliant. The 4th he’s busy trying to tackle Firmino but it’s a 10 year old kid kinda tackle. Just swinging at the ball he can’t reach 😂😂 I love him. He cost more than Virgil. Beautiful. Any United fan that criticises City’s spending, well you really can’t talk. Btw Varane was never gonna be your rock. I’m also a Madrid supporter. He has been pants for years now. Benny Hill finally has his comedic partner.
Alex (New York) 


Goal-poaching managers
This might be true, it might not, but hey, everyone loves a theory, so here goes – if there is one position on a football pitch that cannot, repeat cannot, ever go on to have a successful managerial career, it’s ‘goal-poacher’.

What is a goal poacher?  Someone who reads the evolving currents of the game, notices its aura, how these two players are slotting together, how the midfield pivot is somehow off balance? It most certainly is not. It’s a player who, at a speed that would warp the mind of us non-pros, can spot that the weight their defender is shifted slightly the wrong way and so if they bend their run right this second . . goal. Goal for Van Nistelrooy, goal for Owen, Vardy. Goal for Solskjaer.

Do you reckon that, if that was how they ‘saw’ football, all their instincts tuned that way over twenty years or so – they’d suddenly start to develop a deep, broader appreciation for it afterward? Or might they think things like – Ronaldo, Greenwood, Rashford, Sancho, altogether? That’s four times as many goals! They’ll figure out how with their own natural abilities!

To be as frank as it requires – Solskjaer being mentally fit to be an elite manager is like saying Michael Owen is mentally fit to be an elite analyst.  It has always been thus – the winning spell at the start was the demob-happy vibe of a team freed from Mourinho’s hateful reign; they played off that memory for a while. Now they’ve forgotten.

P.S Theory 2: until the cameras stop knee-jerk looking for Fergie at every game United will stay ‘like this’.
best, Toby Sprigings 


Firmino resurgence
Just a quick one on Firmino, what a resurgence over the last few weeks?! Last season was tricky to say the least (though his stats remained fairly consistent with previous years it just didn’t quite fire for him), and for a myriad of reasons, it was starting to look like his days as a first choice might be behind him. Given our absent defence/midfield, our pressing game was off, and we weren’t winning the ball back high up the pitch, which is where he flourishes.

This season, with order restored to the rest of the team he looks sharp, he’s full of ideas, he’s confident and boy is it showing.

Where I thought it would be Mane, Salah, Jota every week – we currently have a real choice in there with Jota’s ability to play wide or in the middle. More than anything it will help manage fatigue and ensure Firmino and Jota have good minutes under their belts before AFCON.

Lovely to see him back to his best. Just thought it was worth a mention.

Marc (London)