‘Man Utd have made unavoidable mistake appointing Ole’

Joe Williams
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Manchester United

Former Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan thinks Manchester United could regret appointing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as their new permanent manager.

A move that seemed inevitable for weeks was made official on Thursday morning when it was confirmed Solskjaer had signed a three-year deal after an amazing spell as caretaker manager, with 14 wins in 19 games.

Initially seen as a capable stop-gap appointment following Jose Mourinho’s sacking, Solskjaer has implemented a return to winning attacking football, utilising exciting players and young talent.

It has put United back in the top-four hunt, while a remarkable win at Paris Saint Germain has kept their Champions League dreams alive, and it is that work – rather than fan popularity – that has resulted in his full-time appointment.

However, Jordan doesn’t think Solskjaer is capable of out-thinking the likes of Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino to win the Premier League title in the future.

“The reason I say it’s an unavoidable mistake is because their performances have justified the appointment, but Manchester United are in a difficult position,” Jordan told talkSPORT.

“It’s been six years since they last won the Premier League title and there are three sides who are better than them – Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham.

“I think they can bridge the gap player-wise, but here’s the conundrum – there are three better managers than Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

“Pep Guardiola is clearly the leading light in management right now, Jurgen Klopp isn’t far behind and has won things, and Mauricio Pochettino working the oracle at Spurs.

“United are behind them all on the field and they’re out of the habit of winning the Premier League. It’s a big thing when you don’t win the league, ask Liverpool fans – they’ve forgotten how to win it and they’re 29 years down the line now.

“If Liverpool were to win the Premier League this year and get their act together, you might find they really galvanise themselves and the distance between them and United gets even greater.

“While they’ve made the appointment because the performances have justified it, it’s one thing fixing something that’s broken but it’s another thing building your own team. The dynamics change.

“I might be giving Solskjaer a bit of a disservice, but I think it’s short term thinking and possibly a long-term problem.

“Are we really seriously saying Solskjaer is going to out-think Guardiola, out-do Klopp and stand up to Pochettino? I don’t think so.”